Snoball VS. Snowcones
Trying to skip the history lesson? Click here to find out the differences between a Snoball and a Snowcone.
Snowcones began their journey in the 1850s, during the American Industrial Revolution. In this time, ice became readily available through the usage of wagons, that helped transport ice blocks along the East Coast. As the ice wagon passed through major cities, children would gather around to get a scrape from an ice block. It was then, that women began to make their own flavoring for the treat.
Fast forward to the late 1870s, when movie theaters served snowcones by hand-shaving ice for their patrons. Snowcones were quite the novelty treat, and they were seen as 'upper-class', since they were associated with attending the movies.
Nearly five decades later, Samuel Bert, out of Dallas, Texas, invented a Snowcone machine that could be considered one of the firsts in snowcone history. After inventing it, Bert (also known as "King Sammie") would take his machine to the Texas State Fair, and sell snowcones. Regarding the machine, he patented it, and began to sell it worldwide.
Commonly known as: Snowballs, Shaved Ice, Shave Ice, Hawaiian Shave Ice, Ice Shave
Shaved Ice was enjoyed as early as 27 B.C.E, as there is documentation that a Roman
Emperor, by the name of Nero, sent his men to collect snow, then to flavor it with fruit and/or honey. There is discussion as to whether Nero consumed Shaved Ice or Italian
Ice (ice that is churned with natural or artificial flavor to create a smoother mix), but it is a toss up as to which method they used.
Nero was not the only person of royalty to indulge in Shave(d) Ice; as in imperial Japan, Shaved Ice was a luxury treat, that ordinary people could not afford. From Japan, Shaved Ice was then brought to Hawaii, where it become a much more common treat with the people.
Hawaiian Shave Ice, or Ice Shave, as it is called on the big island, has been a significant dessert in Hawaii's culture, since the Japanese brought it along with them. In Hawai'i, Shave Ice is traditionally flavored by their natural fruits, such as: guava, lychee, kiwi, and mango. This treat can be finished off with ice cream, adzuki bean paste, or even sweetened condensed milk, which locals call a "snow cap".
Until the 1930s, shaved ice had been manually scraped from an ice block, using hand-held ice shavers. It was not until 1933, when a man, by the name of Ernest Hansen, set out to create an ice shaving machine. The following year, Hansen
With so many terms, such as: Snoball, Shave Ice, Hawaiian Shave Ice, Snowcones, etc., it is easy to think that all these ice-based treats are the same. As somewhat of an ice-based treat connoisseur, I am here to tell you the real truth: They are NOT all the same. A couple of the names belong in the same family, as they are derivatives of the main term, but the original terms are:
achieved his goal by inventing the first motor-driven ice-shaving machine. Soon after, other inventors followed, with machines such as the Summer Snow Ice
Shaver, Whirlwind Ice Shaving Machine, SnoWizard Snoball Machine, and the Swan Hand-Operated Shaved Ice Machine.
Whirlwind Ice Shaving Machine
Swan Hand-Operated Shaved Ice Machine
Commonly known as: Snocones, Sno-Cones
Snowcones are now considered one of the world's most popular frozen treats. From Singapore, where this dessert is referred to as, "ais kacang" (Malay for ice beans), to Mexico, who calls Snowcones, "raspados" (Spanish for shaved), to France, where they enjoy granité hawaïen (rougly translated to Hawaiian Sorbet) on a hot day.
Okay, we get it. You probably are only on this page to find out if Snoballs and Snowcones are really different. Instead, all we have talked about is the history of the two, and blah, blah, blah.... To sum it up for you:
YES, Snoballs and Snowcones are DIFFERENT.
I know what you are thinking: "...but, it is ice and flavor. How is that not the same?" Don't worry. We'll explain.
As I said for Snoballs/Shaved Ice, Styrofoam cups are cost efficient for businesses, and they also come in a variety of sizes--which is a quality that cone cups lack.
e.) Paper cone cups. Probably the most traditional of all the snowcone cups.
d.) Silicone cone cups. These are great for all those at-home snowcone makers! They are reusable, and there are versions that come with little strands; For those come-and-go snowcone fans.
Most commonly, Snoballs are made from round or square blocks of ice.
The ice blocks are not crushed, rather they are shaved
by Snoball machines. This makes the 'snow' that
they produce soft and flully--or 'snow-like'.
With the snow being soft and delicate, the ice
must be shaved to order. The shaved ice
cannot be stored without ruining the
The 'snow-like' texture allows the
flavor to evenly distribute throughout
the product. Although, the texture
does not stop the Snoball from melting, so
Along with the ice being different, the servings differ also. Snoballs can be served in a variety of
options. Here are a few:
a. ) Styrofoam cups are among the
most cost efficient for serving
Snoballs. The sizes can have a large
range, but we often see a standard
Small (8 oz.), Medium (16 oz.), and
Large (20 oz.).
b.) Flower cups come in a variety of
sizes (4 oz., 6 oz., 8oz., and 12 oz.),
and they come in an array of colors.
From purple, to red, to blue, to green;
It is no surprise they are a kid-favorite.
Don't worry parents, the petals work as
a drip pan, to attempt to keep the
messes to a minimum (no promises
c.) Perhaps not as common as the first two
are Pineaple cups. Who wouldn't want to cool
off on a hot day by sipping a Snoball out of a real pineapple?
Snoballs are going to be the
more expensive option. With
prices ranging from $1.50 to
$10. At events such as the State
Fair, we have seen snoballs served
in pineapple cups sell for up to
Snowcones are made from ice cubes
The ice is crusher, rather than shaved. Crushing the ice makes the texture of the 'Snow' coarse and crunchy.
Due to the texture of the ice, snowcones can be made in advance. Refreezing is often not a problem for a snowcone--but that can vary from situation to situation. A melted snowcone will not refreeze to its original texture.
The snow of a snowcone does not hold flavor consistently through the product. The most flavor can be found at the bottom.
The 'snowcone' cup. I know nearly everyone has seen them before, whether you are a snowcone expert or not. They are the cups that the ice cream man hands you when you order one of their pre-made snowcones. Although, they aren't always served in those.
Snowcones can range from $0.50 to $3.00. This cost accounts to the serving size, which is generally around 6 oz.-8oz. The price may also be influenced by the lack of flavors that are offered, which is common in pre-made snowcones.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FOR THE HISTORY OF SNOBALLS VS. SNOWCONES!
We hope that you learned the information that you were looking for!
(...And maybe some info that you weren't looking for, but now you know... Knowledge is power)