15 Things You Didn’t Know About Peeps Gallery
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Peeps
Forget groundhogs and budding flowers — the appearance of the first yellow chick Peeps on supermarket shelves is as much an indication that spring has arrived as anything else. The many different shapes and flavors make their way into Easter baskets, Easter desserts, and even the occasional marshmallow eating contest. In short, come Easter, it’s hard not to notice the arrival of Peeps, and it’s even harder not to rejoice!
Although Peeps are available in their various festive forms throughout the year, it seems that both Peeps lovers and Peeps haters succumb most strongly to their temptation over the Easter period, when the snacks’ pastel colors and iconic chick and bunny shapes are most fitting. Originally made by the Rodda Candy Company and acquired by Just Born in 1953, Peeps have remained remarkably unchanged over the years, though the manufacturing process is somewhat more streamlined and the shape has been slightly altered over the years.
But how much do you really know about the iconic marshmallow treats? Read on to discover 15 things you didn’t know about Peeps.
Peeps Are Really Popular at Easter
They are the number one most popular non-chocolate Easter treat, to be exact. They even outsell jelly beans! Americans will eat more than 600 million marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies this Easter.
Peeps Used to Take a Really Long Time to Make
When Just Born acquired the Rodda Candy Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1953, making the iconic marshmallow chicks was a very laborious process. The three-dimensional marshmallow shapes were piped by hand with pastry bags, dusted with colored sugar, and allowed to dry for an extended period. Before the whole process was mechanized, it used to take a whopping 27 hours to produce a single Peep. Today it takes just six minutes!
Try making your own homemade Peeps with this easy and delicious recipe.
Peeps Used to Have Wings
In the beginning, Peeps had wings, but they were “clipped” in 1954 (a year after the brand was bought by Just Born) to give them a sleeker, more modern look as well as to streamline the production process. Thanks to improved technology, shortly after being acquired by Just Born, Peeps switched from being handmade to being made by innovative machines, and the process has not changed to this day.
The Recipe Hasn’t Changed at All
The recipe hasn’t really changed since the beginning. It involves boiling granulated sugar, liquid sugar, and corn syrup together before adding gelatin and vanilla extract. New technology now means that some Peeps get filled with a ribbon of chocolate or caramel (these are called “Peeps Filled Delights”) and other Peeps end up partially dipped in different flavors of chocolate. in spite of these new additions, the Peep within remains the same classic marshmallow that so many love!
Once Upon a Time, Only Chicks Were Called Peeps
Though no one is 100 percent certain where the name “Peeps” came from (it was already the name of the brand before Just Born bought the company), the likely source of the name was from the sound a chick makes (duh, right?). However, only the marshmallow chicks were called Peeps, even though other marshmallow shapes were being produced — these were labeled “Marshmallow Bunnies,” “Marshmallow Eggs,” and so on, rather than “Marshmallow Peeps.” It wasn’t until the early 2000s that all shapes came under the Peeps brand name!
Millions of Peeps Are Produced Each Day
Roughly 5.5 million Peeps are “hatched” each day — roughly two billion each year!
The Yellow Best Seller
Yellow is by far the best selling color of chicks and bunnies, followed by pink, lavender, blue, and then white.
The Heaviest Peep Weighs 400 Pounds
OK, so it’s not actually a marshmallow Peep, but every year, on New Year’s Eve at Peepsfest, an annual two-day festival that takes place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, revelers celebrate the annual “Chick Drop.” The giant chick — 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 400 pounds — descends at 5:30 p.m. on December 31 to commemorate the beginning of the New Year.
There Are Many Different Peep Products and Collaborations
From over-the-top Peep milkshakes to Oreo Peeps, Peeps Milk, and even an infamous Peep-za, there are many ways to eat Peeps besides the classics. Just Born even extended an invitation to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to visit the Peeps factory upon learning that Harry had never eaten a s’more.
People Love Using Peeps in Lots of Different Ways
Peeps fans are certainly a creative bunch! Besides just eating Peeps, people have also used them in a number of colorful crafts, like impressive dioramas that highlight pop culture and historical events using the marshmallow bunnies and chicks. Cities and towns across the country hold annual Peeps diorama contests every spring. One Game of Thrones-themed entry in the 2017 Carroll County (Maryland) diorama contest was a dragon made with an incredible 6,000 Peeps!
There Are Some Seriously Strange Flavors
New flavors are constantly being thought up and tested. This year, Just Born has already released eight new flavors, including sour cherry, pancakes and syrup, Neapolitan, and three mystery flavors that can only be found at Wal-Mart.
There Are Even a Bunch of Non-Marshmallow Products
As well as the growing array of delicious marshmallow Peep flavors, a wide variety of non-edible items are also available — like plush Peeps, pillows, clothes, games, candles, and more. Perhaps the strangest example: “Peep on a Perch,” which is like an Easter version of the Elf on a Shelf.
You Can Pair Peeps With Alcohol
That’s right! Not only can you make Peeps cocktails and make Peep-infused vodka, you can even pair different Peeps with different alcohols. Try eating a chocolate Peep with a glass of red wine or a coconut Peep with a tropical, fruity cocktail like a daiquiri or a piña colada!
Check out these 5 Eggcellent Easter Candy Wine Pairings.
People Have Strong Feelings About Peeps
As well as eating and cooking with Peeps, there are Facebook groups dedicated to microwaving Peeps, Peep Jousting, Eating Stale Peeps, and Hating Peeps. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that they are a unique, iconic, all-American marshmallow treat — though perhaps not quite the most iconic dessert in every state.
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