cWhat is it about Peeps? Why do they stir us so, releasing the gentle inner child in some of us, while others experience a sudden urge to do violence? That’s powerful juju for a little yellow chick made of sugar and air.

This, however, is adult baggage. Children under the age of seven uniformly like Peeps: They are soft and sweet—so sweet, in fact, that they are almost sour—and as much fun to lob at an unsuspecting friend as they are to eat.

Deep Peep study is, of course, a natural for the Internet. You can find your way to fan clubs and photo galleries, recipes and songs, Peep shows and Peep literature and Peep confessionals: “I am forty-five years old! I crave Peeps!” Perhaps the greatest number of sites accommodate the compelling need to experiment with Peeps. What happens to a Peep if you drop it in boiling water (nothing) or liquid nitrogen (nothing); do they suffer ill effects from smoking (no) or alcohol (no); can a Peep handle exposure to nuclear radiation (no).

Hard facts: Peep eyes are made of carnauba wax, air-gunned to the side of their heads; their wings disappeared in 1991; they are free of fat, though the standard chorus line of five totes 160 calories; they are over fifty years old; they hail from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, home of U.S. Steel, a substance Peeps come to resemble after a few days open to the air, though a stale Peep is not a wretched Peep—some folks actually prefer to eat them hard.

Just Born—maker of Peeps and keeper of the flame and the archives—has their own whimsical site. It is the last word in Peep truth, thus an important whistle-stop for adults seeking answers to their Peep-spawned angst.

Exactly how Peeps play upon our emotional strings is a personal matter, but why they should do so in the first place is no mystery: 600,000,000 Peeps will be hatched this year. Odds are short that one of their ranks will brush up against you during Peep season. And being scabrous little birds, they’ll leave their mark.

(from Country Living)