Lagniappe




2002 2002 2002 2002
2002 2002 2002 2002
2002 2002 2002 2002
2002 2002 2002 2002
Ashleigh Austin
June 2002
Courtesy of Mike Sanders
Visions Photography




Fishin' LOUISIANA Style



Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Graphics by Greg Nathaus (Germany)

(*Please note this is not a real Louisiana magazine cover.*)

 


Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Mike Sanders
Photo courtesy of Mike Sanders
Graphics by Greg Nathaus (Germany)


(*Please note this is not a real Louisiana magazine cover.*)





Sno-Balls



Louisiana Cookin' Magazine - August 2001


Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons
Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons
Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons
Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons
Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons
Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons Photo by Scott R. Simmons
Photo by Scott R. Simmons

 



Sno-Balls: The Crescent City's Favorite Summer Treat
By: Scott R. Simmons


Coach Garner was the man who introduced me to sno-cones. It was at Greenacres Junior High School, late spring, 1980. Coach Garner was a PE coach and he also oversaw the concession stand hidden in a breezeway next to the gym. He recruited me and a few of my friends to work the concession stand in exchange for snacks. The school did not want to interfere with students eating the wholesome food prepared in the cafeteria, so it only opened the concession stand "full of junk food" for the last fifteen minutes of recess each day. When the metal window rolled up, hordes of my fellow students in seventh and eighth grade lined up to buy oatmeal cookies stuffed with marshmallow cream, cheese crackers, waxed paper cups filled with fountain Coca-Cola and ice, and sno-cones.

Coach Garner set up the snow machine on one side of the storage room that doubled as the concession stand. My job was making the snow. I would chop off a piece from a block of ice and load the chunk into the chute. Then I flipped a switch, the blades would whirl, and the snow would fall. Using a metal scoop, I would shovel a mound of snow, pack it into a paper cone, shape a ball on top, and hand it to my friend Kathy who poured strawberry- or grape-flavored sugar syrup over the top.

Fifty cents changed hands and a sno-cone was delivered across the counter. The sno-cone was pure refreshment on those hot, nearly summer days, when the temperature was in the 90s . Everyone bought one. Even Coach Garner would have one every now and then, chomping fruity ice, smiling, and rubbing his bald head while making sure that the concession stand ran smoothly.

After junior high, I rarely saw sno-cones again except at the state fair. Until I moved to New Orleans.

In most of Louisiana the sno-cone is a summer treat, but in New Orleans the sno-ball is a summer tradition. Sno-cones are called "sno-balls" in New Orleans, and stands that sell them to lines of waiting customers are in practically every neighborhood.

Claude Black and his wife have owned and operated Williams Plum Street Sno-Balls for twenty-two years. From a small corner building in the middle of a Carrollton neighborhood, a bevy of workers serve some of the most popular sno-balls in New Orleans. This is how you do it. Walk in one of the two doors that open onto Plum Street (its easy to tell which one is the entrance because there is always a line) and enter a narrow space that barely holds four or five people at one time. Right inside the door, tell the person behind the counter what size you want. One worker shaves ice into the container and shapes it. Then the sno-ball is handed down the line and the next server asks you to pick one of seventy-two flavors, pours syrup over the top, adds condensed milk if you want the special New Orleans treatment, and sets the sno-ball on the counter. Pay the cashier, scoot out the other door, sit on the bench outside the stand, and enjoy the flavor of summer.

Black doesn't know how many sno-balls he sells at the stand each year, but he buys 5,000 plastic spoons each week. When Williams first opened, the shop sold sno-balls in two sizes his crew serve cups and pails in a variety of sizes from super small to super-duper extra large. The pail is a Chinese food takeout container with flaps bent back and filled way beyond capacity with snow and sugar syrup. Whatever the customer's preference, the cups and the pails seem to hold the sno-ball equally well.

When asked about the difference between a sno-ball and a sno-cone, Black says there is no comparison. The difference between the two is the texture of the ice. Sno-cones are made with coarsely shaved ice that still has the texture of pieces of ice sno that is shaved off the end of a block of ice. Shaving the block of ice creates a texture so smooth and soft that it actually has the feel of powdery snow in the mouth.

When Williams Plum Street first opened sixty years ago, the snow was made by a hand shaver. The manual hand shaver operated much like its automatic counterpart that is used today, but the blades were turned with a hand crank. The ice was shaved and then scooped onto a plate with an ice cream scoop, like a sno-ball, and then drenched in flavored syrup.

Nowadays, Williams Plum Street Sno-Balls uses a SnoWizard machine, manufactured in New Orleans. In 1937, George Ortolano invented the three-bladed ice shaver that became SnoWizard. The shaver was made to accommodate a 12.5 pound block of ice that was originally cut by ice sellers to fit into ice boxes (the forerunner of refrigerators). Then the block was shaved by the blades, snow was made, and juicy flavor was poured on top.

SnoWizard used to sell most of their machines locally. Now, a great majority of the machines are sold to out-of-town and out-of-the-country entrepreneurs. Understandably, the Caribbean has become a hot spot for sno-balls, and the islanders love their sno-balls doused with exotic syrups like mango, kiwi, and passion fruit.

Allegiance to sno-ball stands in New Orleans ultimately comes down to flavors and texture of the ice. Though Williams Plum Street has seventy-two flavors and a huge following, Hansen's Sno-Bliz has die-hard fans who will accept no other sno-ball.

It's hard not to be a fan of Hansen's. The place oozes New Orleans atmosphere. The unassuming white building on a corner with the painted "Hansen's Sno-Bliz" sign is easy to miss, but any Hansen's follower can find it without the sign. A corner door opens to a large room with a counter on one side, walls overflowing with photographs, articles, and memorabilia of sixty-two years in the business, and the whole place is cooled by open windows and an electric fan.

Mrs. Hansen, who is credited with starting the sno-ball stand business in New Orleans, started hers when most women didn't work outside the home. Mr. Hansen made the machine that shaved the ice for a sno-bliz, and Mrs. Hansen opened the stand to serve the refreshing, sugary treat. Customers began to come on the hot summer days of New Orleans, and they continue to come, looking for the real sno-ball.

Behind the counter, one of the Hansen grandchildren may be patiently waiting to take orders. There is no rush here, just a steady stream of people cooling their heels and their palates on Tchoupitoulas Street. After the customer chooses the flavor from numerous boards where the flavors are listed and the size of the container, including a plastic bucket, attached to the wall behind the counter, the Hansens make the sno-ball. They fill the container half full with snow, then pour the chosen flavoring over that half. Next, they send the sno-ball back to the ice shaver where they add another mound of snow and, finally, a second round of flavor and condensed milk. The result is irresistible method that soaks every particle of snow with sugary syrup.

Lots of people love the sno-balls of New Orleans and go to great lengths to make sure they can get them. Recently in Hansen's, a couple from Mississippi ordered six large buckets in a variety of flavors. When each sno-ball was ready, they wrapped it and packed it in an ice chest in preparation for the trip back to Mississippi where they will keep the sno-balls in a freezer.

It may be a little far to tote sno-balls back to Bossier City, but Coach Garner would have loved a Hansen's sno-ball. I think he would have had a hard time picking the flavor. Our puny little sno-cones at junior high with two flavors to choose from couldn't compare to a bucket filled with snow, raspberry syrup, and condensed milk, served with a spoon and a straw. I can see the toothy grin on his face and the hand rubbing his head at the first bite of a snowball from Hansen's. He would be in love with New Orleans sno-balls.

Contributing Editor Scott R. Simmons grew up in Bossier City, but now lives
in New Orleans, where he practices law.

Louisiana Cookin' Volume 4, Number 6, Page 10, August 2001
Copyright 2001, Louisiana Cookin', Kriedt Enterprises, Ltd.

Courtesy of Louisiana Cookin'





Click HERE for the history of the Sno-Ball.



Click Here for MORE Lagnaippe!


Divider Bar

Home
Back
Next
Guestbook
Sign
View


Divider Bar

Image courtesy of Alan Ayers
Maintained by Web Marketing Services