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PEZ and PEZ dispensers can be found in over 60 countries around the world This year marks the 50th anniversary of the well-loved candy The word PEZ derives from the German word Phefferminz which means quite simply peppermints They shortened the name to PEZ taking the first middle and last letter of the word to simplify it and keep the name easy to remember Yes thats right the original PEZ candies were compressed peppermints an adult mint made to help quit smoking and naturally the first dispenser looked much like a cigarette lighter A candy man named Edward Haas III first invented them in 1927 in Vienna Austria In 1948 they started making PEZ in a new easy hygienic dispenser that we all recognize today as a regular PEZ dispenser In 1952 Edward Haas brought his idea to America and did extensive research with his products and the way children had grown attached to them They then placed heads on the dispensers and marketed them for children The first dispensers with heads were a robot Popeye and Santa It was in that year that the first fruit flavored PEZ was introduced The first flavors were cherry lemon orange and strawberry Currently the United States flavors are orange lemon strawberry and grape Until a few years ago there was no grape but it replaced cherry which the candy company thought reminded children of cough syrup However cherry PEZ is still available in Canada In Spain they sell apple and raspberry flavored PEZ and in Hungry or Thailand they have chocolate Another rare PEZ flavor was called Kosher which was designed to comply with Jewish dietary laws Some other long gone PEZ flavors include chlorophyll cinnamon coffee eucalyptus flower licorice menthol lime IZO vitamin enriched and anise These flavors werent popular enough when introduced to keep producing them In 1973 PEZ then built their United States plant that is located in Orange Ct and in 1983
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