by HANNAH DURBIN '19
Most widely known on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, floating in hot cocoas, and just on their own... they are peeps! Peeps are marshmallow candies that come in a variety of shapes and sizes including chicks and bunnies. They flock to the shelves of most convenience stores around Easter, but are made in all different shapes and sizes, such as pumpkins for Halloween, to suit all seasons. A wide variety of flavors and colors are available throughout each season, but the traditional sugar coated marshmallow never goes out of style.
They originally began in 1953 with the company Just Born. It got the name from the founder, Sam Born, who put out newly made candies in his store window each morning saying they were "just born." The idea of Peeps came from the Rodda Candy Company and making Peeps was once a very tiring process. To make a three-dimensional peep, it had to be pushed through of series of tubes and was a 27 hour process. Now peeps take just 6 minutes to be made.
Just Born is a family-owned company that is 87 years old. Samuel Born immigrated to the United States from Russia and was already a candy maker. His company began in Brooklyn, New York, but soon moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where it currently resides today. The process of making Peeps was gratefully expedited when Sam's son, Bob, joined the company and worked to make the process more efficient by automating the machines.
The first Peeps to be sold came in the color options of white or yellow and also had clipped wings. The clipped wings were discontinued because they simply took too long to make. Yellow is still the number one selling color of Peeps today as a result of the other colors not being sold until much later. The blue and purple peeps are the newest and just came out in 1995.
I polled Saint Ursula Academy students to find out their thoughts on Peeps and I began with Josie Buendia'19 who said her favorite color Peep is pink. Mae Dolbey '19 also likes pink peeps the best, while Grace Kruis '19 likes the blue peeps.
Peeps continue to be the number one selling non-chocolate candy for Easter, but there are many people are against them. Lexi Kaiser '19 doesn't like peeps because they are too sugary and have a "weird texture." Jessica Lutz '19 doesn't like peeps because they are "too sweet and sticky." Then again there are always those vivacious supporters that would vouch for them anytime of the year. Lizzie Neeb '19 likes peeps because they are "sugary and sweet." Grace Kruis '19 likes peeps because she loves the "marshmallowy texture combined delicious sugar." Mae Dolby ’19 also likes peeps because they are "light and fluffy and sugary. They are the “perfect peepanation."
Most people would attest to the notion of only eating them when they are in front of them. Emma Berger '19 has a particular way of eating them though. She pulls off the eye and then eats it first claiming that it tastes good on its own. Eddie Lynn '19 doesn't really care for peeps, but does admire their shape and texture.
So many peeps are produced that there is enough to annually circle the Earth twice. 8,000 Peeps bunnies stacked on top of each other would also reach the top of the Willis Tower. Many contests are held today for peep dioramas and celebrate all the different colors of them. The dioramas have to be completely made of peeps, but can be of anything.
The Peeps have gained such popularity that they are no longer just sold as marshmallows. You can get stuffed peeps, tee shirts, socks, and even milk! Yeah, milk. Prairie Farms has launched new flavors of milk that are Peeps flavored. Ohio is on the list this milk will be shipped to and currently the milk is being given away in their daily contests. The milk comes in multiple flavors including chocolate marshmallow, eggnog, and marshmallow. When asked about what they thought about this, the answers definitely varied. Evie Racadio '19 would be open to trying the milk, but knows that she wouldn't like it. Allie Landrum '19 has actually purchased the chocolate flavored milk and said it was, "the perfect balance of chocolate peeps and chocolate milk." She got them at a Kroger near Blue Ash and attests to it being amazing. She also claims to it being her best purchase yet.
Peeps are an Easter staple that never go out of style. They are sugary and soft and are an iconic symbol to let us know spring has arrived. They have been enjoyed by generations and will hopefully be around for many more to come.