I believe it was the bard Rayvon, performing in the poet Shaggy's seminal work, who said "Closer than my Peeps you are to me, baby." While this writer still hopes to provoke a resurgence of popularity for that classic piece, future generations will condemn "Angel" for that single, unfortunate line. Nothing can be closer than your Peeps — not even love.
I speak not of devotion to Just Born's standard Easter fare, a simple mixture of marshmallow, corn syrup, gelatin, and carnauba wax. Nor am I 'riffing' on the way a bisected marshmallow duck or bunny adheres to the skin. The point I am trying to make here is that you should not eat the people you love, even if they are coated in colorful sugar crystals. Peeps, on the other hand, are welcome in your stomach, and that's as close to your heart as one can get without invasive surgery.
The question is not if you can eat Peeps, but if you should. I was on the fence, so I hit up the seasonal section of my local general store and acquired a batch of the fluffy little imps.
Not appearing in this picture: Purple Chicks. They did not survive pre-article prep.
Peeps sure have come a long way since 1953, when Russian immigrant Sam Born bought out the Rodda Candy Company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (foreshadowing), transforming its handmade marshmallow chicks via the power of automation. Did he know he was spawning an empire? Did he realize that newspapers across the country would hold yearly Peep photo diorama competitions? Did he understand what he was unleashing upon an unsuspecting world?!
Probably. He seemed like a pretty savvy guy.
It's an incredibly simple formula, really. Sugar, gelatin, more sugar and whatever the hell those eyes are. That's a recipe for a good time. The whole point of sweet snacks in this category are to deliver as much sugar to the human body as possible without just eating a large spoonful of sugar. Peeps are good at that.
Peeps are also good at performing, which isn't something you can say for many marshmallow treats. I mean, you can say it all day long, but you'd be wrong. Well, in the context of this article at least. PEEPS ARE GOOD ACTORS, DAMMIT.
For instance, take this scene, crafted outside of my microwave earlier today.
Can you feel the raw emotion? Do their hopeless expressions not move you to tears Their comrade has fallen, torn asunder by mindless fingers. It's like the freaking Walking Dead up in here.
How does one review a sentient blob of sugar? Carefully, in soothing tones. Also, favorably. They are Peeps, and they are legion. I have eaten 24 of them today, and I've only consumed 660 calories. AND I AM COMPLETELY WIRED. You can't put a price tag on that combination of utility, entertainment and flavor.
You hear me, Walmart? Stop putting price tags on these. You can't.
Mind you I speak of traditional Peeps here. Just Born, driven by madness, continually tries to up the Peep variety, with often disastrous results.
Take this monstrosity, for instance. This is a Peeps "Party Cake" flavored marshmallow chick. It's yellow on the inside, like cake batter, and speckles are the universal symbol for "party". I will say this once, and only once, until such time as I say it again: CAKE BATTER IS NOT A FLAVOR.
UPDATE: As I mention in the comments section below, Cake Batter is the sushi of the sweets world. Some people love it. I just want to cook it.
Here we have a milk chocolate dipped Peep, because everything is better with chocolate, right? Go sprinkle sugar on a Hershey bar, and tell me how pleasant that sensation is. Gritty chocolate is not good.
Now chocolate covered Peeps, on the other hand, are glorious — though they lose just about everything that makes them a Peep. No sugar coating here, just a suggestive shape. Sexy.
And finally, we have these.
Peepsters are shit.
In closing, life is one big party when you're still young, but who's gonna have your back when it's all done? It's all good when you're little, you have pure fun. Can't be a fool, son, what about the long run?
Snacktaku is Kotaku's take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands. Past critiques can be found at the Snacktaku review archive.