Atomic Fireballs

Atomic Fireball

They say that as people get older, they lose the majority of their taste buds. Assuming this is true, one must wonder if some unsuspecting folks lost a handful during their youth, due to incineration by the Atomic Fireball. While there’s no substantial proof, or any studies for that matter, it certainly seems plausible.

1954 was an explosive year for candy aficionados – it was the year of the Atomic Fireball. Produced by Ferrara-Pan, this wildly hot cinnamon-flavored candy found an immediate audience. Within just a few weeks of sampling with their distributors, requests for the candy were coming in at a pace far greater than what the factory capacity could handle. From there, the popularity of the product spread like wildfire to those with a penchant for spicy sweets.

Throughout the years, kids have devised several methods for finishing off a fireball. Those who couldn’t take the heat would have to shamefully remove it from their mouth, while the bravest amongst the youth tended to hold out for as long as they could. The ones that held out, often did so at the cost of pride as tears rolled down their candy-stuffed cheeks. Those with particularly strong teeth might even try chomping down on the candy to break it into smaller pieces, figuring that the quicker they got it over with, the better. Bad idea. This only intensified the heat.

For the most part, larger Atomic Fireballs are found individually wrapped and mini Atomic Fireballs are found in a little box the same size as other Ferrara-Pan candies such as Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans and mini Jawbreakers. If the creators of the Atomic Fireball could see the success of their hot little invention today, they might be astounded. Every week, 15 million Fireballs are eaten – assuring that memories of the spicy candy will be forever seared into confectionary history.

One might think that any candy that could so readily cremate the taste buds (if the theory is true) should be carefully regulated. However, as one enters their twilight years, forever confined to a culinary palette of Jello, oatmeal and stewed vegetables, taste buds are really not all that high on the priority list, are they? Let’s hope not because it is unlikely that the burning love for the Atomic Fireball is going to be extinguished any time soon.

IF you have fond memories of enduring the heat of a few Atomic Fireballs in your youth, we’d love to hear all of your thoughts and recollections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to a confection that has endured for decades and remains popular to this day.

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