There are few treats out there today that are more divisive than Peeps. Something of a cult has formed around these little marshmallow treats usually enjoyed during the Easter season, but that also means there's plenty of people that just don't understand why these confections are so awesome.
If you fall into the latter category of people, I have to say, I just don't get you, sir. What's not to love about Peeps? They're cute, colorful and delightfully squishy. So what if they also have those, cold dead eyes? The sugar rush you will experience after popping one of these babies into your mouth is enough to keep you warm.
It's not just the confection itself that keeps the Peeps legend alive. It's everything that surrounds these treats too. From the way they are manufactured to how people use them to celebrate Easter and beyond, it's clear that Peeps are not just a treat. They are a lifestyle.
Don't believe me? Here are 14 mouth-watering facts about Peeps that will definitely give you a new appreciation for the Easter treat, whether you think they're delish or gross.
1. Peeps hatched more than 60 years ago.
Though Sam Born started making candy in the United States after emigrating there from Russia in 1910, his company, Just Born, didn't begin making Peeps until 1953 in its Bethlehem, Penn. facility.
2. When Peeps were first created, it took 27 hours to make each chick by squeezing marshmallows through pastry tubes by hand.
Today, it takes six minutes to pop out a single Peep.
3. The manufacturing process is a lot more streamlined today.
Just Born works like a well-oiled machine to make Peeps these days. The whole process is now automated with machines mixing the sugar with dye, tubes pumping out marshmallows into chick shapes and dousing the whole thing in sugar. You can watch the whole horrifying process over at Mashable, if you dare.
4. The original Peeps had wings.
The wings were "clipped" not long after Peeps were born in the 1950s, according to Good Housekeeping. Now they'll never be able to get away.
5. There are now two billion Peeps made per year.
That's a Peep-load of Peeps.
6. A Peep weighing 85 pounds is dropped on New Year's Eve every year in Bethlehem, Penn.
Take that, New York City!
7. More than 35 varieties of Peeps will be on sale this Easter.
8. You can enjoy Peeps any time of the year.
Though Peeps are usually associated with Easter, you can actually buy them any time of the year. Just Born also makes specially decorated Peeps for other holidays too, including a chocolate-dipped candy cane flavor for Christmas, heart shapes for Valentine's Day and pumpkins for Halloween.
9. Peeps now come in liquid form.
Get ready to drink your Peeps this Easter. Peeps recently partnered with Prairie Farms to launch Peeps-flavored milk for the 2015 Easter season. The milk comes in marshmallow, chocolate marshmallow and Easter egg nog flavors.
10. There are entire stores dedicated to Peeps.
I told you Peeps are a way of life. There are currently three Peeps & Company retail store locations in the U.S. in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., National Harbor, Md. and, of course, Bethlehem, Penn. At Peeps & Company, you can get everything you could ever want to live a Peeps-tastic life, from candy to candles to crayons.
11. There are plenty of Peeps knock-offs.
Are Peeps too commercial for your indie sensibilities? Or perhaps you stick to a gluten-free diet? Well, there are plenty of off-brand marshmallow treats out there for you to enjoy that will give you your Peeps fix while also letting you stand out from the crowd.
12. People get way creative with Peeps.
Peeps diorama contests are kind of a big deal, you guys. The St. Paul Pioneer Press was the first to organize one in 2004, followed by the Washington Post in 2007. There are plenty of other Peeps diorama contests around the country in case you want to find one near you.
13. Scientists have studied Peeps.
Emory University scientists Gary Falcon and James Zimring studied Peeps in the late 1990s. They set up a whole site dedicated to their findings on how Peeps react to cold, heat and different solutions. As one might expect, Peeps didn't fare too well under these extreme conditions, but the creepiest result of all was that the marshmallow completely dissolved in a solvent called phenol, except for its two brown wax eyes. The horror.
14. Peeps are coming to the big screen.
Last year, it was announced that filmmaker Adam Rifkin optioned the film and TV rights for Peeps. He recently told Fortune that the movie will chronicle one Peep's journey to return to the Washington Post Peeps diorama contest before judging begins. Sounds like a tearjerker.