Easter is still a month away, but we're worried that Peeps—that love-it-or-hate-it candy that's as essential to Easter as dyed eggs—might have a major meltdown before then. The chewy, sugary marshmallow treats have been having a tough time of it lately.
Let us explain. Here's what happened a couple weeks ago: Oreos debuted a limited-edition Peep-flavored cookie, and Peeps lovers everywhere rejoiced. The crisp vanilla cookies sandwiched a bright pink cream filling that tasted like your favorite marshmallow chick candy; what could be better?
But then, people started reporting something strange. That Day-Glo pink filling also happened to turn your tongue a horrifying neon pink—for hours. And it also caused some even more horrifyingly colorful…effects in the bathroom, too.
Let's not get into the details.
Three Peeps Mystery Flavors also debuted around the same time. The coy candy is unlabelled, forcing tasters to guess what the flavors are (the company reveals the flavors shortly before Easter; last year's included Buttered Popcorn, Chocolate Milk, and Sour Cherry). Sounds fun, right? Well, some taste testers haven't been too keen on this year's flavors; or actually, on Peeps themselves.
And in a stunning move last week, The Washington Post Magazine announced it was canceling its annual Easter-themed Peeps diorama contest. The 10-year-old contest encouraged fans to re-create historical or otherwise notable scenes using those versatile marshmallow candies. Photos were submitted, prizes were awarded, and Peeps were put up on the pedestal where they so rightly belong.
The Washington Post Magazine, however, decided to call off the contest this year, citing dwindling submissions and declining interest. "As fewer submissions began to come in, though, echoing the decline in readership of this feature, we knew that it was time to let bunnies be free again, and we have ended the Peeps contest run,” said Washington Post Magazine Deputy Editor David Rowell in a blog post.
There is a small bright spot for Peeps, though. A couple of local media outlets have taken up the marshmallow candy baton by hosting their own Peeps contests. Clearly, Peeps fans aren't going to let the chicks and bunnies go down without a fight. But can these sugary critters bounce back before Easter? Here's hoping.
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