Appreciating all that makes America special

Food: Life Savers

In the five flavors roll of Life Safers, watermelon and raspberry replaced lemon and lime. Is that an improvement? Uploaded by

Pep-O-Mint Life Savers came first, back in 1912. The second flavor introduced was Wint-O-Green. The best flavor ever, Butter Rum, came out in the 1920s, and then the iconic five-flavor roll made its debut in 1935.

Though they were called Life Savers from the beginning, the technology to make a hole in the middle of the candy wasn’t invented until 1925. Other flavors were introduced in those early years that weren’t so successful included Cl-O-ve, Lic-O-Riche, Cinn-O-Mon, Vi-O-let and Choc-O-Late. They stayed around for a long time, but never captured the public’s taste.

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The original five flavors, which stayed the same for half a century, were lemon, lime, orange, cherry, and pineapple. Today, raspberry and watermelon have taken the place of lemon and lime. I’m sure that’s in line with tastes today, but it seems just wrong somehow .

Perhaps you received a “book” of Life Savers in your Christmas stocking. What a great treat that lasted long after you’d put away most of the toys Santa brought. As I said, Butter Rum was my favorite, and still is. A friend happened to offer one of these great candies to me this week and I remembered just how much I love them. They taste every bit as good as they did when I was a kid, and you can’t say that very often.


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  1. Cherry has always been my favorite. And sometimes a “book” of lifesavers was part of the “nuts and fruits and candies” in my stocking on Christmas morning. So much satisfaction in a tiny piece of candy. Yum!

  2. Butter rum is my favorite too! They’re hard to find though. But I guess that’s a good thing because I will eat the whole pack, one right after the other. I have no willpower. They really did screw up when they changed the 5 flavors. I never buy those any more. Just today at WalMart I went down the candy aisle and saw a bag of the 5 flavors. I check every now and then to see if they’ve come to their senses but …alas, no.