Pelican’s Snoballs offers only the best flavored shaved ice in the country. Their fluffy, snow-like confection comes in a hundred tasty flavors with special toppings, which are the main reasons why people line up in their stores every day. However, some of their featured snoball flavors may not be suitable for vegans with a sweet tooth.
You might think that the syrup and add-ons used in snoballs do not contain animal derivatives. However, dairy could be added to special flavored syrups to achieve a different taste. For a vegan customer, the definitive vegan options would be the fruit-flavored, dairy-free snoballs without added sprinkles, whipped cream, or any other mixed-ins.
As a vegan patron of Pelican’s Snoballs, you have a reason to be concerned if your favorite snoball specials are indeed vegan-approved. You have come to the right place if you want to know the vegan options Pelican’s Snoballs is offering.
How Does Pelican’s Snoballs Compare To Other Iced Treats?
Snoballs are not too different from other icy desserts that people have grown accustomed to. They are made of unflavored shaved ice drenched in sweetened syrup.
Snoballs vs. Snowcones: How Are They Different From Each Other?
Snowcones are probably the ones you are more familiar with. They can be thought of as snoballs’ closest relative but unlike snoballs, snowcones are made with crushed ice which gives them a coarse texture. Snoballs, on the other hand, have a finer, soft texture.
The advantage of using ice shaving over crushed ice is that the former has a very fine texture. This allows the syrup to be fully absorbed into the ice.
In snowcones, you can see a good portion of the syrup wasted as it settles at the bottom, whereas the syrup is evenly distributed throughout the shaved ice in snoballs.
What Sets Pelican’s Snoballs Apart From Other Flavored Ice Shavings Store?
Pelican’s Snoballs is a popular chain store in the United States whose specialty is the traditional New Orleans-style flavored ice shavings. It is successful in introducing snoballs to every state as a must-try iced dessert. Pelican’s Snoballs has numerous stores scattered in different states such as California, Florida, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, and New York.
Pelican’s Snoballs makes the ice shaving dessert experience a hundred times better by offering up to 101 flavors to choose from. A loyal customer of Pelican’s Snoballs will need more than 3 months to try every flavored snoballs on their menu.
Ingredients Used In Pelican’s Snoballs
As already mentioned, the primary ingredients of snoballs are shaved ice and flavored syrup. Obviously, you have no problem with ice shavings being non-vegan. Your only concern now is the syrup as it may contain animal byproducts.
Quick research on the typical sweeteners used in ice shavings would give you two possible means: corn syrup and sugar cane syrup. The first is a sweetener derived from corn starch, which is completely vegan.
Corn syrup is cheaper compared to other sweetener products. However, many food establishments avoid using corn syrup because of its high fructose content, which puts the consumers at risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Pelican’s Snoballs is one of those food stores that avoid high-fructose corn syrup. As per their official website, the syrup used in their snoballs is gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and fat-free. That being said, rest assured that no animal fat is used in making their syrup.
Furthermore, all of their 101 flavors are made with 100% pure sugar cane syrup. No animal derivatives are required in producing sugar cane syrup.
Another good news is that all of their flavored syrups have no eggs or egg derivatives. There are also no dairy ingredients added to the syrup. With this, you can check the syrup portion out as vegan-friendly.
It is also worth mentioning that the dye or artificial coloring used in most food products is controversial among vegans. For one, the red dye called carmine is made with cochineal insects.
While the rest of the dyes are plant-based, a valid reason to consider them as non-vegan is the exploitation of animals such as mice and rats as the dye manufacturer’s experimental subjects In case you are worried about the artificial coloring used in Pelican’s Snoballs, the ones used in their flavored syrups are dye-free.
However, if you still have lingering doubts regarding the veracity of the information provided by the store, you may do some extra precautions on your own. You may avoid cream-based or milk-based snowball flavors if you do not trust that the syrup used in them is dairy-free. Opt for the fruit-flavored snoballs instead.
Another safety net to filter out non-vegan contents is to order snoballs that are not colored red. This is to make sure that you avoid consuming syrups that may contain carmine.
Top Vegan Flavors At Pelican’s Snoballs
To reiterate, the store information states that no dairy products were used in making Pelican Snoball’s flavored syrup. We can say that all of their flavor varieties are good for vegans. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to be a little more nitpicky to make sure that what you are eating is 100% vegan.
The following list gives the safest vegan choices in Pelican’s Snoballs’ menu:
- Bahama Mama: It is described as light and fruity with a touch of coconut taste.
- Banana: If you want a more concise description of its taste, imagine eating a banana-flavored taffy.
- Black Cherry: This flavored snoball is said to have the true taste of the actual fruit.
- Blackberry: This is perfect for those who prefer a mild and sweet taste like a ripe blackberry.
- Blue Raspberry: Its taste is very similar to the same flavored Blow Pop.
- Blueberry: Eating this snoball is like eating the blueberry itself.
- Cantaloupe: This is recommended for those who like the juicy melon taste.
- Clear Cherry: This is for those who like to taste the cherry flavor without the red color.
- Clear Grape: Same as above, it is a grape-flavored snoball without the typical violet or purple color of a grape.
- Coconut: You will get the full refreshing experience from eating a coconut if you order this.
- Dill Pickle: It is one of the unlikely flavors that many people are tempted to try.
- Fruitasia: This is a blend of strawberry and mango flavors.
- Fruity Pebbles: If you like to get the taste of all berry flavors in one, try this one.
- Fuzzy Monkey: It is a nice blend of banana and peach flavors,
- Fuzzy Navel: It is an interesting mix of peach and orange flavors to give you a sweet treat.
- Georgia Peach: This is mostly peach flavor with a little mix of strawberry.
- Grape: It might taste like a grape, but it is more comparable to Jolly Rancher.
- Grenade: The name is a wordplay between green apple and lemonade, which pretty much explains what this flavor is.
- Green Apple: Trying this flavor will give you a taste of a real Granny Smith green apple.
- Guava: This flavor will give you the same sweet and mild taste of the actual Hawaiiwan Guava fruit.
- Hawaiian: If you already tried a Capri Sun juice pack, then this flavor will taste familiar to you.
- Kiwi: It will give you the mild and sweet taste of the little green Kiwi fruit.
- Lemon: What you will get here is the actual sweet lemon flavor, and not the tart like Lemonade.
- Lemon Lime: This is a great combination of lemon and lime, which tastes the same as lemon lime popsicles.
- Lemonade: You will taste the sweet lemon taste with a little bit of tart.
- Lime: Expect a mild citrus flavor from this snoball option.
- Mango: It is hard not to resist the tropical fruit sweetness of this flavor.
- Mojito: This is similar to lime flavor but with a mint twist.
- Orange: If you enjoy eating orange popsicles, then you will love this snoball flavor.
- Orange Pineapple: This is an irresistible combination of the orange and pineapple flavors.
- Passion Fruit: Enjoy the taste of the tropical fruit of the same name, only with an icy twist.
- Peach: Who doesn’t love peaches? This is a flavor that can easily be anyone’s favorite.
It would be tempting to add toppings to your fruit-flavored snoballs. However, it appears that the available snoball add-ons at Pelican’s Snoballs are not vegan-friendly. The most requested topping here is soft-served vanilla ice cream, which definitely contains dairy.
Other dairy-based snoball toppings at Pelican’s Snoballs are Sweet Cream, Condensed Milk, Whipped Cream, and Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. Marshmallow is another top pick for a snoball topping. While it does not contain dairy, marshmallow has gelatin which is made of animal protein.
Gummies and sprinkles are not viable options as vegan toppings for your snoballs either. Gummies, like marshmallows, have gelatin. Things get more complicated with sprinkles because some brands use beeswax and shellac, which are both animal byproducts.
It would be a safe call for vegans to enjoy their snoballs without any of these toppings.
Remember that the ingredients used in any food product can change without prior notice. You should ask questions before buying to know if there are new ingredients in the snoball that are not vegan-friendly. After all, it is your right as a customer to know what is present in your food.
Another possible issue you might encounter is the cross-contamination of ingredients at the store, which might introduce traces of animal derivatives to your snoball. For example, the same scooper might be used for the shaved ice and ice cream.
You can start a nice conversation with the staff assigned to the store to let them know about these concerns. You can also ask if there are new vegan options Pelican’s Snoballs has prepared for the day.
No need to be afraid that the staff will turn you down. They will understand you as long as you approach them in a friendly manner.