The History of the Snowball, New Orleans’ Most Famous Treat


Regarding the perfect summer treat to beat the heat, New Orleans’ snowballs are the ideal snack for everyone. These icy and sweet treats are the favorite of many New Orleanians. However, few people know the origins and history of the famous New Orleans snowball.

The Origin of the Snowball

How the New Orleans snowball came to fruition is in dispute. In the 1930s, George Ortolano and Ernest Hansen invented ice-shaving machines, serving shaved ice and sweet-flavored homemade syrups to create delightful and cooling treats.

The Community Impact of the Snowball

As snowballs grew more commonplace within New Orleans as a perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth and beat the heat, they became more than a simple snack. The beloved snowball stands of New Orleans became a place for people to spend time together within their respective communities. By becoming a staple of the growth of communities, the snowball transcended the role of a summer treat and became a tradition of New Orleans families and communities.

The Constant Innovation of Snowballs

With so many snowball stands popping up throughout the jazzy streets of New Orleans, people wanted an edge over the competition, leading to unique and exciting innovations. Some of these innovations include introducing hundreds of new flavors, stuffing snowballs, and adding sweetened condensed milk on top.

Popular flavor additions include wedding cake, spearmint, cake batter, and more. Stuffing a snowball involves making a traditional snowball and adding scoops of ice cream to the middle. Adding sweetened condensed milk to the top and middle of snowballs brings even more texture and flavor.

New Orleans Snowballs, a True Staple of Summertime Snacks

The creation of the snowball is such an exciting story and now is an integral part of the New Orleans casual culinary scene. Its sweet and syrupy taste has spread around the globe since its conception. There is no better way to cool off and enjoy a sweet snack than to indulge in a classic New Orleans snowball.

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