One of our favorite summer treats here in New Orleans is the snowball. While snow cones are sold elsewhere they are not to be confused with the snowball. Snow cones are sold in other parts of the world and while they may be tasty, they are not anything like the snowball. The snow cone is made from coarsely crushed ice while the snowball is made from finely shaved ice soft like snow, hence the name Snowball. This is important because the flavoring when added to the snowcone, will fall to the bottom of the cone. The flavoring added to a snowball will be absorbed into the finely shaved ice. You can make a snow cone from a blender but you will need something that can shave the ice into fine snow to get that special snowball creation. The snowball was actually invented in New Orleans by Mr. George J. Ortolano and has been a New Orleans favorite since 1936.
Once you are able to create that fine snow you will need to make the simple syrup. It couldn’t be any easier to make that’s why it’s called “simple syrup”. To make one gallon of simple syrup you will need to dissolve five pounds of sugar into eighty ounces of water. If you mix with room temperature water you will be able to use immediately. If you heat the water then you will need to wait for it to cool. If you keep the simple syrup stored in a cool area it will last 7-10 days without using a preservative.
If you prefer to preserve it longer then you can mix one ounce of sodium benzoate with a quarter ounce of citric acid, per gallon of simple syrup. You must add each ingredient separately and stir into the syrup separately and thoroughly. You must not allow the two ingredients to come into direct contact with each other as they will solidify. These two ingredients will not affect the taste of the flavors you create with it.
Now you have your simple syrup ready all you need to do is add the flavoring. If you use the ready to use flavoring follow those instructions. Since we buy our flavors from the original Snowizard company in New Orleans we add four ounces per gallon of syrup or one ounce per quart.
It really is that simple. We usually make two to four flavors at a time when the grandchildren come over. It goes by so quickly that we don’t need to add any preservatives. You can also add condensed milk on top for that extra sweet taste or even stuff it with ice cream.
So, if you are looking for a simple treat with a New Orleans flair that everyone will love you now can create your own snowball. To learn more about snowballs or if you are interested in purchasing from the original Snowizard you can go to www.snowizard.com.
Do you have a favorite summer treat you would like to share?