In Defense of Peeps, the Strangest & Most Wonderful of Easter Candies

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PeepsThis Easter season, no fewer than ONE BILLION PEEPS will be "hatched." I know. Pretty freakin’ awesome, and a great way to celebrate Peeps' 60th birthday, isn't it? That's six decades of those strange, colorful creations that appear at this time of year.

Peeps, cute though they may be, have a bad rep as far as culinary trends go. "They taste like crap!" declared a colleague of mine. But I have a confession to make ...

Chocolate-dipped Peeps are one of my favorite things in the world! I know what you’re thinking, and I understand -- but if you haven’t tried them, you really must. They are so, so sugary and fake-tasting, but yummm, that marshmallow inside with that waxy chocolate coating and a delicious crunch of sugar -- my teeth hurt just thinking about that scrumptiousness!

Of course, the notion of Peeps being for more than just eating is at the root of why they've become a full-blown pop-cultural phenomenon. As the first commercial for the candy in over a decade shows, people have come up with many, MANY things to do with the little squishy candies other than pop them in their mouths -- Peeps jousting being perhaps the most creative and bizarre. Check it out:

"Everyone seems to have a Peeps story," says Ross Born, the third generation in his family to be operator of Peeps maker Just Born (where FIVE MILLION of the little marshmallow chicks are born every day). Indeed, I too have my own Peeps story. As it happened years ago and involved a lot of wine, I don’t really remember the exact details, but I do recall it involved some leftover Easter peeps, my best friend Amy, and a book of matches. I can picture the scene: the two of us (and probably a boy or two, as we never seemed to be without one in those days!), in the wee hours of the night, sitting at a table strewn with empty glasses, an ashtray, and someone's leftover Easter candy that we ate like there was no tomorrow. Suffice it to say that to this day, I am pretty sure Peeps are flame-proof -- and great sustenance when you're, shall we say, celebrating!

Ah, those high times of recent college grads who can eat candy for dinner, stay up all night, and still be skinny AND get up for work the next day ... Anyway, ever since then, Amy and I have called each other "Peeps," and we always send each other our favorite Peeps of the season, Easter being the High Peeps Holiday. Peeps are a staple at my house during this month of bunnies and spring, though, hypocrite that I am, I prefer that my daughter thinks of them as decorations rather than food. Sorry, Peeps!

What’s your favorite thing to do with Peeps?!


Image via Lizard10979/Flickr

candy, easter, holidays, trends, traditions