People love 'em, hate 'em, eat 'em, and even play with 'em. Over the years they've achieved quite a cult following and through the miracle of internet are now easily available year round. There are Peep Eating competition and Peep Art contests all over the country. My favorite is the Washington Post Peeps Diorama competition. No Easter basket seems complete without a brightly colored pack of Peeps in it.
But how did this all happen?
Marshmallow chicks did exist before they became the cult phenonmena they are today. In the mid-20th century, the Rodda Candy Company in Lancaster, PA was well-known for two things -- it's jelly beans and its handpiped marshmallow chicks. In 1953, they were acquired by a company called Just Born from Bethlehem, PA.
Just Born was started in 1910 by a Russian immigrant name Sam Born. Just Born had an innovative way with candy technology. They were the company responsible for making Jimmies, those yummy chocolate sprinkles, and for the hard chocolate candy coating for ice cream bars. In 1916 they invented a machine that mechanically inserted sticks in lollipops.
When they took over Rodda, Bob Born developed a process that made it possible to mass-produce the yellow marshmallow chicks and it's took off from there. It wasn't until the 1980s that pink Peep bunnies hit the scene. Peeps were only available in yellow, pink and white until 1995 when purple was introduced to the Peeps palette, followed by blue in 1998.
In the late 1990s, flavored Peeps were offered to the public. First vanilla, then strawberry and in 2002 chocolate peeps were introduced. This year, in honor of their 60th anniversary, Just Born offered white speckled vanilla creme Peeps. MmmMmm!
So PeepPeep Hooray for these sugar-coated marshmallow puffs of sweet goodness! We look forward to the next anniversary celebration.
And Happy Easter everyone! Hope you are enjoying a wonderful day with family and friends sharing in the joy of this holiday.