What is the deal with Peeps? Why are they beloved??? They are cute and bright and fluffy and sparkly, yes -- but they are nasty tasting, if we're going to be honest about it, and contain a suspicious lack of chocolate, in my opinion.
(unless you go for cocoa peeps, which I think are ill-advised, or the ever-so-classy Peeps Apartment-Dweller smore)
But, Easter is upon us again, and so are herds and herds of Peeps. Every other year or so I try to eat one, and I vigorously disagree with any claim that Peeps are marshmallows. They may have all the same ingredients, and are manufactured the same way ... so why do they taste like a sugary version of new-library-book smell? Anything with that much sugar in it (and on it) SHOULD, just by definition, taste okay. Or, at least be palatable.
That said, I'm all for the creative uses of Peeps. I discovered a long time ago (while attempting early '80's urban s'mores) that marshmallows puff up all huge in the microwave. The first time I stuck a Peep in there, I cried laughing when it turned into an undulating sinister looking blob a' la King Kong. Still smaller than a tennis ball, but it looked like it was capable of treachery.
I'm disappointed by the YouTube offerings on this subject so I won't even post any.
What I am impressed with, are the annual Peeps contests. The Washington Post has its "Peeps" diorama contest, which is wildly popular ...the image to the left, entitled "Peepshow.."
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The deadline is already passed, so start thinking about next year. The Washington Post rules people say:
For inspiration, visit last year's online gallery at www.washingtonpost.com/peeps, which features 37 semifinalists from the 800 submissions we received last year. (Examples include "Full Sugar Coating," a violent, Peep-smeared re-creation of a scene from Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket.")
The gallery is definitely worth a look.
But, sorry... still too late for you this year. Pack some Peeps on your next trip out of town and think about next year! And check out these entries for inspiration.
The grand prize is .. bleck, more Peeps, a Lenox China Peep item of some sort, and a bunch of plush Peep and luggage-taggy stuff.
BUT, maybe you can bill youself as a National Geographic Photographer?
I can't think of a recipe that would make peeps taste good ... and no, if you read my post from a few days ago, not even bacon-wrapped, deep fried and dunked in chocolate. I found something particularly revolting in Google Images while researching this very well-put-together Good Friday offering today ... Peep Pepper Stir Fry! (Disturbingly, on a website called obesityhelp.com, under a message-board post titled, "We CAN have marshmallow peeps!")
If you didn't think peeps were yucky before, perhaps you're with me now. Listen, don't write to me about being a food snob. I like nasty candy ... I'll even eat those big styrofoam orange Circus Peanuts in a pinch. And I'm not alone ... I found this plaintive cry "Am I the only one who thinks Peeps are disgusting?" thread on Democratic Underground and the responses showed a lot of support for that particular stance (after initial replies of, "do you hate puppies and babies too??")
Following the initial post was a spirited discussion on how they should only be eaten stale, or only be eaten fresh, or "yeah right is there any such thing AS a fresh peep?" ... to "How Come Jerry Falwell hasn't flipped about the purple ones?
Not a peep out of me :)
Happy Easter, and all hail the hollow chocolate Easter Bunny!
Editor's Note: Peeps aren't meant for stir fry, just like this Tyrannosaurus rex run amok in a museum isn't really meant to terrify schoolchildren.