On hot and humid summer days growing up in south Louisiana, it was almost a daily treat to stop for a roadside snowball. The stands were usually hastily thrown-together little sheds out in someone’s front yard. I’d stand at the window for long minutes, trying to choose which fruit-flavored syrup I wanted drenched over my cone of cold shaved ice. In the end, I always picked grape, but nobody could say I wasn’t open to opportunity.
Here on the Outer Banks, down past Avon and Buxton, in the little town of Frisco, is a bigger, better version of that icon of summer. This sno-cone stand has been in operation for nearly 25 years; most recently it has been owned by the friendly and welcoming Margie Ramos Clark. She comes down every summer to parcel out small (or giant) portions of yumminess to locals and tourists alike.
Hatteras Snowballs specializes in a local version in which the shaved ice sits atop a scoop of ice cream, and they’ve got a huge list of flavors of both ice cream and shaved ice. Since I wanted to re-create the feeling of my childhood summers, I opted first for a green apple sno-cone, sans ice cream, and later a combination of strawberry and peach ice (my taste in supersweet treats has advanced since I was ten).
Eating a sno-cone takes a bit of coordination; the ice is piled high above the cup rim, and every time you dig in with a plastic spoon, you risk getting a shower of sticky fluorescent ice on your tee shirt. Take it from the voice of experience: do not attempt to eat a snowball in a moving vehicle.
If you’re anywhere near the Hatteras Lighthouse or the Ocracoke Ferry, you can find Hatteras Snowballs on Highway 12 in Frisco.