What Are Peeps?

It’s getting to be about the time of year when grocery store aisle real estate is overtaken by jelly beans, Reese’s Eggs, and Paas Egg Decorating Kits. Apparently the Easter Bunny does his shopping at Albertson’s just like the rest of us! But, if you’re anything like me, there’s one Easter candy you can’t wait to dig through all that plastic grass to get your mitts on, and that’s the noble Peep.

What are Peeps? 

Peeps are chick-shaped marshmallow candy invented in 1953 by the Just Born Candy Company and usually distributed via Easter baskets for the Easter holiday. Similar to something like eggnog, Peeps are a product made year round but are only really popular and easy to obtain during the holiday it’s most associated with. Peeps makes varieties for Halloween, Christmas, and there are even evergreen bags of “Peeps Minis.” However, we all know that Peeps truly thrive when Easter’s on its way. A sleeve of these (usually) yellow fellows nestles nicely beside your Cadbury Egg and your chocolate bunny.

Are Peeps marshmallows?

Yes, Peeps are marshmallows covered in (usually pastel-hued) colored sugar. If you’re biting into a Peep expecting it to taste like Peep meat, you are going to be gravely disappointed…and also perhaps in need of a professional evaluation of some kind. 

However, not all Peeps taste simply like marshmallows! Luckily, we live in an age where varieties of Peeps are plentiful, and we adventurous types can sample such Peep flavors as Root Beer Float, Orange Sherbet, Fruit Punch, Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon, and Pancakes & Syrup. 

What are Peeps eyes made of?

Peeps eyes are made with edible wax. Make sure you take note of the “edible” part of that last sentence. We don’t want a bunch of irate emails detailing how your intestines are all gummed up after munching your way through a Yankee Candle store. Candle wax isn’t edible, no matter how delicious it looks. Stick with the eyes of helpless Peeps if you have a hankering for wax. 

Is Peeps candy only chicken shaped?

While the traditional Peep is shaped like an adorable baby chick, the Just Born company knows that particular shape just doesn’t make sense for other holidays (although, I do leave Peeps out for Santa’s fleet of foxes every Christmas Eve, just in case). They’ve hit the Peeps laboratory and come up with different shapes over the years, including Chocolate Mousse Reindeer, Gingerbread People, Vanilla Creme Hearts for Valentine’s Day, and Pumpkins, Ghosts, and Frankenstein’s Monsters for Halloween. Still no word on when we’ll be getting stovepipe hat-shaped Peeps for Abe Lincoln’s birthday, though. 

Easter or not, Peeps are a solid stand alone snack to be enjoyed by anyone at any time. So go ahead and bring a few to that fancy dinner party. I’m sure everyone will be pushing away their foie gras in favor of these chewy champions of the season. Enjoy!

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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