Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Joy of Peeps

Rumor has it that this cold, rainy weather is actually going to fade away and spring will come again. Springtime – the glorious season, wherein we celebrate the return of the finest of the seasonal candy – specifically Peeps.

There is also that deal about the return of the sun and the attendant regrowth and rebirth, but we won't get into that. If you don't already realize and appreciate the sun, nothing I can say will impress you. However, you may not be aware of glory of these so-vibrant-they-must-be-nuclear sugar-coated marshmallow treats, so allow me to elucidate.

Some people extol the virtues of the Cadbury egg, with its sugary faux-botulism center. Other sing the praises of the Jelly Bellies, with their combination of real-food flavors and texture of half-dried rubber cement. Those waxy-chocolate foil wrapped eggs have their fans, as do hollow chocolate bunnies, but the finest offering from the candy barnyard is inarguably the Peep.

What sets the Peep apart from the rest of the spring candies is the warm embrace of the marshmallow center. Beneath the thin crisp of sugar and dye is the sticky embrace of chemical goodness – a high fructose hug for your tongue. The sugar that clings to your teeth and the pounds that settle to your thighs are also a beautiful symbol of everlasting love, but it's the surrender to the soft white confectionery oblivion that truly sets the Peep apart.

The only true Peep is the chick shaped one. In recent years a bunny shape has been introduced and, while the ingredients are identical, they are far less satisfying. The premier Peep must also be yellow, though the blue ones are notable for their ability to dye one's teeth and tongue a festive cerulean.

The proper way to eat a Peep is head-first. Some prefer to give the neck a little twist and pop it off. Others use the more traditional Osbourne method. It is not acceptable to eat your Peep in a single bite, but it is permitted to cram them in to your mouth two or more at a time. Most importantly, they may be toasted over a campfire only in the summer months, after they have had sufficient time to go stale. Plan ahead accordingly. Toasted Peeps should not be used to make s'mores, as, well, s'mores are just gross. The Peep should be enjoyed in its simple glory and not subject to the insult of graham crackers and chalky Hershey bars. Do not denigrate the Peep.

There is much more to be said about such an important subject, but the sun is shining and there is a sale on candy today at the grocery...

Today's Yummish Exercise:
Take advantage of the extra daylight hours to enjoy a Peep or your favorite seasonal candy in the sunshine.

Next: Hard to say, but it will be fascinating, I'm sure.

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