The Atomic Fireball is the creation of Nello Ferrera, the son of famed confectioner Salvatore Ferrera. In 1954, Nello came up with idea to create a spicy candy. Within three weeks of presenting his 'Atomic Fireball' to the candy industry, Ferrara Pan was taking in orders of over 50,000 cases a day.

It takes two weeks to make an Atomic Fireball. Starting from a single grain of sugar, placed in a heated revolving drum. The grain is tossed around while ingredients like liquid sugar and artificial flavoring are added. When the ball reaches the desired size, it's polished, glazed, and packaged with its fiery brethren.

Over 15 million fireballs are consumed each week... 2 million sent out in each truckload.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 piece (9 g)

Calories: 40
Calories from Far: 0

Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 0mg
Total Carbohydrate: 9g (3%)
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 0g

Ingredients: Sucrose, Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Corn Starch, Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax, Corn Syrup, Color Added, Yellow #5, Yellow #5 Lake, Blue #1, Blue #2, Yellow #6, Red #40, Red #40 Lake, and Red #3.

There is NO CINNAMON in an Atomic Fireball.

Ahh, those beautiful little candies... so appealing in their shiny red.
Mmmmm, tasty... wait. Ow. Ow ow ow. OH SWEET (DEITY)! HEEEEELP!

Such runs the first encounter most people have with the ever-popular Atomic Fireball candies. These deceptively small but palate-burningly hot spheres have been around since 1954, and are the invention of the evil candy genius Nello Ferrera, who also created the (fruit)heads series (the most popular of which are Lemonheads) as well as Red Hots and Boston Baked Beans.

These things instantly spawned the fireball contest, played by kids everywhere they were sold; whoever could hold the candy on their tongue or against their cheek the longest without spitting it out (or opening their mouth, or making faces, whichever was harshest) would win.

Not a lot is known about the actual content of these well-named objects other than their process of manufacture - starting with a single grain of sugar. They contain no cinnamon, however, which puts claims of 'cinnamon oil' out; the most likely ingredient giving them their flavor is fumaric or malic acid. The rest of the candy is sugar, with the coloring and wax making up minute amounts of the total mass.

Shaogo says: I've made sure that a few gumball machines have been in the lobby of each restaurant I've owned. Atomic fireballs have always been vended in one machine.

This is a good idea - they're very addicting if you like spicy foods. I've noticed, though, that the Fireballs from these machines always seem to be much weaker in flavor than their bagged counterparts. I don't think that Ferrera Pan makes a weak version, so it seems that the flavor has to diminish, either with age or exposure to the air.

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