Snowballs are a shaved ice treat of great importance in making our summer season a little sweeter. Although the original treats were purportedly made of actual snow with added syrup as early as the Roman Empire, the current version of the snowball originated in New Orleans in the 1920’s with hand ice-shavers creating the fluffy snow from blocks of ice. Ernest Hansen invented and patented the first motorized ice shaver in 1934 and the demand for the summertime treat hasn’t stopped since. The icy favorite’s heritage has even earned it a prized spot in the annual New Orleans Jazzfest, where only local products are welcome. Louisiana snowballs differ from other icy treats such as snow cones because snowballs are made with shaved ice. This gives the snowball a lighter, creamier texture than crushed ice. Now you can try one here. Amy Milko and her daughter, September Howat, opened Beach Snoballs on St. Armands Circle earlier this year. The 900-square-foot shop is the pair’s second; they took over the original location in St. Pete Beach in 2011.