The Dirt

H is for Hansens

 

Hansens, like all of the best things in New Orleans, is historic, a little bit sinful, and always open to innovation. 

In the unrelenting summer heat, New Orleanian minds turn away from steaming pots of gumbo to thoughts of another holy trinity: ice, syrup, and condensed milk. That's right friends, the Snoball. And when one speaks of Snoballs in New Orleans, one must necessarily speak of Hansens Sno-Bliz.

Conceived during the Great Depression, the (arguably) definitive name in New Orleans snoballs has been cranking out perfectly shaved ice treats since 1939. Inspired by a rolling snoball vendor, master machinist Ernest Hansen promptly set about building a snoball maker of his own, earning U.S. Patent 2515923.

 

In the years to come, Ernest and his wife, flavored syrup prodigy Mary Hansen, would take the business from a small outdoor stand to the shopfront they inhabit today, 4801 Tchoupitoulas Street.  Since Mary and Ernest have passed, the business is now run by their intrepid granddaughter, Ashley and continues to produce excellent snoballs, classic and otherwise, with such striking flavors of the month as Cardamom, Thai Basil, and Coconut Milk with Pineapple Habanero.

1pm-7pm. Tuesday-Sunday. What are you waiting for?

Photos by Marc Pagani

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