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Sno-Balls


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Last night, driving on route 60 leaving Williamsburg, my wife and I saw a line at least 75 long snaking around a low slung bunker of a building, hungrily, patiently approaching one of two windows of an apparent 50's era William and Mary tradition: Sno to Go. With over forty flavors of shaved ice snoballs including "beetlejuice," "fuzzy navel," "Ninja turtle," "rumbleberry" and their legendary "Tiger's blood" this is a mom and pop Hawaiian/Baton Rouge style shaved ice landmark open three days a week for seven months out of the year. The ultimate indulgence is a stuffed snoball which involves layering a two inch nest of ice, a mound of vanilla frozen custard and then another slab of flavored ice all topped with whipped cream and more syrup drizzled on top. For most this is a Saturday night ritual similar to the University of Maryland's line for "The Vouz" where it wasn't about getting into the bar; it was all about the Line. At Sno to Go it seemed to be about both. Remarkably one of the most popular orders was a sugar free Snoball. I couldn't believe that anyone would stand in line for 30 minutes or longer to order something that wasn't based in lard, butter or whipped cream but at Sno to Go, the svelte students seemed to shy from true caloric indulgence favoring flavor at the expense of butterfat.

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So, it's not a snow cone, but...

Man, I have fond memories of Slushpuppies from Highs. I grew up in Glen Echo, Md, so there's that High's turned 7-11, and even though it's crap when it comes down to it...they still remind me of being, like, six and riding carousels and stuff. I saw a High's yesterday in Easton, Md. Why is it called High's anyway? Took to liking the blue kind and the patch dog with tongue, Meaghan

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when I was a kid (ok I'm still a kid...when I was younger) we use to get snowcones at the New York State fair that had maple syrup drizzled on them...YUM

For those growing up in New England this was a normal treat during the snowy winters. Of course any reason to eat real maple syrup is good!

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So when, or more precisely - where, does shaved ice become a snow cone, become a sno ball? I always think of shaved ice or sno-balls as fresh shaved ice that is smooth and comes with a gazillion different flavors to choose from, while snow cones are more like crushed up ice cubes, like little pellets. I don't like most snow cones because the syrup always ends up at the bottom of the cone and I'm left with nothing but flavorless ice pellets to crunch on. Here is some sno-ball history to suck on.

Edited by crackers
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So, it's not a snow cone, but...

Man, I have fond memories of Slushpuppies from Highs.  I grew up in Glen Echo, Md, so there's that High's turned 7-11, and even though it's crap when it comes down to it...they still remind me of being, like, six and riding carousels and stuff.  I saw a High's yesterday in Easton, Md. Why is it called High's anyway?  Took to liking the blue kind and the patch dog with tongue, Meaghan

Slushpuppies!! :lol: Oh man, I haven't seen one of those in years! Forget if they had those at the beach or good old Cap'n Henry's, but they were the best!

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For those growing up in New England this was a normal treat during the snowy winters.  Of course any reason to eat real maple syrup is good!

We had a sugarhouse growing up and the best treat was sugar-on-snow. You'd heat the sap well past the 'syrup' temperature... but before it got to the hard candy temp, then pour it on the snow outside to cool. The result was a chewy, filling-removing delicacy. :lol:

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Where are the sno-balls in DC or metro-accessible? I hit up the stand in Bethesda in front of Barnes & Noble, and what the guy sells there is shave ice.

Sno-balls seem to fall in between shaved ice and sno-cones in terms of ice size. But what I am really looking for is the availability of marshmallow fluff and chocolate syrup. They had neither. Though I have to admit what I had was yummy and he hides a Swedish fish inside!

So I'm trying to get clued in. Allegedly there is one on 14th near Taylor. Can anyone confirm?

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On 9/25/2005 at 11:36 PM, Meaghan said:

So, it's not a snow cone, but...

Man, I have fond memories of Slushpuppies from Highs. 

My *goodness* this brings back memories - I hadn't thought of High's in probably twenty years, maybe even longer. There used to be one on Lockwood Drive across from White Oak Shopping Center, and that's where we'd go if we needed milk, or bread, or in my case, an ice-cream sandwich (which I thought was a *huge* treat even though it was pre-packaged). I remember High's as having good ice-cream, even when I had passed the age where I knew it was 7-11-ish ("Yeah, it's kind of run down, but their Butter Brickle and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is actually really good!")

Wow. High's. It seems like another century ago ... and it was.

On 9/26/2005 at 1:23 PM, tenunda said:

Here's a version of this conversation from an internet neighbor:

"What We're Missing: A Snowball Stand" by Kanishka Gangopadhyay on dcist.com

Kanishka - who has remained active among us over the years - is the first person ever to write about this website, and I haven't forgotten it.

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There are still Highs around, mostly in Maryland north of I-70. One is down the street from the Howard County fairgrounds, do not recall if they have slush puppies.

Rita's Italian Ice has a version that is alternating layers of frozen custard and ice. I will note that the ices have the same or higher calorie content as the frozen custard.

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14 hours ago, nelumbo said:

There are still Highs around, mostly in Maryland north of I-70. One is down the street from the Howard County fairgrounds, do not recall if they have slush puppies.

Rita's Italian Ice has a version that is alternating layers of frozen custard and ice. I will note that the ices have the same or higher calorie content as the frozen custard.

It isn't a High's if they don't serve slush puppies.  I don't care what the sign says on the front.

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Snowballs (not sno-cones, there is a difference!) were an integral part of my Baltimore childhood summers.  There are stands scattered all over the city, but mostly we got them from enterprising middle or high school kids who would set up shop on the curb right outside of the local swimming pools.  There were, and probably still are, ice houses that would sell you a block of ice and rent hand-held ice shavers for the day or week plus supply styrofoam cups, spoons and bottles of syrup at a discount.  If it was your gig all summer, though, you would head down to Koldkiss and outfit yourself properly.  Then if you didn't have a car or a license you would have to find somebody to help you lug your giant ice block and supplies to the next stop!  Some were lucky enough to have a few lucrative spots within wagon-pulling distance from home.  It was good money and beat the hell out of mowing lawns (although hand shaving for several hours a day was a workout of its own).

In case you were wondering, egg custard is the best flavor.  This is not up for debate.

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In the summer, Bayou Bakery generally has Sno-Balls (not in cones, but in Chinese takeout cartons). They've been lovely. I like the Wedding Cake flavor (there's also been raspberry and dreamsicle and others). I haven't had it yet this summer, so this reminds me to go!

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You people all tricked me into thinking this thread was about the Hostess Sno-Ball...ummm...creation/cake/marshmallow/coconut(?) thingies (technical term :D).  I realize they have about the same nuclear survivability as a Twinkie, but for whatever reason, I love em.  Shaved ice, even flavored shaved ice, pales in comparison!

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19 minutes ago, notquiteanonymous said:

You people all tricked me into thinking this thread was about the Hostess Sno-Ball...ummm...creation/cake/marshmallow/coconut(?) thingies (technical term :D).  I realize they have about the same nuclear survivability as a Twinkie, but for whatever reason, I love em.  Shaved ice, even flavored shaved ice, pales in comparison!

Ha! That would be in the Shopping and Cooking Forum since you can't get it in a restaurant. :)

(On a side note, did anyone ever store a snowball (an actual snowball) in their freezer until summertime, and then sneak up on a sibling and pelt them with it?)

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