REVIEW: Peeps Mystery Flavors (2018)

Peeps Mystery Flavors  2018

UPDATE: Apparently, if you look at the boxes the Mystery Peeps come packed in on store shelves, they’ll tell you what the flavors are. If you want spoilers, here you go (in no particular order).

In college, I studied Early Modern English, which includes the language of the King James Bible. When I read the Old Testament passage that talks about “wizards that peep, and that mutter,” I imagined something like chicks with pointed hats casting spells in a dungeon somewhere.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  2018 2

The Peeping wizards at Just Born have once again conjured up three mystery flavors of Peeps Marshmallows just in time for Easter. All three flavors are as white as Dumbledore’s beard, so there’s no way to tell them apart from each other, other than the packaging.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  1 of 3

The first flavor is familiar, and after a few seconds of chewing, it is obvious: root beer. I’m 90 percent confident on this. It could also be wintergreen since that’s a similar flavor, but root beer seems more likely. It’s not as strongly flavored as, say, a root beer barrel hard candy, but it’s decent. There’s a little whiff of sassafras in the package.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  2 of 3

The second flavor…I’m not so sure about. It has citric acid in the ingredients list, which is not in flavor 1. I want to say it tastes like purple conversation hearts, so grape, but it also tastes like the smell of lemon Lysol. Given my guesses of flavors 1 and 3, I’m going to guess, with 60 percent confidence, they were going for a soda theme and made this lemon-lime (aka Sprite). It’s OK.

Peeps Mystery Flavor  3 of 3

The third flavor is different from the other two, as far as ingredients go. It has fumaric acid (whatever that is) and pectin, and citric acid is higher in the ingredients label than in flavor 2. As a result, it has a slightly spongier texture and a slightly lower sugar content. This one is by far the most fragrant of the three, with a strong scent infiltrating my nostrils.

While I’m eating the marshmallow, I really can’t place the flavor. I know I’ve had it somewhere, but all I can taste is a summer day at the amusement park. Minutes after I have swallowed, the residual flavor tastes like Dr Pepper. Even though Dr Pepper is what I taste eventually, it’s not what I taste while the Peep is actually in my mouth, so I’m not sure. My guess is cherry cola, but I’m only 50 percent confident. I’m 30 percent confident on Dr Pepper (or whatever they call it to avoid trademark issues), and I’m 20 percent clueless.

All of them are pleasant enough flavors and a nice change from the original, but I doubt I would buy them if they made them regular flavors. They’re not very memorable. Flavor 1 is the best of the three. My final verdict on the flavors: root beer, lemon-lime soda, and cherry cola.

But guessing was harder than I expected. If I get them wrong, will the Peeping wizards revoke my reviewer’s license?

And when I told my dad I was reviewing mystery-flavored Peeps, he thought I said Listerine-flavored. There’s an idea for next year, Just Born!

(Nutrition Facts – 4 chicks – Flavors #1 and #2 – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Flavor #3 – 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.24 each
Size: 3 oz./10 chicks
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (#1 of 3)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (#2 of 3)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (#3 of 3)
Pros: Root beer is obvious and the best of the three. Pleasant enough flavors. They keep you guessing. It’s nice that they’re doing something fun with an otherwise boring treat.
Cons: It’s frustrating when you can’t guess! Not memorable flavors. Nutrition facts are not identical. Peeping wizards revoking your reviewer’s license.

REVIEW: Peeps Pancakes & Syrup

Peeps Pancakes  Syrup

Well, it seems that Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Left in its wake are wilted roses, broken hearts, and a ransacked holiday aisle at the grocery store.

But wait! What’s that, beyond the carnage of unwanted Sweethearts and Palmer’s chocolate-flavored hearts? It’s Easter to the rescue! Here comes the (REAL) chocolate bunnies! The Reese’s Eggs! The Cadbury Crème Eggs! Jellybeans! And let’s not forget a rainbow of marshmallow Peeps! Yellow Peeps, pink Peeps, blue Peeps, green Peeps, and…brown Peeps?

Taking the next step in marrying breakfast with dessert, Just Born Inc. teamed up with Kroger to bring Pancakes & Syrup Peeps into Easter baskets everywhere for the frugal price of only $1.99 per ten-chick pack. Being the cash strapped, deal hunting college student that I am, I decided to pick up two packs, on sale, for $3.00.

Ripping open the bag, I immediately pick up on the promised syrup aspect, although I can’t say I smell anything that reminds me of pancakes. I’d compare the smell more to maple extract than to a pancake breakfast complete with all the fixin’s.

Peeps Pancakes  Syrup 2

Before I taste them, though, let’s take a moment to dissect how these chicks look. Now, I understand that they were trying to make me think “syrup” by coloring this variety of Peeps light brown, but this particular shade, combined with the shape that Peeps normally have, reminds me of a small pile of poop. Not that I want my marshmallows to be particularly photogenic or anything, but I still think that Peeps & Co. could have stood to work on the aesthetics of these guys a little more before they hit shelves.

But the big question is, “How do they taste?”

Well, I definitely get the syrup flavor. It’s not like an authentic maple syrup flavor, though. It’s more of like a “pancake” syrup flavor that’s going to remind you of Aunt Jemima’s. It actually kind of makes me nostalgic for my old dieting days when I doused everything with Walden Farms Sugar-Free Syrup. I guess that that’s maybe where the “natural & artificial flavor” is shining through.

I’m still not getting anything that reminds me of pancakes, though. Either they forgot to put it in, or the syrup flavor is overpowering it. Other than that, it’s a standard Peeps experience, complete with soft, plushy chicks that have a crunchy sugared coating.

Normally I’d just end it here, but I want to pursue this breakfast/dessert merger for a minute and bring these Peeps into the realm of syrup-ception by dicing up a few, cooking them INTO pancakes, and then dousing THEM in syrup for the ultimate in early morning sugar bomb.

And the results are nothing short of spectacular!

Peeps Pancakes  Syrup 3

The Peeps kind of melt into the dough to create these little maple-marshmallow pockets in the pancakes, and the lake of real maple syrup on top just brings the whole experience full circle. Forget about cereal, THIS is the way marshmallows were meant to be eaten for breakfast!

(Nutrition Facts – 4 chicks – 110 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 24 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.50 (on sale)
Size: 10 chicks
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Signs of spring! On sale! Soft and plushy! Delicious when cooked into real pancakes!
Cons: Tastes like “pancake” syrup. No pancake flavor on their own. Kind of looks like little piles of poop.

REVIEW: Peeps Cotton Candy Marshmallow Chicks

Peeps Cotton Candy Marshmallow Chicks

Let the record state: you are not likely to win former middle school crushes, current middle school crushes, or Santa Claus over with Peeps. Peeps are prepackaged, factory-formed one-noters. They are not handmade. They are not farm-to-table. They are sugary, squishy, mildly impersonal marshmallow chickens poofed out in Pennsylvania.

But if you are a candy loyalist of the sort who is not deterred by waxy eyeballs or the radioactive glow of their outer sheen, Peeps has enough varieties to fill a Container Store, not to mention the 18-foot-deep hole in my heart, but before I go on branding a marshmallow chicken on my left deltoid, I guess I should try ‘em all, and today? We go for Cotton Candy.

Peeps Cotton Candy Marshmallow Chicks 2

With June stretching out over 80 days in the future, I can think of no better time than now to be reminded of a carnival, and ripping open this quintet of Peeps does just that, knocking me upside the head with sparkly wonder and a smell that blends a distinct sugary brightness with Strawberry Jolly Ranchers, Vanilla Febreze, and Bubblicious. Who needs Disneyland when you have Peeps?

(Okay, I need Disneyland. Especially Space Mountain.)

But much like the overpriced snow globe at the Miami Airport, these glitzy chicks are all flash with little substance, holding only a faint essence of its spun-sugar inspiration. While the marshmallow itself still has that special taste that can only emerge when sucrose and corn syrup combine, only faint blips of vanilla extract, strawberry, and bubblegum pop in.

Taken as a whole, the flavor is sharply sugar-forward, tasting more of a regular marshmallow that was swapped at birth and doomed to an existence with the incorrect moniker. While a trifle disappointing for those looking for a more robust flavor, I must admit that this humble sugar flavor harkens back to cotton candy’s main goal: to serve as a vehicle through which you might funnel simplified carbohydrates into your sugar-depraved body, and why should you deny yourself? Life’s tough. Sugar’s great.

Peeps Cotton Candy Marshmallow Chicks 3

So, while they may cling to cotton candy’s legacy as a sugar-laden snack, this ensemble of chickadees tastes about as bold as faded paisley curtains. Perhaps it’s the batch. Perhaps it’s the Red #40. Perhaps it’s in the alignments of stars, Jupiter, and ill-directed DirecTV satellites, but I dare say these could use a little oomph.

That said, one might also say that this inconsistency is part of the true carnival experience. Just like balloon animals, dart games, and questionably constructed wooden roller coasters, cotton candy is not necessarily meant to be treated as a work of perfection, but more as a bright, mildly risky, fun treat, and these chicks? Achieve that. No ticket required. They may not warrant a permanent tattoo, but I could see a temporary tattoo going on.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 chicks – 140 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 0 mg of potassium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 1.5 oz. package/5 chicks
Purchased at: Walgreens (a Walgreens exclusive)
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Fun. Shimmery. Not unpleasant vehicle for sugar. The Container Store. Space Mountain. Future plans to tattoo marshmallow chickadee on deltoid.
Cons: Missing the strawberry/vanilla/bubblegum flavors. Sugar crust falls off easily. Red Dye #40. One-note. Will not win former middle school crushes. Will not win current middle school crushes. Overpriced snow globes at the Miami Airport.