Marshmallows are one of the wonders of the confectionary world. Making them, eating them, even just looking at them — everything about marshmallows is delightful. So when The Daily Meal was invited to the Peeps factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, naturally we jumped at the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at one of Easter’s most iconic candies.
The magic began upon our arrival, with a personalized (Peepsonalized?) greeting appearing on a monitor as soon as our video producer and I walked through the doors. After hellos were exchanged, we suited up in gauzy lab coats, hair nets and goggles — needless to say, we were a charming pair — then, off to the factory we went, through a set of heavy double doors and into the magical world where all Peeps are born.
There was sugar everywhere, which should have come as no surprise. Sugar in giant sacks, sugar in the air, sugar on the floor — at one point sugar was literally falling from the sky (or at least, falling from the conveyor belts that were running overhead). We saw white sugar being sprayed with food coloring inside a series of barrels that looked like huge cement mixers, transforming it into bright yellow and hot pink, ready to be showered upon the newly “hatched” marshmallow shapes.
Conveyor belts moved vast quantities of marshmallow, which is first shaped, then drenched in sugar, and finally boxed up in the familiar Peeps packaging, ready to go forth into the world to satisfy the sweet cravings of thousands.
We even got to try a fresh Peep straight off the line. Softer than the Peeps you find in stores and a little warmer than room temperature, it was totally delicious. What a treat to enjoy in such an enchanting factory!
Check out the video below to learn how Peeps are made — and learn some of the wonderful things you didn’t know about Peeps!
Daisy Nichols is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. She is an NYC-dwelling Brit and self-professed marshmallow addict, you can follow her on Instagram @bestbird.