Great chefs know that a stellar dish starts with the finest ingredients. Hansen’s takes the same approach with its shaved ices. Ernest Hansen patented a machine in 1934 that produces a shaved ice as soft as snow. His wife, Mary, created a special collection of flavored syrups, including cream and a tart lemonade. Lining up for a Hansen’s snowball is as much a New Orleans summer tradition as lounging by the pool. Ernest and Mary, both in their nineties, passed away shortly after Katrina. Today, their granddaughter Ashley runs the little cinder-block stand on Tchoupitoulas Street. It’s only open during the hot summer months. Call ahead so that you won’t be disappointed.