notes from maggie's farm
|courtesy of nola.com|
In all of my nostalgic reminiscing about the food that still held me in it's sway some 15 years after I departed Louisiana, the snoball had slipped from the forefront until that day, when a thirst grabbed hold of me that simply wouldn't be quenched with one more iced coffee-to-go. In a quest for the perfect thing, I passed just what the doc ordered. BINGO! It was a SNOBALL stand. I pulled a James Rockford-esque u-turn and headed back for a taste of my past.
|images courtesy of nola.com|
A cup full of shaved ice (Shaved is a must. Crushed ice will not do.) is drenched with one, or two, or five, of the sweetest of seemingly hundreds of flavored syrups, and that is only the beginning. You can have any combination of flavors, sizes, and concoctions your mind can dream up, including, but not limited to, snoballs with ice cream centers, and the regionally-unique delicacy, a snoball topped with condensed milk. I chose to go somewhat simply--the house special, strawberry, with the consumer favorite, coconut splash.
From the first sip, to the last tiny bit of icy crunch, I was transported to a time past. I drove down country lanes which years before had entertained so many similar jaunts-off-the-beaten path, accompanied by my styrofoam cup full of memory, and that luscious, fruity-sweet syrup lasted the entire two-hour tour.
Admittedly, most stands use syrups that are loaded with artificial colorings and flavorings, and though most are added to a simple syrup, high fructose corn syrup is not foreign to many a snoball. Occasionally, you might find yourself lucky enough to happen upon a syrup made with all natural ingredients. The strawberry syrup on my snoball was made from the sweetest Louisiana strawberries. And that's the way I like to duplicate this special treat at home. With all natural, organically grown ingredients. A few links to help bring that joy-in-a-cup to your house:
Making Natural Syrups by Mary Tutwiler, for Times-Picayune
How to Make Homemade Shaved Ice
Traditional Snoball Syrup
and for the history of it all....
In New Orleans, Snowballs Are a Really Big Deal
Longtime Tchoupitoulas Street Snowball Stand is as Good as New
and, last, but certainly not least, good food, good music, and good times at the
The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival
April 13th,14th, & 15th, 2012