Peeps are the little marshmallow baby chickens (as well as bunnies and other cute forest creatures) one eats by the dozen, usually at Easter and on other holidays.
Peeps are manufactured by Just Born, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based company. They have been around since at least 1953, and probably longer. (Just Born claims they first marketed the sweet little critters at that time, but evidence suggests Peeps were introduced by Rodda Candy previously; 1953 was the year in which Rodda was acquired by Just Born. Coincidence?...)
Peeps are manufactured by the tens of millions every year, but the peak selling season is of course around the Easter holiday, starting in mid-February and ending the week after. Americans eat several tons of the stuff (which consist mainly of marshmallow and sugar) every year. Peeps go on sale the week after Easter but can be bought throughout the year, and in bulk.
In the past few years Just Born has tried to expand its marketing options to take advantage of the ubiquitous candy. Peeps can now be found devoted to other holidays (snowmen for Christmas, bats and cats for Halloween, red-white-and-blue Peeps for the 4th of July, God bless America), and one can purchase stuffed animals that resemble the fluffy confections. One can even purchase a child's-scale machine to produce one's own Peeps at home, bypassing the middleman to get to that sweet, sweet stuff. In 1999 Peeps were advertised on television for the first time, and the candies have been mentioned on various television shows in recent years (probably as a result of some sinister product placement).
- Peeps are composed mainly of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin.
- The eating of marshmallow-like confections dates back to ancient Egypt.
- Sam Born, who founded the Just Born company, was awarded the keys to the city of San Francisco for inventing the Born Sucker Machine - a device that automated the insertion of sticks into freshly-manufactured lollipops.
- Peeps can be safely eaten months after becoming stale - in fact, some consumers prefer them with a bit of crunch.
- Peeps are not Kosher. Sorry, Jewish friends.
- Peeps, being marshamallows, expand and explode when heated in a microwave oven.