Red Hots are small hot cinnamon flavored candies that are sometimes called cinnamon imperials.
In the early 1930's, the Ferrara Pan Candy Company created the famous Red Hot using the cold panned candy method. The idea of a piece of cinnamon hard candy was developed prior to the production of Ferrara Pan's Red Hots. The name "cinnamon imperials" is a generic name used by the candy industry to indicate a piece of cinnamon hard candy.
Red Hots Memories
Red Hots were such a part of my childhood! In the 1950s and early 1960s, my siblings and I would eat Red Hots by the sticky handfuls and laugh at each other's red tongues. We would have contests as to how many we'd jam into our mouths at a time. And if our red mouths and tongues did not give us away to parents and teachers, then our red, sticky palms would!
And even my mother and her homemaker friends found uses for Red Hots. What birthday cake was complete without an outline of Red Hots around the perimeter of the pink iced homemade cake, often spelling out the birthday recipient's name? And if you were lucky, you got the piece of cake with the satisfying 'crunch' of Red Hots alongside the sweet, smooth icing. And come Christmas, the Red Hots made a very nice decorative touch on the gingerbread houses. ~ Bebe from Alabama