Snow Balls and Snow Cones


Is there a difference between water ice and snow cones?

Well, as a matter of fact, there is.  Not only that, there is a difference between snowballs and snow cones.  A snow cone is made of a harder grated ice with a moderate amount of fruit flavored syrup. A snowball is made of shaved ice, very fine like snow and has large amounts of flavored syrup. Snowballs were served in New Orleans, Louisiana, and growing up in Louisiana, I had my share as a little girl. But really, my favorite snow cone was made with freshly fallen snow, some real vanilla, sugar and a tiny bit of milk. Since we did not get that much snow where we lived, it was a most delicious and once-in-a-great-while treat and when we moved to the Colorado Rockies, I enjoyed snow cones with my own children, making them just as we did on those rare snow days in Louisiana.

Before shaved ice machines came along, ice was shaved from a block of ice by hand tools such as wood planes. These hand held ice shavers shaved ice into a very fine fluffy ‘snow.’ At the 1919 Texas State Fair in 1920, Samuel Bert, from Dallas sold shaved ice. It was a huge hit and in 1920, he invented the first snow cone machine. Later, in 1934, an inventor from New Orleans named Ernest Hansen patented an “ice block shaver.” His wife made flavored syrups to be poured over the ice and together, they created the most delicious treat called snowballs.  Snowballs have been a special treat in New Orleans ever since. In New Orleans on Tchoupitoulas Street, this tradition still continues today at Sno Blitz where the Hansen’s granddaughter has taken over the business. Mr. Hansen still worked at Sno-Blitz up until 2005 and died that same year and his wife followed a year later.

With that being said of the history of the snow cone in the United States, the origin of the snow cone is much older. Most trace the history of snow cones back to the Roman Empire in 27 B.C. to A.D. 395 when the Romans brought snow down from the mountains into the city.  Snow cones or snow-balls are served all over the world and one can find this delicious treat at state fairs, street vendors, stadiums, the circus, or simply make them at home using an ice shaver. These machines are wonderful and make it so easy to enjoy a sweet, cold treat. Most machines include tasty recipes for syrup and how to make the perfect snow cone or snowball. There are hundreds of flavors, toppings, and combinations to make. The only limitation is your imagination.

Now, you know the difference between a snow cone and a snowball. The differences between a snow cone, snow ball and water ice is the texture of the ice, whether it is grated to a coarser texture, or shaved to the consistency of snow, and on what part of the country or world you are in.  In Hawaii, they serve it with ice cream on the bottom, then finely shaved ice, and believe it or not topped with condensed milk. Does that not sound absolutely yummy?! In Texas and southern Mexico it is served with leche (sweetened milk with cinnamon – my husband would love this one). Snow cones and snowballs have the syrup or toppings poured over them, where as water ices are flavored as the ice is made. Of course there is nothing like shaving your own ice and making your own snow cones!

We are definitely going to try that one from Hawaii.


Source by Safe Home Sue