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Peeps are marshmallow candies, sold in the US and Canada, that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals. There are also different shapes used for various holidays. Peeps are used primarily to fill Easter baskets, though recent ad campaigns tout the candy as "Peeps - Always in Season". They are made from marshmallow, sugar, gelatin, and carnauba wax.
Peeps are produced by Just Born, a candy manufacturer based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Peeps were introduced nationally in 1958 by Pravin Pant Sr., a Nepali immigrant. When Just Born acquired Rodda Candy Company in 1953, they automated the process (originally the chicks were formed by hand) and mass-produced them. The yellow chicks were the original form of the candy — hence their name — but then the company introduced other colors and, eventually, the myriad shapes in which they are now produced.
Just Born has expanded its product line to include bats, cats, pumpkins and ghosts for Halloween; hearts for Valentine's Day; eggs for Easter; trees, gingerbread men, snowmen, and stars for Christmas; and red, white, and blue chicks and stars for the 4th of July.
Although the original Peeps were standard marshmallow flavor, some of the newer flavors include chocolate mousse (bunnies for Easter and cats for Halloween), strawberry and vanilla (hearts for Valentine's Day), cocoa (cats and bats for Halloween), sugar cookie (gingerbread people for Christmas), and orange (eggs for Easter). In 2007, the "Spooky Friends", mouth-sized Peeps in holiday-themed shapes, were introduced, as were peppermint flavored stars for the holiday season. Red Peeps chicks are available at Canadian stores, and at some Target locations.
In 2009, Just Born expanded the Peeps product line further by introducing Peeps Lip Balm in four flavors: grape, strawberry, vanilla, and cotton candy. The first Peeps & Co. store opened in November 2009 in Prince George's County. 
Peeps in cooking
While many people eat marshmallow Peeps straight out of the package, they can also be used in a variety of recipes. Peeps can be used as ingredients in such desserts as marshmallow crisp treats, fondue, and s’mores. Peeps are also put into mugs of hot cocoa; the chicks will float upright until the increasing warmth causes them to dissolve. Although they are made of marshmallow, it is difficult to toast Peeps over a campfire, as the sugar coating tends to burn and become unpalatable.
One way to eat Peeps is to "age" them by leaving an open package in a cupboard for weeks or months. This gives the Peeps a crisper density, similar to meringue cookies or the hard "ice cream" marshmallow topping on candy ice cream cones.
Contests and competitions
An annual "Peep Off" is held in Maryland on the first Saturday after Easter, when Peeps are greatly discounted. The first such event was arranged by Shawn Sparks in 1994, and had only six participants. Dave Smith started Sacramento's record holding annual Peep Off after contacting Jack Eidsness, a participant in the first Peep Off, with a question about it, through Mr. Eidsness' Peep-themed website. Peeps are often added into non-traditional menu items. Brian Beecher and Crystal Carlsberg incorporated peeps into their award winning dessert grilled cheese sandwich, the "Cake and Mivens," which won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles.
The Seattle Times has an annual contest of Peeps used in photos. The St. Paul Pioneer Press was the first newspaper to hold an annual Peeps diorama contest and receives hundreds of entries every year. The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers also hold a Peeps diorama contest every Easter.
Peeps are sometimes jokingly described as "indestructible." In 1999, scientists at Emory University performed experiments on batches of Peeps to see how easily they could be dissolved, burned or otherwise disintegrated, using such agents as cigarette smoke, boiling water and liquid nitrogen. They claimed that the eyes of the confectionery "wouldn't dissolve in anything." Furthermore, Peeps are insoluble in acetone, water, sulfuric acid, and sodium hydroxide.
- ↑ Lehner, Marla (2003-04-17). "The Power of Peeps". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,84455,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- ↑ "Peeps: A candy and a technological wonder". Associated Press. USA Today. 2003-04-16. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-04-16-peeps_x.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- ↑ Zimmer, Erin (April 2, 2009). Peeps Lip Balm, Reviewed. http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/04/peeps-lip-balm-reviewed.html.
- ↑ Mui, Ylan Q. (July 9, 2009). "Peeps Are Hopping to Their Own Store at National Harbor". WashingtonPost.com. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070803978.html?hpid=artslot.
- ↑ Jack Eidsness (before April 1996). "The unofficial Marshmallow Peep page". http://peep.peril.org/peepoff.html. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
- ↑ Vincent P. Bzdek (11 April 2004). "50 years of turning Easter into one big Peeps show". Oakland Tribune (reprinted from Washington Post article). http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20040411/ai_n14573992/print. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- ↑ Severson, Kim (April 3 1999). "Peeps Rule Roost". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/1999/04/03/MN87101.DTL. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- ↑ "What Do You Call a Guy Who Cuts Apart Peeps?". U S News. October 3 1999. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/991011/archive_002077.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- ↑ http://www.peepresearch.org/solubility.html
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Peeps. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|