Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chewy Lemonheads & Atomic Fireballs

Chewy Lemonheads & Chewy Atomic FireballsA couple of years ago I tried a Ferrara Pan product called Narbles. I didn’t care much for it, mostly because it didn’t capitalize on the unique properties of a Lemonhead (though it didn’t actually promise any Lemonhead properties).

I don’t know if Ferrara Pan has been reading my blog (they might have, because I was suddenly able to get mixed bags called the Fruit Headline) but they have a couple of new products: Chewy Lemonheads (and Friends) and Chewy Atomic Fireballs which were introduced at the All Candy Expo last week.


Lemonheads have been one of my favorite candies since I was a kid. They were staggeringly affordable (the larger boxes used to be 10 cents), came in a shareable portion, looked really cool, packed lots of flavor and of course the box turned into a noisemaker. (Sadly they don’t use that kind of box any longer).

Chewy Lemonheads & FriendsThe Lemonhead has several friends in this mix, they include Grape, Orange, Green Apple and Cherry.

The candy balls are beautiful. Slightly translucent (if you like to put your candy on your new LED flashlight on your keychain), they feel as dense as the original hard-candy-centered version, but will yield to pressure when squeezed (just like real lemons!).

It took me a while to get used to them. When I eat a Lemonhead I usually “peel” off the candy shell with my teeth to get to the layer or super sour. Since these are soft on the inside, it took me a while to develop a technique ... but it only took one box.

The outside flavor is just the same as the old Heads, the inside is a rather flavorless jelly ball ... pretty much like actual jelly bean. Come to think of it, these are simply round jelly beans with a sour layer in there. I took a few of them apart to examine the innards (sorry, no gory photos of that). Each was color coded very lightly. I was surprised to find that they were actually lightly flavored. Not super zippy, just mildly fragrant to continue the experience all the way to the core.

Of the five flavors the Orange and Lemon remained my favorites, but the Grape was actually more pleasing than I expected. Cherry and Green Apple just weren’t floating my candy boat, but with 3/5 of the mix as standout winners, I can eat a few cherries. I give them a 7 out of 10.


The Chewy Atomic Fireballs were the big surprise for me. First of all, there was no announcement from Ferrara Pan before the show that they were introducing them (press releases? we don’t need no stinkin’ press releases!). So when I went by their booth I though they were just showing off one of their most successful brands in huge bins at the corner. But looking closely ... chewy!

I took three boxes and opened one. They’re dark red and not easily confused with the Cherryheads.

This is quite a different experience because the traditional Atomic Fireball is a panned cinnamon jawbreaker with alternating sweet and spicy layers. The chewy Lemonhead was an easy shift for my brain, simply a chewy center instead of a hard one. This new Atomic Fireball is more Firehead than Atomic Fireball ... or perhaps Chewy Red Hot.

The outer shell is lightly cinnamon and sweet. If you keep sucking on it gets hotter (but not unbearably) until the candy shell dissipates to reveal the spicy mantle over the chewy jelly core. The core is soft and chewy (perhaps a little sticky) and has it’s own level of background cinnamon-ness.  So while it’s not quite the same as the jawbreaker’s layered experience, it’s still layered with a sort of alternating strong and mild spice to it.

They’re far stronger than Hot Tamales (though may be similar to the Hot Tamales Fire). I give them an 8 out of 10.

As a smaller portion, I really like the 25 cent, one ounce box (hey, it’s 100 calories folks!). The Chewy Atomic Fireball is a real winner, but be prepared as it does have a real burn and you can’t take it out of your mouth like a Fireball. The Chewy Lemonheads don’t quite thrill me, but part of that is that it’s so hard to top the lemony singularity that is the Lemonhead. I’ll probably give them a few more tries. I think I want a box of just the lemon ones for a pure experience. I hope they’ll sell them that way.

No word on when they’ll make an appearance in stores. Please post if you’ve seen them.

Related Candies

  1. Atomic Fireballs
  2. SweeTart Jelly Beans
  3. The Lemonhead & Fruit Heads
  4. Jelly Belly - Full Line
Name: Chewy Lemonheads & Chewy Atomic Fireballs
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $.25 retail
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Jelly, Cinnamon, Sour, United States, Ferrara Pan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:49 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Do you know how the chewy Lemonheads compare to the Narbles? I’ve reviewed Narbles before, and they look identical to me.

    Comment by Rosa on 9/25/07 at 4:13 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Rosa - if I recall, the Narbles didn’t have a flavored center (just a clear flavorless jelly) and didn’t have the intense sour layer like a Lemonhead.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/25/07 at 4:28 pm #
  3. After reading you review I decided this is what I’d try tonight. I love how grainy the texture is!

    Oh, and get this: my Lemonhead box had a stray chewy Atomic Fireball in it!

    Comment by Sera on 9/25/07 at 5:13 pm #
  4. I understand from a branding aspect why they are now the Fruitheads, but I always liked the name of “Alexander the Grape” for the grape flavored “Lemonheads.”  If I recall correctly, the apple were called “Johnny Appleseeds” and the cherry were called “Cherry Clan” with racist graphics. I don’t remember there ever being individual boxes of orange flavored.  And Dollar Tree here in the Plains regularly has pegboard bags of the Fruit Headline mix.

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 9/26/07 at 3:49 am #
  5. I thought the cherry ones were called “Cherry Chan”  and the (somewhat racist) picture was of an Asian-looking lemonhead.
    Your post made me think of a lemonhead dressed in a sheet.  How awful!

    Comment by Heidi Schulz on 9/26/07 at 2:41 pm #
  6. Okay, one quick google search later and…I stand corrcted.  The graphic is not of an Asian Lemonhead.  Check out this website for the original artwork:  http://www.candywrappermuseum.com/cherrychan.html

    Comment by Heidi Schulz on 9/26/07 at 2:44 pm #
  7. I don’t remember the Cherry Chan version, but I know that they were sold for a while with the name Cherry Clan. The picture had the candies wearing stereotypical Chinese hats.  a quick Google search shows this page with a picture http://retrocrush.buzznet.com/archive2/offensive/

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 9/27/07 at 6:55 am #
  8. Jim,
    Thanks!  The ones I bought as a kid were the Cherry Chan’s (before the name change) but the box graphics on the website you referenced were the ones I was trying to remember.  Oh how it takes me back to those days of riding my bike to Bi-Mart for a 10 cent box.

    Comment by Heidi Schulz on 9/27/07 at 7:58 am #
  9. I just got my order of chewy atomic fireballs yesterday. I found them on line at O’Ryans Village and I have to admit they are great I can’t stop eating them. The have quite the burn to them at first, but a sweet cinnamon taste to boot. Almost like a cinnamon gummy. What will Ferra Pan come up with next?

    Comment by Jeff on 11/15/07 at 1:40 pm #
  10. I forgot to add the url in case you want some too.

    Comment by Jeff on 11/15/07 at 1:47 pm #
  11. FOUND THEM BOTH!!! I can’t believe it, but after fantasizing about then for months, I’m standing in line at 99cents Only and THERE THEY WERE! BOTH KINDS!!! I was tempted to buy the whole box, but only took 3 of each - I checked and didn’t see them at any other checkout counter. They are fantastic!!!! The boxes are the ones marked 50 cents, but they were 3 for 99. It was the one on Victory, just east of Vineland - if anyone wants me to go get some and send them to you, I’d be happy to.

    Comment by Kim on 12/29/07 at 2:33 pm #
  12. The RITE AID has the movie size boxes of both and on sale at .99 needless to say they didn’t last long and I was back for my second go round especially on the Atomic Fireballs and that unique cinnamon flavor. Reminded me when 7-11 first opened up and had the big atomic fireball for a penny

    Comment by Jeff on 2/03/09 at 8:32 am #
  13. I found the chewy Atomics at Blockbuster in Las Vegas, large boxes in bins @ 5 for $5, they only had 5 so we bought them all.  I can’t stop eating them I think they’re laced with crack, they’re soooo good, feel the burn.  Back home in Reno, again at Blockbusters, they will have a few boxes on display and we buy them all.  Wish I knew where they were regularly so I didn’t have to hoard.  My husband likes them but they’re a little too hot for him, he prefers the original atomic fireball jawbreakers. Funny links you guys are posting, by the way…

    Comment by Melanie on 3/25/09 at 1:18 pm #
  14. Love these, love these, love these - Atomic Fireballs. I agree they are like crack. I found them at Walgreens in what looks like the boxes pictured - but are called movie sized. Also saw Lemonheads - but the regular ones not the chewy ones. Both were regularly priced at 4 boxes for $5.00 but have gotten them on sale at anywhere from .99 to 1.19 a box. I love spicy jelly beans and since Just Born spice drops are only available during the Eatster season and I have already put a big dent in the supply of them I have stockpiled this year, Atomic fireballs have become my new fix. I have made specific trips to Walgreen just for these spicey morsels. I am a bad girl…...

    Comment by Susan on 5/04/09 at 6:26 am #
  15. I have also been a life-long fan of the Ferrara Pan Candy candy line, and got the wonderful opportunity to start a great career here 6 years ago!  I keep seeing all the wonderful comments about the candy we’re making, and I can’t help but to share some information.

    1.) If you like the Chewy Lemonhead and Friends, be sure to be on the lookout for the Tropical Chewy Lemonhead and Friends version, hitting stores everywhere soon!!  (I think they are phenomenal!  Probably my favorite of all the candy we produce!)

    2.) If you can’t find a retailer, be sure to check our online store! 


    You can purchase almost all of the candies we produce from our secure ordering site.

    Thanks for all the support of Ferrara Pan Candy!  We’ll keep producing the best for the best customers!!

    Comment by Stefan Floyhar on 5/28/09 at 12:00 pm #
  16. I have to say, I am an official candy addict. In my late thirties, I should have diabetes. I used to pinch quarters off my dad’s desk and splurge on the ‘cheeseburger’ bubble gum, pop rocks, now and laters and of course, if you remember highlights. But i have a sick obsession with chewy lemonhead and friends. Lemonheads, a long front runner next to sweettartsm have remained unsurpassed in my fruit candy-gasm. But this, oh it just allows the sugary-tart goodness down my gaping maw that much faster! Thank you ferrara pan!! My tattoo artist and I are figuring out how to tattoo your logo over sweettart as we speak

    Comment by candygram19 on 6/30/09 at 2:59 pm #
  17. and by the way I meant to mention, despite my sugary obsession, I’m surprisingly normal and attractive.

    Comment by candygram19 on 6/30/09 at 3:01 pm #
  18. I just cannot get enough of these things.  The Walgreens down the street keeps them in stock and I know by now the employees snicker when I walk in.  Who cares!  I eat these when I game and they accomplish two things:  keeps me smoke free and keeps me from eating A LOT of really bad things as these babies go fast but not too fast due to the burn.

    Recommend to all cinnamon freaks!

    BTW!  Does anyone know where to get or if they are still available the old Cinnamon Gobstoppers?  I cannot find them anywhere!

    Comment by Wowaddict on 9/01/09 at 4:22 am #
  19. Has Ferrara CHEWY Atomic Fireballs been discontinued? I cant find them anywhere any more. Not in stores and everything online says theyre out of stock…. and if so, WHY?

    Comment by Pamela on 3/26/13 at 11:43 am #
  20. Cybele's avatar

    Pamela - I haven’t seen them lately either. However, I have notice something called Chewy Red Hots, which are also made by Ferrara Pan on shelves. Maybe they just renamed them.

    Comment by Cybele on 3/26/13 at 12:26 pm #
  21. I love chewy lemon heads! They have differing flavors but my fav is still the original lemon.

    Atomic fireballs were my favorite when I was younger. I love them, but I’ve never heard of a chewy one. I don’t know if I would like this form or not.

    Comment by Rebecca on 1/22/14 at 8:44 am #
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