Blink and you’ll overlook Tchoupitoulas Street Snoballs when coming in and out of downtown Franklin. Located in the parking lot of Franklin Automotive Repair, 307 Fifth Ave. N, this food trailer, made to look like a street cart, serves Snoballs, handmade New Orleans treats.
Owner Mike Broussard missed this sweet taste of home, where people flocked to their favorite stands to enjoy the cold confections in hot weather. There was nothing like it in Franklin, and he saw an opportunity to open a food cart serving something different.
“Tchoupitoulas” is an old New Orleans street name, after the local Native Indians. It had the very first Snoball stand, Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, started by Ernest and Mary Hansen in 1939 and still operates today. Ernest invented the first ice shaving machine, and Mary made flavored syrups.
Inside the truck, the centerpiece is the ice shaving machine, and not much has changed since Hansen’s design. Cranking the machine’s sharp blades, Mike shaves the old-fashioned square block of ice into fluffy, soft shavings, like powdered snow. It’s not to be mistaken for a snow cone with its crunchy ice.
A cup is filled halfway with soft shavings then covered with a generous amount of the finest Louisiana cane sugar syrup, flavored with natural oils and extracts. Then, another layer of shavings and more syrup is added until the shavings are soaked through. The 33 flavors on offer—jewel-tone colors in glass bottles—make it a difficult choice. Flavors can be mixed.
Regular favorite Snoballs:
- Chocolate cream
- Café au lait
- Pina colada
Tchoupitoulas Street Snoballs is open from noon to 6 p.m. most days, except for inclement weather, from April 1 to Sept. 30. Check opening times on Facebook and Twitter.