When I was working, I was known as a lover of “Peeps,” or more affectionately, “the Peepster,” and often at Easter time I discovered packages of the squashy marshmallow treats in my mailbox or on my desk.
I often spent part of my day enjoying my favorite confection by popping them in my mouth and squishing them around for several minutes.
That is my favorite way to enjoy Peeps but it is also challenging to put one Peeps in each side of your mouth and squish away. Yum! If you enjoy eating Peeps right out of the box, but are willing to try something different, try to track down the recipe for “Peepza,” a desert pizza.
People do many things with Peeps – eat them out of the box (after they are hurriedly rescued from the cellophane); some people let them get hard and slice them; they are deep-fried or roasted; some people put them in the microwave; and there are Peeps diorama contests.
Peeps are mostly an Easter time pleasure for me, but I have partaken of a couple of Halloween ghosts and trees and snowmen at Christmas time.
Peeps got their start in the early 50s when dozens of women were employed to squeeze them out of pastry bags. The process was automated in the mid 1950s.
When I was first introduced to Peeps they seemed to all be yellow chicks, and those are still my favorites. There are also many different colors of Peeps bunnies.
Just Born Inc., of Bethlehem, Pa., produces five million Peeps a day at its plant 60 miles north of Philadelphia and plans to turn out more than one billion during this year’s Easter season.
Ross Born, who has the proper last name to be the third generation operator of Just Born, Inc., recently addressed the perennial Peeps debate – fresh or stale? Do you like your Peeps fresh, frozen, or “aged to perfection?”
“There is a lot of gray area here,” Born says diplomatically. “There are people who tell me they put a one-inch slice in the film (that seals the box), and they’ll lay it on top of their refrigerator for two days. No more, no less. Then they are perfect to eat.
“So, it’s not necessarily stale, it’s just a little firmer. All right? It’s just like politics,” says Born. “You’ve got people way on one side, and people way on the other side, but there are a whole lot of people in the middle.”
Born says that everyone seems to have a Peeps story, and they are willing to talk about how they eat their Peeps, how they cure them, how they store them, how they decorate with them – “and these are adults.”
Just Born calls it the “Peepsonality” of “consumers who buy Peeps not only to eat, but also to play around with.”
(I feel like I grew up knowing about Peeps, but some of this information is from an Associated Press article, “The History of Peeps,” published March 8, 2013).
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When I heard the good news recently that one of my younger friends and his wife are expecting their first child next fall, I was flooded with memories and started looking for back issues of The Fulton Patriot when I used my newspaper column to write about adventures with my kids.
In the early years of my column, youngest son Adam, as an eight-year-old, was in the spotlight.
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