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Peeps

Yellow and pink Peeps

Orange pumpkin Halloween Peeps
Orange pumpkin Halloween Peeps
Peeps are marshmallow candies, sold in the United States 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 advertising campaigns market the candy as "Peeps - Always in Season", as Peeps has since expanded to include Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day. They are made from marshmallow, corn syrup, gelatin, and carnauba wax.

Contents


History

Peeps are produced by Just Born,[1] a candy manufacturer founded in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania by Russian immigrant Sam Born.[2] In 1953, Just Born acquired the Rodda Candy Company and its marshmallow chick line, and replaced the painstaking process of hand-forming the chicks with mass production.[3] 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.

In 2009, Just Born expanded the Peeps product line further by introducing Peeps Lip Balm in four flavors: grape, strawberry, vanilla, and cotton candy.[4] The first Peeps & Co. store opened in November 2009 in Prince George's County.[5]

Contests and competitions

An annual "Peep Off" competition is held in Maryland on the first Saturday after Easter, when Peeps are greatly discounted, to see who can eat the most in 30 minutes. The first such event was arranged by Shawn Sparks in 1994, and had only six participants.[6] Dave Smith started Sacramento's record-holding (102 eaten) 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.[7][8]

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. MIT has held Peeps contests.[9]

The Universal Record Database has a number of world records that involve Peeps.[10]

The Racine Art Museum is sponsoring the International Peeps Competition from April 1 28. Anyone can enter the contest, centered around the theme "peep-powered work of art".[11]

Alleged indestructibility

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.[12] They claimed that the eyes of the confectionery "wouldn't dissolve in anything".[13] Furthermore, Peeps are insoluble in acetone, water, diluted sulfuric acid, and sodium hydroxide.[14] Concentrated sulfuric acid seems to have effects similar to the expected effects of sulfuric acid on sugar.[15]

This debate was featured in an episode of the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle ("Traffic Jam"), in which Francis, insisting the "Quacks" (as they were called) would dissolve in his stomach rather than expand, takes up the dare to eat 100 of them, doing so, but getting very sick in the process.

References

  1. First Peeps store is a mecca for all their 'peeple', Los Angeles Times, December 11, 2009
  2. Alum.mit.edu
  3. Zagat Buzz Blog: It's Peeps Art Time! March 22, 2011

External links

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Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article



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