Editor’s note: This story was originally published in April 2020.
Easter and colorful marshmallow chicks, which have been synonymous with spring for decades, are just around the corner.
While you may know that Peeps is produced by Just Born candy company from Bethlehem, you may not know that Peep was first hatched in Lancaster before they migrated northeast.
Here are five brief facts about the story of the humble Pip:
1. Pipes were manufactured in Lancaster until 1953
The peeps were first made by RE Rodda Candy Co., located at 347 Church St., Lancaster. Founded in 1908, the company was known for its jellies, eggs and almonds, covered in sugar, according to historical records. Although these records do not tell us when the first Peep was made, we do know that the company – and its now famous marshmallow chicks – were bought by Just Born in 1953.
2. The peaks were extremely time consuming.
Before Just Born developed the automated process of making Peeps in the style of an assembly line, the treats were made entirely by hand – the birds were squeezed out of giant confectionery tubes one by one. They had to be conditioned for 24 hours so that the marshmallow mixture could harden. And yes, someone put little black eyes to each Pip by hand, one by one.
3. They are no longer time consuming.
Including conditioning time, Peeps took about 27 hours to do at Rodda. Now Just Born emits about 3,600 pips per minute, producing half a billion of them each year.
4. The recipe is essentially the same.
Despite all the changes in production, Peep himself remained the same as he was. The recipe is “about the same” as when Rodda was making Peeps, Just Born reports.
5. Pippi is healthy, maybe?
Absolutely fat free, almost sodium free and only 160 calories per serving of five pips, Peeps is very good for you. Until you think about the amount of sugar.