Walking down the candy aisle at the last minute to put together Easter baskets, you’ll see an entire section dedicated to a marshmallow icon – the Peep. They used to just come in just one flavor – semi-stale marshmallow (which are MUCH better toasted or in a pie).
Now, in a naked attempt to make you buy MORE of the “edible” little sugar-coma-inducing foam chickens and rabbits, they have rolled out all kinds of flavors, from “pancakes and syrup” to “sour watermelon.”
This obviously calls for a tasting flight. “Flight” is classy for “one (or some) of each kind of
I bought one of each flavor available at our local store. Packing my cart with Peeps garnered me some serious side-eye from the other Moms in the Easter candy aisle, as I am now quite obviously pregnant.
“Can it, size-zero, Kristi-with-an-i. I probably won’t give myself gestational diabetes because I’m not going to actually EAT all of these . . . in a single sitting . . . probably.”
In our tasting, we included the following flavors: Party Cake, Cotton Candy, Blue Raspberry, Sour Watermelon, Pancakes and Syrup, and Fruit Punch. Our tasters included me, a 23-month-old child with limited language skills, and my husband, who, and I am not even joking about this – took this tasting so seriously he used a spit bucket. Either he took it seriously or he just didn’t want to actually eat them and suffer the subsequent blood sugar spike, not sure which.
Ranked from best to worst – here are our flavor picks:
Pancakes and Syrup – This seems like the high wire act of potential Peep flavors. It could either turn out very well or very poorly, but there’s nothing in between. There’s no “meh” when going outside the box with something like this. These Peeps are a nice coffee color with matching interior marshmallow.
Husband: Wow, that’s spot on. Wow. How did they do that?
Baby: Lick. Small bite, look of confusion, shove whole Peep in mouth. Runs over and jumps on couch.
Me: They stuck the landing on this one. Certainly the most gourmet of the bunch. Also, they are slightly unexpected in that they’re so good. There’s no chemical aftertaste and going for a baked good like a pancake was a smart move with the marshmallow base. Not overpowering, but the appropriate balance between the
Sour Watermelon – This seems like a safe bet as long as they stick with a Jolly Rancher watermelon, which is firmly either second or third-best of the Jolly Rancher flavors. This Peep comes with a green exterior surrounding a red interior marshmallow. Cute.
Husband: These are surprisingly good. They taste like watermelon candy, not watermelon, but I’d eat them.
Baby: Watches Dad’s approval, takes the whole Peep and shoves it in his mouth. Runs around in circles.
Me: As predicted, this is basically a fluffy watermelon Jolly Rancher. That’s a perfectly fine place for this flavor to fall. Also, extra points for the cute color scheme. The flavor doesn’t overpower the fluffy consistency. Nice finish.
Cotton Candy – Cotton candy is very close in terms of a flavor profile to actual marshmallow. The entire point of a flavored Peep is for it to taste different than an actual Peep. Selling Peep-flavored Peeps would defeat the purpose, would it not? These are cute pink Peeps with blue speckles made of what looks like rock candy? broken glass? Unclear.
Husband: I mean, it’s good. It’s probably the most spot-on flavor. It’s probably the least of a stretch of the bunch.
Baby: Bites head off Peep. Leaves the body. Runs away.
Me: As predicted this isn’t particularly impressive. Cotton candy is not that far off from marshmallow, and although there is that spun-sugar tang to the Peep, it’s very subtle. They’re good though, in that they taste very close what cotton candy tastes like.
Fruit Punch – This is another one that could go well or poorly with very little room for middle ground. It feels basically the same as standing in front of the soda fountain where fruit punch is a drink option. Is it the semi-tangy and oft satisfying version, or the sickeningly sweet kind they make you drink after you give blood to ensure you don’t pass out? It’s like playing fruit punch roulette. This bright red Peep with red marshmallow will dye every child’s face and expensive Easter dress in a 5-mile radius if left unattended.
Husband: Spot on flavor again! This tastes just like the Hawaiian Punch with that guy in the hat on the front. Punchy! That’s his name, (why does he know this?)
Baby: Licks it. Small bite. Spits out the small bite. Takes the remainder of the Peep, and shoves it in his mouth. Runs away.
Me: It’s the good fruit punch version. Perfect. This is a great flavor if you like Hawaiian Punch. A little bit of the front of the palate bite, and the nice acidity and flavor on the back-end. Overall a solid reproduction of a fruit punch flavor in a marshmallow candy – if that’s a thing you need in your life for some reason.
Blue Raspberry – This tends to be a bad bet. There are very few things out there that make you think “this is good, but what it really needs is a “blue raspberry” version. This blue-sugar-coated blue marshmallow is guaranteed to make you wonder all of Easter Sunday if your child is experiencing frostbite regardless of the temperature.
Husband: Overall this is way better than I thought it would be, but it’s still terrible and I didn’t expect to like it at all. They could have gone a little more on the sour and a little less on the sweet and it would have been better. Are my lips blue?
Baby: Takes a bite. Starts to put the remainder back on the plate. Changes mind. Shoves remainder in his mouth. Runs off.
Me: These aren’t terrible, but I was expecting to hate them as I strongly dislike most blue raspberry things. It’s not even a raspberry-tangential flavor.
Party Cake – I have the highest hopes for this one. I could never pass up a confetti cake cupcake as a child. There’s
Husband: This tastes nothing like cake.
Baby: Shoves entire Peep in his
Me: What a disappointment. This was the flavor that made me decide to try this whole thing in the first place. They manage to be both overly sweet and have a chemical-tasting finish on the back-end. Sad.