Sunday, March 26, 2017

Yes, I Ate A Snow Booger, and You Will Want To, Too.

The name evokes prepubescent gross-out contests with other kids, but the product served at this rural south Mississippi dessert stand is something you'll return for, despite the name. Let's go get a Snow Booger or two, together.



Grav and I stayed in Wiggins, Mississippi for our annual foray to Gulf Wars, the week-long Society for Creative Anachronism event I've attended on and off for better than two decades. As the event ended, we started looking for other things in the area to extend our vacation. And when it came to food, a quick search for restaurants popped up an unusual name.

"You're not going to believe this," I said, flicking through my phone.

"Try me," he replied.

"There's a place called Snow Boogers not far from here,"

After the initial laugh, we had to give it a shot. Because, well, snow boogers. Whatever it was going to be, it was going to be interesting.

I'll admit, when Google took us through a couple of rural neighborhoods on the way there, I was concerned. But the Facebook entry that had come up in my search said the place was opening for the season on this particular March Saturday, so I was hopeful.


We found it at an intersection outside of Perkinston, across the street from a gas station and local grocery store. The brightly colored edifice was surrounded by far more cars than we had expected. Snow Boogers apparently had drawn curiosity from others. We parked across the street and stood in line.

I was tantalized with a colorful menu on a post and befuddled by another menu on a black wipeboard. There were pictures, sure, but what those pictures really meant in relation to the names was a bit confusing.

Grav and I agreed - we didn't need all that sugar, let's just order one thing and share it, right? After some picking back and forth (and the concession that he HAD to have chocolate) we settled on the Chocolate Rapture. We were given a number and asked to wait.


There were a lot of people waiting. A dozen, probably. But it wasn't like there was nothing to do. While there's a nice covered deck with fans (which weren't needed on this perfect 68 degree Saturday), there's also so much outside, including a covered pavilion and a converted silo playhouse, ping pong and a playground. There was even an inflated slide. We're too old for that, right?

Oh, I was tempted. But I was also worn out, and sitting back and watching some crazy creations come out the window was fine with me.


And crazy just touches the surface. Sure, creations like Strawberry Heaven, with scoops of strawberry sorbet and coconut ice cream, ribbons of strawberry glaze and dollops of condensed milk and a chunk of cheesecake sound almost normal, plausible and sane. We saw several of those go out while we waited.


There was also the Very Berry Chantilly, which had tempted me quite a bit - that coconut puree ice cream and a chunk of cheesecake topped with wedding cake syrup, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream. It was almost normal, but wow, so much going on.


Those looked plain compared to what the kids were getting... the eponymous Snow Boogers (snowcones) in a myriad of flavors, with added-on accoutrements. Seriously, I've never thought of cotton candy as a topping for a snowcone, much less sour candy, gummi worms or even dill pickles. Really, what? What?


There was a wait. A considerable wait. The three people inside the stand were working their buns off to create each specialty, and not a one went out that window that wasn't gorgeously appointed and perfect. It gave me a little time to pull up more information on the place. That's how I learned it had been open for about a year, that this was the first day of the little shop for this season but a mobile truck was also serving Snow Boogers at the Pine Hill Festival over in Wiggins, and that it was the brainchild of Julie Bond and Monroe Stewart.

I was more surprised that Grav, who notoriously will leave a restaurant if there's any wait at all, was patient to shoot other ice cream creations coming out the window and relax in the perfect spring day. I mean, he's insisted we leave a place with less than a 10 minute wait before. I think both of us were starting to fall into a wonderful vacation-like Spring Breakish mood, and it was splendid.


Finally our number came up - and we claimed our Chocolate Rapture. Sticky-faced children and their bemused parents watched as we took photo after photo of the creation with our phones before settling in next to each other on a bench built into the deck to spoon-fight our way through scoops of vanilla and coconut ice cream and chocolate brownie under drizzles of chocolate and caramel syrup and all those sprinkles. It was rich. It was decadent. And it was gone so quick.

Oh, we were bad. We wanted more.

Grav went back to the window and asked for that coconut ice cream. Me? I had to have an actual Snow Booger. Research, don't you know. But I wanted more than just some syrup on ice, so I dreamsickled that sucker up.


And about 10 minutes later I had this cup-overflowing pile, an orange snowcone stuffed with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.


I was so bad, but it was so good.

By this point the afternoon had wained, and we were considering our evening ahead. One of the business guys - who turned out to be the aforementioned Monroe Stewart - came out and chatted with us a bit. He insisted we needed to come back at some point and have a burger at Big Level Grocery, which he also owns, across the street. Claimed it was the best around, and swore it'd be the best we'd ever have. Grav and I looked at each other knowingly and smiled. We'll be back.

Have I whetted your appetite for a Snow Booger? Well, there you go... it's time to head to south Mississippi. You'll find the pink building on King Bee Road.  All sorts of information and photographs can be discovered on the eatery's Facebook page.  Have a good time, just don't balk at the name.

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