In this Easter edition of Ask Corby, our expert explains why you should cherish neon-colored, industrial puffs of sugar
Q. It's Easter, and as usual I bought Peeps for my two small children. Here's the thing: I really like Peeps. But all my friends are foodies and heavy into sustainability too, so I don't let myself buy them except at holidays. And then I eat most of them. Should I be ashamed? My kids won't be small forever. And do they come in any colors besides yellow and pink?
A. Peeps are their own food group, as you intuitively know but haven't let yourself admit. I'm the right person to ask, as I have an ever-present supply in pretty much every shape and color, thanks to my friend Mrs. Pilver, who finds the full array of Just Born's Peeps, still made in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at a factory store near her in Westfield, Massachusetts, and presents me with a big assortment at the holidays where we meet, including this week at my family's seder.
Why is the marshmallow different from all other marshmallows, as we might ask during Passover? (Tragically, Peeps are not kosher for Passover, at least according to this WikiFAQ answer.) They're industrially processed, of course—very industrially processed, leading to claims that they will handily survive nuclear winter. The official "Just Born" Easter site doesn't have any of those predictions, nor does it feature dioramas of the kind various groups sponsor every Easter, including this one from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, perhaps because one of the dioramas has a hand-colored sign emblazoned "Despicable Peeps." But these provide hours or hobbyist amusement for children and adults alike.
I'd argue, though, that they're different, and not just because they're strange, inhuman artifacts in strange, Day-Glo colors that themselves look toxic (and there's quite an array) that look straight from the better-living-through-chemistry 1950s, which they in fact they are. I think they taste good. The texture is unlike anything homemade, and I'm a complete fan of the new vogue for homemade marshmallows. It's airy, dry, evanescent in a way that big, S'mores marshmallows aren't. Most important, it has a sanding of sugar that gives marvelous crunch to every bite, and that makes other mushrooms seem namby-pamby and flaccid.
Sneak Peeps from your deserving childrens' mouths no more. Buy extra—now, before the theoretically seasonal supply runs out—and eat them with pride.
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