Atomic Fireball are a classic retro candy
If you are bold and daring and prefer things Hot!! Hot! Hot! then Atomic Fireball is the perfect candy for you! With their brilliant shiny, red candy shell they are full of spicy and sweet surprises. Atomic Fireball Candy hinges on that cinnamon flavour upon the first bite but then quickly turn up the notch to hot. They then subside into a long-lasting sweet tasting candy. Atomic Fireball is a panned candy, with the likeness and hardness of jawbreakers.
Atomic Fireball was created by the Ferrara Candy Company
Atomic Fireball is from the Ferrara Candy Company, which was started by Salvatore Ferrara in 1908. His son, Nello Ferrara is the one who is responsible for the famous and fiery Atomic Fireball. Salvatore must have been a proud papa when Nello Ferrara introduced the world to his hot and spicy Atomic Fireball in 1954. When the Atomic Fireball hit the scene they became a wildly popular candy.
Salvatore Ferrara came to America from Nola, which is a town in Naples Italy. Salvatore came from a very long line of bakers so it only made sense that when he came to America he would open up his very own bakery. Salvatore Ferrara opened up his Italian bakery right in the heart of Chicago's Little Italy. Among all of his Italian goodies, he sold one thing in particular that would propel him unknowingly right into the candy business. Salvatore decided that he would sell a very traditional candy in his bakery called "confetti". It's a very famous candy in Italy.
Eventually, at Salvatore's bakery, the sale of the candy became greater than that of his baked goods. Salvatore made the decision to go with candy flow and partnered with his brother in laws. One sharing the same name, Salvatore Buffardi and the other, Anello Pagano. Together, they were eager to make a go in the panned candy industry, they built a two-story brick building. The building was devoted to making their panned candy. Giant sized, revolving kettles along with wheel driven machinery was the means for this candy, their sweet determination, another.
Nello Ferrara joins the family candy business
Salvatore's son, Nello Ferrara went to college as a young man and then attended law school. He then enlisted himself in the US army. Nello was posted to Japan right after the end of WWII. He has said in the past that while he was there in Japan, the atomic bomb devastated nation, that he came up with the idea of his iconic candy, the Atomic Fireball.
Eventually, Nello returned home to America. Where he started to practice law for a few years until deciding to join his father, and uncles in the candy business. The Ferraro Candy Company would never be the same.
In 1954, the Atomic Fireball was born, coupled with the world's obsession with all things "atomic". The timing of the Atomic Fireball could not have been more perfect. Upon the Atomic Fireball release, it's spicy taste would soon be forever seared into the mouths of thousands of adoring fans. The Atomic Fireball candy with all of it's wild, cinnamon and hot red flavour became an instant hit in the candy world. Within just a few weeks, the demand for Atomic Fireball Candy became almost greater than the factory could produce. Within the first two weeks, the orders exceeded 50,000 cases! It became challenging for the factory to make enough of these "atomic" candies to go around.
14-19 days to make Atomic Fireball candies
Atomic Fireballs are made using the panned candy process. This is a long and tedious candy making process, and it all starts with one single grain of sugar. The sugar is heated inside of very large rotating pans, these are heated with a gas flame. The pans are constantly being rotated while liquid sugar is then added to the pan. The liquid sugar sticks to every grain of sugar, this helps the grains of sugar to grow in size. This panning process it also what gives an Atomic Fireball it's layers of that hard candy shell. This process is repeated over a two week time period until the balls are of the appropriate size. Which in the case of an Atomic Fireball is about an inch in diameter. This can take anywhere from 14 to 19 days!
Can you handle the heat of an Atomic Fireball Candy?
Throughout the years the Atomic Fireball Candy has never lost it's sweet with heat, unique appeal, or its place in the candy world. During the consumption of an Atomic Fireball, one must pay close attention to the heat factor. Some will shamefully have to pull them out of their mouths for a minute just to get a grasp on the heat factor, while others fill their cheeks, and look forward to that intense heat. They know that the reward of its sweetness isn't that far behind.
The Atomic Fireball is Hot!
The Atomic Fireball is certainly hot and spicy. This is not a stretch of the imagination or taste buds and is not like many other cinnamon candies that claim to be spicy or intense. The Atomic Fireball is hot! There is no arguing that. But what makes this retro candy so hot? In these Atomic Fireball candies, there is something called Cinnamaldehyde, which is found in cinnamon. This is what makes cinnamon taste so "cinnamony" for lack of a better word. It's also what gives cinnamon the great smell. However, along with the cinnamon taste in our Atomic Fireball Candy, the Ferrara Candy Company also adds the addition of capsaicin. Capsaicin is the compound found in hot peppers. This is what makes them have such a spicy and hot taste. There is a scale that this heat or capsaicin is measured by, it's called the "Scoville Scale". This scale actually measures the spiciness in hot peppers, or in this case, Atomic Fireball Candy. So in case, you might be wondering where the heat of an Atomic Fireball will fall, it scores a number of 3500 on this scale. This is much to the likes of the heat found in cayenne pepper. You feel it when you eat it but it will not induce tears! There are other hot peppers that have a much higher number and they definitely would make some of us cry! The number given to our Atomic Fireball candies are higher than that of a Jalapeno hot pepper, but not quite as high as a bird's eye chilli pepper's strength. Yes, leave it to an Italian to invent such a spicy candy. Forget about the "spicy meat-a-balls"! The Atomic Fireball certainly had an impact on the candy-loving world. Every week there are 15 million consumed worldwide! This retro candy, Atomic Fireball, is hot and spicy, but a sweet candy phenomenon that you just don't want to miss!
"My son is a LemonHead..."
Nello Ferrara is also the inventor of another famous retro candy called Lemon Head. These also give you quite a zing but are more on the sour side. Nello has contributed his idea of LemonHead Candy to the sight of his son's head when he was born in 1962. He says his sons little-squished head looked just like a lemon! We hope his son took this as a compliment!
Nello Ferrara-"Candy" Man of the Year
Among Nello Ferrara's candy industry accolades, Nello received the National Candy Association's distinguished service award in 1970 and went on to receive the Candy Industry "Man of The Year" in 1975. Sadly Nello Ferrara passed away in 2012, at the age of 93.
Love the Sweet Explosion
If you want to really learn how to truly love the Atomic Fireball's sweet explosion, you first must be brave enough to try them! It may take some getting used to, especially if you're not a fan of anything spicy. You might find yourself with red fingertips and drool, as you could need a breather from the Fireball's intense heat and have to remove it for a minute from your newly singed taste buds. But don't worry, the Atomic Fireball does eventually subside into pure sweet bliss! With practice and it's undeniably delicious, hot and cinnamon flavour, you will eventually love the way the heat just seems to explode in your mouth. It's an intense retro candy that every candy aficionado must have in their candy loving repertoire! Besides being one of our most favourite retro candies ever, the Atomic Fireball candy is unforgettable. Whether you love them or can't take the heat, they certainly leave an impression and a sweet (hot) memory. In fact, you might remember the very first time you ever ate one and the way they sweetly scorched your tongue!
What about you, do you remember eating your very first Atomic Fireball Candy?