Easter season would not be complete without Peeps, the sickly sweet marshmallow treats that have been rotting kids’ teeth for more than 50 years.
Although the sugary snacks have several claims to fame – such as their astounding array of colors that now include bright blue and shapes that go way beyond Easter chicks – their main claim to fame is their shelf life.
Peeps supposedly stay fresh, sweet and edible for an incredible two years. That is, of course, if you keep them wrapped in their plastic, far from greedy little fingers – and out of the Arizona sun.
We wanted to test Peeps longevity through a Tucson summer so we stuck them on a stick in a tree last March, right before Easter 2010.
You’ll be amazed and perhaps even surprised at what we found.
First off, Peeps do not melt in the Arizona sun. They instead become hard and dense, not unlike those sugar roses on wedding cakes you’re not supposed to eat but still try to every time.
Although we did not take a bite of the hardened Peeps, and placed them high enough in the tree to avoid the dogs’ gaping maws, we did poke them repeatedly with a stick. Even the thorns of a mesquite branch could not penetrate the hardened marshmallow rocks.
Despite not melting in the sun, the harmful ultraviolet rays did, however, do a number on their color. By early April, the Peeps’ bright blue was already becoming a somber cornflower color.