Growing up, an Easter basket was just a straw bowl filled with saccharine distractions unless it had a cellophane-covered box of Marshmallow Peeps sticking out of it. The neat rows of yellow or pink chicks would sit snuggling in their mass-marketed cardboard roost, waiting for me to inflict all kinds of oddly morbid childhood torture techniques on them, before ultimately popping them into my mouth head-first. Even now, Peeps taste like spring and remind me of having sugar-coated lips and an impending tummy ache from overindulging. But where do they come from? Do these puff pieces of airy delight have an origin story? And if so, does it involve a giant marshmallow egg impervious to cracks? Here are a few fun facts about our favorite childhood treat.
After buying out the original maker of candy marshmallow chicks, Just Born Candy Company began mass-producing these sweeties in 1954.
Before 1995, you could only accessorize your Easter basket with three Peeps color varieties: yellow, pink, and white. Since then lavender and blue Peeps have entered the scene, making it even easier to coordinate your box of edible ornaments with that perfect pair of polka dot sling back heels.
The unlucky Peeps that were forced to endure my juvenile abuse had it easy! Did you know that scientists from Emery University actually took it upon themselves to test the indestructibility of such benign desserts. Their findings suggest that Peeps are actually quite resilient—they are insoluble in water, acetone, diluted sulfuric acid, and sodium hydroxide. I don’t know about you, but all this talk of superhuman Peeps is making me hungry.
This spring, celebrate the rich tradition, taste, and unnatural durability of Marshmallow Peeps by doing something really special… In my case that will be chomping down on them, head and all!
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