American kitsch: Peeps

Monday, March 23, 2015

Easter will be here soon and I see Peeps in the stores. Peeps are a marshmallow candy formed in the shape of chicks (baby chickens) and named after the high-pitched little sound that real chicks make. Covered in neon-bright colored sugar, they are a typical Easter treat, popular in the U.S. and Canada.

Peeps are an example of kitsch: art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic way.

A funny fact about Peeps is that many people prefer them stale (hard and no longer fresh). Fresh marshmallows / fresh Peeps are soft. A couple of my friends make it a practice to break open the plastic packaging, allowing the air in, and they won’t eat their Peeps until they become hard and chewy.

Being a candy lover, I must admit that I won’t eat a Peep. I surprise myself but I can’t do it. I think it’s the colored sugar or the intensity of the marshmallow and sugar combination but I never eat them. My preferences aren’t a factor because an average of 5.5 million Peeps are made every day - quite a demand! Would you eat a Peep?

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