March 24, 2006

A mind-bending look at a holiday tradition... Peeps!

Bored on a rare Friday afternoon when I'm not stuffed in a refrigerated conference room with four to ten of my closest coworkers, I surf the net in search of what else? Food stuff! One of the few categories of websites to which my employer has not yet blocked access...

One of the most delightful aspects of the internet is the ability for someone with a combined case of boredom and ADD to get lost in a tangent and just like that, 30 minutes flies by. (This feature can come back to bite you in the ass when you're web surfing rather than writing that report that was due yesterday, but I generally have a bit more self control than that.) This afternoon, an Epicurious sidebar on the evolution of an Easter icon was precisely the distraction I needed.

It wasn't some groundhog in the midwest on February 2, but Peeps appearing on the grocery store shelves that indicated spring was on its way when I was a child. I'm pretty sure I've never actually eaten one... I think the same package of four yellow chicks appeared atop every Easter basket from the day I was born well into junior high school... but spring hadn't sprung until the Peeps appeared.

A quick Google search reveals that there's a lot of interest in peeps (and a lot of sick and twisted people out there, but more on that in a moment). I learned that Peeps are made by the Just Born Company who also make classics like Mike & Ike (which I've also never tasted). That peeps debuted in 1953 and took 27 hours to make. Now they crank them out at a rate of 2 million a day (score one for the dental industry... at 160 calories a serving they pack 36 grams of sugar). Satisfied with my newfound academic understanding of the peep, I moved on to some of the more... colorful Google offerings.

One industrious scientist studied the effects of cigarettes and alcohol on peeps. Complete with pictures. Fascinating.

Then there's Lord of the Peeps. Prefer Shakespeare? Check out Romeo and Juliet as you've never seen it before. Can anyone say "obsession"?

Peep Poetry? An exercise in double-nostalgia...Peep video games?

Apparently not everyone loves peeps while others get far more than I ever have out of the experience!

Oddly (or perhaps not) I couldn't find very many recipes for peeps... most employed the microwave, blender?!? or (gasp) deep fryer?!?!? The one true recipe I did find won't likely make my Easter brunch lineup, but I thought I'd include it here for your amusement.

Confident that I'd killed a half hour with mindless but fun entertainment (and that I'll never look at peeps the same way again), I closed my browser and headed to my last meeting of the day...


Kung Foodie said...

Great personal fav which I didn't see is Peep Haiku's!

In your coffee cup
Instead of cream and sugar
It's cafe au Peep