Their story begins with a Russian immigrant candy maker, Sam Born, who liked to display his new chocolate confections in his Brooklyn, New York shop window with a sign announcing they were so fresh, they were "just born", hence the eventual name of his candy company.
Just Born Quality Confections moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania , US, and eventually acquired the Rodda Candy Company, who at that time were producing yellow marshmallow chicks, which took 27 hours to make just one by hand!
The process was soon automated in 1953 by Just Born, and their popularity grew, as did their variety of shapes and colors. Over one billion Peeps are "born" every year!
Did you ever wonder how a marshmallow PEEP was made? Better Homes and Gardens Magazine has a nice pictorial story here, and of course you can go to the official web site by Just Born Candy for Marshmallow Peeps web site to learn more interesting facts, find recipes, and join their fan club.
Correspondent Rita Braver on CBS News Sunday Morning show did a segment about how they've evolved beyond an Easter tradition into the subject of an astonishing, almost cult-like following. You can read her story here.
I was interested to find out that each Peep has 35 calories! Not so bad, considering all those "100 calories" snack packs on the market that have so little in them.
Marc Summers of the Food Network did a special called "Easter Unwrapped" and in a segment of the show he spoke with a Peep artist, David Ottogalli. Mr Ottogalli has used Peeps for wedding dioramas, magnets, flag images ... it's fun to go and take a peek at his fanciful and colorful creations on his web site.
For parents and teachers there is a Peeps Research web site where you can do "science experiments" using peeps and judge their reaction to heat and cold, among other tests, and see a tongue in cheek pictorial of the Peeps visit to the "Office of Fluffy Research, Staley Library, Millikin University, where the research was conducted.
To show how Peeps have evolved to much more than a candy treat there is a movie web site called Lord of the Peeps, Peeps Haiku, a Peep O'Rama with pictures of Peeps that travelled all over the world, even Peeps in outer space on NASA's web site!
I was excited to find green Peep chicks this year, as I used them to help decorate a cake I made for St. Patrick's Day (see my blog post below), and I'll be using more to decorate a bunny cake I am making using my new 3 D Williams Sonoma cake pan
3/ 24 ETA: I found a recipe on Martha Stewart on how to amke home made marshmallow bunnies and chicks here. Alos see how the Apartment Therapy Kitchen blog made these very same chicks using Marth'as recipe and find out what worked for them.Real Simple Magazine has an article on the "New Uses For Peeps" -- some very clever ideas!
Do you love Peeps? Do you use them in any special way? Can you eat just one?