As a kid, I remember our favorite snowball-making neighbor, Miss Connie. She would freeze a huge block of ice and put it in her utility sink, then use a hand ice shaver to load up our cups…what a workout! Her flavors came from concentrates made in Baltimore.
Egg custard, tutti fruiti, cherry, and strawberry were the most popular flavors in our neighborhood. Some snowball stands today offer both the basic flavors as well as exotic combinations for those non-traditional snowball lovers. A marshmallow topping adds “icing to the cake” and gives the snowball an extra layer of yumminess. As kids, we would sometimes add a scoop of ice cream on top. These were dubbed as “dumb bells.” Chocolate is also a popular flavor, but egg custard is still the one to beat!
We would always eat our snowballs out of a Styrofoam or paper cup with a plastic spoon. If you ate it too fast, a “brain freeze” was sure to follow. Once you reached the bottom of the cup, it was easier to just drink the remainder of your snowball being careful not to spill it down your shirt….that flavoring really stained and made Mom not too happy.
For an adult version of the snowball, try pouring your favorite cocktail or beverage as your flavor syrup. If you dare, a Margarita Snowball makes for quite a refreshing treat! Top it off with some gooey marshmallow and please “snowball responsibly.”
I make my snowballs by hand the old fashioned way, just like my neighbor Miss Connie did for us kids years ago. When I go over someone’s house and am asked to bring something, snowballs are my “food” of choice, and are always a big hit.
There are lots of snowball stands around Maryland, but they are definitely a regional treat. When I moved to Montana and asked people if they’d ever had a snowball, their only frame of reference was the “hard as a rock” cone-shaped ones sold at carnivals and fairs. Sadly, most people will never get the opportunity to enjoy a REAL Baltimore style snowball.
What cool Baltimore summer traditions…..eating steamed crabs, watching ‘dem “O’s”, sitting on your curb or “stoop” enjoying snowballs on a hot day. It just doesn’t get any better!