What Are Snowballs in Maryland? A Cool Guide to This Classic Summer Treat

Here in Maryland, we’ve got a little secret treat that you might not find anywhere else. And let me tell you, it’s no secret to how delicious it is. I’m talking about none other than the Maryland snowball! Now, I don’t mean the type of snowball you throw at your friends during winter. I’m talking about a shaved ice dessert that is so popular in Maryland, you’ll find them at almost every local spot.

But what exactly is a Maryland snowball, you might ask? Well, it’s a refreshing and colorful dessert that’s made with shaved ice and flavored syrup. It’s then topped off with marshmallow cream or other specialty toppings that will satisfy any sweet tooth craving. And let me tell you – there’s nothing more refreshing than grabbing a snowball during those hot summer days in Maryland.

It’s no surprise that kids and adults alike will line up for hours just to get their hands on one of these tasty treats. With a plethora of flavors to choose from, such as blue raspberry, cotton candy, and even pickle, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds. So if you’re ever in Maryland during those hot summer months, be sure to try one (or two!) of the famous snowballs that have become a staple treat in our state.

How to make snowballs in Maryland

If you’re from Maryland, you know that a summer isn’t complete without indulging in the state’s favorite frozen treat: snowballs. A snowball is a shaved ice confection that is served in a cup or bowl and topped with flavored syrup. Here’s how you can make your own Maryland-style snowballs at home.

  • First, you’ll need a shaved ice machine. You can purchase one online or at a local store that sells kitchen appliances. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it.
  • Next, prepare your flavored syrups. In Maryland, the most popular snowball flavors are cherry, raspberry, and grape. You can purchase snowball syrup online or at a local convenience store. To make your own syrup, mix one part sugar with one part water and bring to a boil. Add in your desired flavor extract or juice and let cool before using.
  • Shave your ice into a cup or bowl using the shaved ice machine. Make sure to pack the snowball tightly with the ice shavings.
  • Pour your desired amount of syrup over the ice. In Maryland, snowballs are typically served with a generous amount of syrup.

Now that you know how to make Maryland-style snowballs, the only thing left to do is to enjoy them! They’re a perfect treat for hot summer days and can be customized with any flavor of syrup you choose.

The History of Snowballs in Maryland

In Maryland, snowballs are not just a refreshing treat on hot summer days, but a part of the state’s cultural heritage. The origin of snowballs in Maryland dates back to the early 1900s. The original snowball stands were modest affairs, often run by families out of their homes, where they would hand-shave ice to create snow, dispense it into a cup, and then add syrup on top. By the 1930s, snowball stands were popping up all across the state, becoming a summertime staple for many Marylanders.

  • In the 1940s, Baltimore-based company Jell-Craft introduced snowball syrups in various flavors, adding to the popularity of the treat.
  • Snowball stands in Maryland became a job opportunity for many teenagers during the summertime, earning money for school or spending money in the process.
  • During the 1950s and 1960s, snowballs stands became an important part of Maryland’s African-American entrepreneurial tradition, with many families owning and operating these small businesses in their communities.

While the shave ice and syrup combination may seem simple, snowballs are a beloved aspect of Maryland’s culinary culture and history. To this day, snowball stands can be found all across the state, with much local lore surrounding the varieties of snowball stands and the syrups they offer.

Moreover, Maryland even has a Snowball Trail, where tourists can sample snowballs at various stands, each with their unique flavor combinations and syrups. Some of the most popular flavors include cherry, grape, blue raspberry, and pineapple. Even those who do not have a sweet tooth will enjoy experimenting with the different icy concoctions and establishments found throughout the state.

The Healthier Options for Snowballs

As with any sweet treat, moderation is key when it comes to snowballs. However, there are ways to make snowballs a healthier option. For example, some stands offer sugar-free or low-sugar syrups, using natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. Additionally, some stands offer add-ins such as fresh fruit, which can add some fiber and nutrients to the shaved ice. At some snowball stands, customers can even choose to have their snowballs made with real fruit juice instead of syrup, making for an even healthier option.

Healthier Syrup Options for SnowballsBenefits
Sugar-Free or Low-Sugar SyrupsLess sugar consumption can help prevent obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Fresh Fruit Add-insAdding fresh fruit to a snowball adds some fiber and nutrients to the treat.
Real Fruit Juice SnowballsA healthier way to enjoy the flavors of shaved ice treats without added sugars and syrups.

While Marylanders pride themselves on their iconic snowball stands, the good news is that healthier options are becoming increasingly more popular. So whether you are a visitor to the state or a long-time resident, sampling a snowball or two can be delicious and a part of the state’s storied traditions.

Different types of snowball flavors in Maryland

For Marylanders, summertime is synonymous with snowball season. Snowballs are a popular frozen dessert made by shaving ice and adding flavored syrup. There are many different types of snowball flavors in Maryland, ranging from traditional sweet fruit flavors to more unconventional flavors. In this article, we will discuss the most popular snowball flavors in Maryland.

Classic Fruit Flavors

  • Cherry
  • Strawberry
  • Blue raspberry

When it comes to snowball flavors, classic fruit flavors are always a go-to option. Cherry, strawberry, and blue raspberry are some of the most popular fruit flavors among snowball enthusiasts. These flavors are sweet and refreshing, making them perfect for hot summer days.

Unconventional Flavors

  • Tiger’s Blood
  • Egg Custard
  • Pina Colada

Maryland snowball stands are known for their unconventional flavor combinations. Tiger’s Blood, a mix of strawberry, watermelon, and coconut flavors, is a favorite among locals. Egg Custard, a creamy vanilla flavor, is another popular choice. Pina Colada, a blend of coconut and pineapple flavors, is also a tasty option.

Sugar-Free Flavors

If you are looking for a healthier option, many Maryland snowball stands offer sugar-free flavors. These flavors are perfect for those watching their sugar intake or for diabetics. Some popular sugar-free flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, and grape.

Seasonal Flavors

During the holiday season, Maryland snowball stands offer seasonal flavors such as pumpkin spice and gingerbread. These flavors are a festive twist on the classic snowball and are perfect for those looking for a unique treat.

FlavorDescription
Cotton CandyA sweet, carnival-inspired flavor
Green AppleA tart and refreshing apple flavor
Bubble GumA sweet and nostalgic flavor
Mint Chocolate ChipA refreshing mint flavor with chocolate chips

Snowballs are a Maryland tradition, and with so many different flavors to choose from, there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer classic fruit flavors or newer, more unconventional flavors, Maryland snowball stands have you covered. So, the next time you are in Maryland on a hot summer day, be sure to try out some of these delicious snowball flavors.

Famous Snowball Shops in Maryland

When the summer temperatures start to soar in Maryland, there’s no better way to cool off than with a refreshing snowball. These shaved ice treats come in hundreds of flavors and can be topped with everything from sweetened condensed milk to marshmallow cream. And when it comes to the best snowball shops in Maryland, there are a few that stand out from the rest.

  • Ice Queens Snowballs: This family-owned shop in Glen Burnie has been serving up some of the area’s most creative snowball flavors since 2015. From classics like cherry and grape to unique options like birthday cake and horchata, Ice Queens has something for everyone.
  • Crunch Daddy’s: With locations in Severna Park and Annapolis, Crunch Daddy’s is a must-visit for anyone looking for a truly indulgent snowball experience. Their signature treat is the “Crunch-a-saurus,” which features a snowball topped with whipped cream, caramel, and crushed butterfingers.
  • Baltimore Snowball Factory: This Dundalk shop has been serving up snowballs for over two decades, and their dedication to quality shows in every bite. Their homemade syrups come in over 50 flavors, and they offer specialty options like the “Sour Bomb,” which is a sour candy-infused snowball.

If you’re a snowball enthusiast, be sure to add these shops to your must-visit list this summer.

But let’s not forget about the other excellent spots that serve up delightful snowballs across the state. Below is a comprehensive list of some of Maryland’s most popular snowball shops:

Shop NameCity
Pat’s PorchColumbia
Kona IceVarious locations
Polar ExpressGambrills
Box of RainAnnapolis
Sno-Balls and CreamGlen Burnie
Brain FreezeVarious locations

No matter where you find yourself in Maryland, you’re never too far from a delicious snowball. So go ahead, indulge in this sweet summer treat and beat the heat like a true Marylander.

The controversy over snowball syrup vs. juice in Maryland

One of the most contentious issues surrounding snowballs in Maryland is the debate over the use of syrup versus juice as a flavoring agent. While some snowball purists insist on using traditional flavored syrups, others argue that freshly squeezed juices provide a healthier and more natural alternative. Here are some key points of the debate:

  • Proponents of snowball syrup argue that traditional syrup flavors like blue raspberry and cherry are an essential part of the snowball experience. They maintain that the texture of the syrup, which coats the finely shaved ice, creates a unique and unmistakable flavor that cannot be replicated with juice.
  • On the other hand, supporters of snowball juice argue that fresh, locally sourced juices provide a healthier and more natural alternative to the artificial syrups. They point out that many snowball vendors use artificial dyes and flavors in their syrups, which can be harmful to consumers.
  • In recent years, some snowball vendors have started offering both syrup and juice options to cater to different preferences. This has helped to ease tensions between the two camps, but many purists still maintain that snowballs should only be made with traditional syrups.

Overall, the controversy over snowball syrup versus juice is a hotly contested issue in Maryland. Whether you prefer the classic taste of syrup or the natural freshness of juice, one thing is for certain: Snowballs will continue to be a beloved summertime treat in the Free State for years to come.

How snowballs bring communities together in Maryland

When it comes to summer treats, snowballs are a staple in Maryland. Not to be confused with snow cones or shaved ice, snowballs are made by compacting shaved ice into a ball and then topping it with a flavorful syrup, often including unique flavors like egg custard or marshmallow. The tradition of enjoying snowballs on a hot day dates back to the early 1900s in Baltimore, but over time it has spread throughout Maryland and become a beloved community activity.

  • 1. Snowball stands are often run by small, family-owned businesses, which creates a sense of community pride and support.
  • 2. Snowball stands are often located on corner lots and in high-traffic areas, which encourages people to stop, chat, and catch up with neighbors.
  • 3. Snowball stands often have picnic tables or benches nearby, providing a place for people to sit and enjoy their treats while chatting with friends.

Additionally, many snowball stands sponsor community events such as block parties, picnics, and festivals, which further reinforces the sense of community and togetherness. By bringing people together around a shared love of snowballs, these small businesses build lasting relationships among neighbors and contribute to the fabric of the community.

But it’s not just snowball stands that can bring people together. Homemade snowballs are a common sight at family gatherings, church picnics, and backyard barbecues. Assembling snowballs becomes a social activity; one person may shave the ice, while another mixes the syrup and a third packs the snowball. As a result, these simple treats become a vehicle for spending time with loved ones and creating memories.

EventDescription
The Baltimore Snowball FestivalA summer festival celebrating all things snowballs, featuring food trucks, live music, and snowball eating contests.
The National Snowball DayA day to celebrate the joy of snowballs, with events and promotions at snowball stands around the state.
Community Snowball PotluckA neighborhood event where everyone brings their own homemade snowballs and syrup to share, along with a dish to pass.

Overall, snowballs in Maryland are more than just an icy treat. They bring people together, strengthen bonds within a community, and serve as a symbol of summer fun and togetherness.

Snowball Fundraisers for Schools and Organizations in Maryland

Snowball fundraisers are a beloved tradition in Maryland, where locals have been enjoying this sweet treat for decades. But more than just a tasty treat, snowballs have become a popular way to raise money for schools and non-profit organizations in the state. Below are some of the ways that schools and organizations can use snowballs as a fundraising tool.

  • School-Sponsored Snowball Stands: Many schools in Maryland set up their own snowball stands during the summer months, with proceeds going towards school programs, equipment, and other needs. Parents, teachers, and students all pitch in to make this fundraising effort a success.
  • Partner with Local Snowball Stands: For schools and organizations that don’t have the resources to set up their own stands, partnering with a local snowball stand is a great alternative. Some stands may be willing to donate a percentage of their sales to the organization or school during a designated time period or day.
  • Snowball Socials: Snowball socials are popular fundraising events for schools and organizations, especially during the summer months. These events typically include music, games, raffles, and of course, snowball stands. The proceeds go towards the school or organization’s needs, and it’s a great way for the community to come together for a good cause.

In addition to these ideas, schools and organizations can also get creative with their snowball fundraising efforts. Some have organized snowball-eating contests, while others have held snowball-making workshops or have even created their own unique snowball flavors.

If you’re interested in holding a snowball fundraiser for your school or organization in Maryland, be sure to check with local regulations and permits, and to reach out to local snowball stands or other organizations for advice and guidance. With a little creativity and hard work, your snowball fundraiser can be a sweet success.

FAQs: What Are Snowballs in Maryland?

1. What are snowballs?

Snowballs are a popular summer treat in Maryland. They are shaved ice desserts that are typically flavored with syrups.

2. How are snowballs different from snow cones?

Unlike snow cones, snowballs are made from softer, fluffier ice that absorbs the syrup better. They also typically come in a cup instead of a cone.

3. What flavors do snowballs come in?

Snowballs can come in a wide variety of flavors, including traditional flavors like cherry, grape, and blue raspberry, as well as more unique flavors like egg custard and wedding cake.

4. Are there any toppings that can be added to snowballs?

Yes! Many snowball stands offer toppings like condensed milk, marshmallow, and whipped cream.

5. Where can I find snowballs in Maryland?

Snowball stands can be found all throughout Maryland, particularly in and around Baltimore. Many stands also offer mobile services, meaning they can be found at festivals and other events.

6. Are snowballs a seasonal treat?

Yes, snowballs are typically only available during the summer months, from May through September.

7. What is the history behind snowballs in Maryland?

The exact history of snowballs in Maryland is unclear, but they have been a beloved summer treat in the state for decades. Some speculate that the tradition was brought over by Italian immigrants, while others believe it originated in the African American community.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reading about what are snowballs in Maryland! If you’re ever in the state during the summer months, be sure to check out one of the many snowball stands for a delicious and refreshing treat. And don’t forget to come back and visit us again for more fun facts and information!