We think these deserve a spot in the Candy Hall of Fame!
(If there were one, that is).
8/31/23 update: We're so sad to announce that these have been discontinued by the manufacturer! We have so many memories of these from our childhood - and they will forever have a place in our hearts.
Keep reading to reminisce about Atomic Fireballs!
Did you eat Atomic Fireballs as a kid?
I've heard so many fun stories about these. As kids, we would dare our friends to try them – and see who could keep the candy in their mouth the longest. Only the most talented among us could go longer than a few seconds, but we'd keep trying anyway.
And, for some reason, we were fascinated by what was inside – so we'd cut them open just to see the cool layers (they look like the center of the Earth!)
Honestly, I don't think we even liked them! It was just the excitement of the whole Atomic Fireball Experience. But now we can appreciate them for what they are: a tasty, super-spicy cinnamon candy that is unlike anything else.
Want to take a walk down memory lane? Here are some cool facts about the world's spiciest candy!
(Remember when the packaging looked like this?)
The History of Atomic Fireballs
Atomic Fireballs were invented by Ferrara Candy Company in 1954. Obviously, they chose the name because eating one is like setting off an explosion of spice in your mouth – but it was also very relevant at the time, because it was the middle of the Atomic Age.
The candy quickly gained in popularity, becoming Ferrara's best-selling treat. People couldn't get enough of the super-spicy-sometimes-sweet flavor of these little jawbreakers!
Why Are They So Spicy?
They taste like cinnamon – but cinnamon isn't that hot, right? It's not the cinnamon that make them spicy! It's the capsaicin, which is the same component that causes your mouth to burn when you eat a hot pepper.
They actually have a ranking of 3500 on the Scoville Scale (the system for measuring the spiciness of peppers). That means that they're hotter than some jalapeños!
Hot Facts About Fireballs
1. Atomic Fireballs start out as a single grain of sugar! They're made using a process called hot panning, where ingredients (including cinnamon and capsaicin) are added layer by layer. The process takes up to two weeks––and involves nearly one hundred layers!
2. Ferrara makes 15 million fireballs every week. That's a lot of spice! Can you imagine what that would look like all put together? Clearly, there's some serious demand for this candy.
3. Atomic Fireballs are NASA's "Console Candy of Choice". At Mission Control Center, Flight Controllers love them because the heat helps them stay awake through their night shifts. Since the '80s, the console has not been without a box of fireballs. That's pretty cool (or maybe hot 🤔).
Whether you can handle the heat or not...you can't deny that these are one of the most well-loved candies out there.
(These may be the last ones you ever get! How crazy is that?)
Did you learn something new about Atomic Fireballs? Do you love them...or are they just too spicy?
We'd love to hear all of your memories! 😊