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Easter Peeps:
Tasty Marshmallowy Goodness

The History of Everybody's Favorite Candy

During the Easter season, Americans will enjoy an estimated 700 million Peeps, that sweet marshmallow candy shaped like a chick or bunny. With those kinds of numbers, it's no wonder Peeps are billed as America's favorite candy.

Are you a Peeps fan? Have you ever been curious about Peeps history? Where they came from and how they developed into the ultimate Easter treat? Just read on!

Nearly a century ago, a young Russian-born man named Sam Born was living in France, where he learned the fine art of chocolate making. Sam immigrated to the United States in 1910. Seven years later, he opened a small candy shop in New York City, where he not only sold sweets, but made them, too.

As Born's operations outgrew his store, he moved his company, by then coined Just Born, out of New York City to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

That's right: Bethlehem! First, the birthplace of Easter's superstar, and then (much) later, the site of the most popular treat eaten in his honor.

In the mid 1950s, Just Born acquired another company that had invented a three-dimensional marshmallow mold that turned out Easter chicks and bunnies, called Peeps. With some fine-tuning of their assembly line and clever marketing, Born had an Easter hit on his hands.

But why was the chick and rabbit so appealing? How did those particular animals-albeit sugary ones-so quickly become adopted as the symbols for Easter?

Interestingly, Just Born was based in Pennsylvania, which was also home to America's largest community of German immigrants who are largely credited with popularizing the Easter Bunny tradition in America.

In the 19th century, German children would eagerly await the arrival of the Oschter Haws, a rabbit who delighted children on Easter morning by laying colored eggs in nests. The Germans expanded this tradition into the Easter egg basket, delivered by a hopping bunny.

While the symbolism of the Easter bunny might be rather obvious, the chick question requires one to dig a little deeper. And to ask the perennial question: Which came first? The chicken? Or the egg?

Historians have long speculated that the egg was actually a Pagan symbol of fertility and rebirth, first associated with ancient equinox festivals, whose traditions were later folded into the Christian Easter. It stands to reason, then, that the chick would be a natural byproduct of this egg-y fertility.

Related Articles:
Easter Eggs
The Easter Bunny
The Origin of the Easter Bunny & Colored Easter Eggs
Easter Egg Games
Make Your Own Easter Baskets
The Easter Lily

Add Comment
latoya anderson
23:54 05/03/2011
kelsey from Missouri, US
11:03 04/11/2011
I love peeps there uber tasty but i DO NOT like easter...........yup bye!!!
SUPRBOSS from Pennsylvania, US
14:45 04/08/2011
YO i never tried peeps but i think their totally awesome and cool
Sandie from South Carolina, US
08:15 04/06/2011
I have always loved peeops. However, I will only get pink bunnies or yellow chicks. They have to be those colors. I have been eating peeps for many years.
aj from Ohio, US
10:53 03/24/2011
14:27 03/09/2011
dave berger from Virginia, US
21:46 02/23/2011
My mother has her peeps from her first Easter basket in 1945. they still have some shape to them, but where would I find a picture guide to identify them? I think one is a chick, the other could be a bunny, but the third looks like a nest with eggs.
ana lucia campos from Costa Rica
08:35 02/02/2011
I am now in Costa Rica but I grew up in Connecticut. I love peeps!!! I love them so much I order them online to be ent to me here in Central america..there are NO peeps here!!!!!! Someone send them please !!!!!
Ronni from Kentucky, US
15:00 01/19/2011
peeps r awesome!!!! i am 14 and im doing a research project on the history of peeps, this artical gave me all my info!!! thx so much!!!!
meghn from Texas, US
19:40 09/03/2010
I am 9 and my hobby is decortin peeps with iceing.And I make peep art.Plus you can ask my freinds at TX liberty hill billburden if I have an absetion of drawing,decorating and making peep art!

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