"¢ It seems we at mental_floss are engaging in a Peep-a-thon this week, but who can blame us? The sugar rush is too wondrous to overcome! Here are some more facts and figures regarding this favored Easter season delight:

"¢ Ancient Egyptians were the first to enjoy a gooey treat now called "marshmallow" as early as 2000 BC. Marshmallow was made from the mallow plant (Athaea officinalis) that grows wild in marshes (creative naming!) native to Asia and Europe, and has since been naturalized in America.

"¢ Marshmallows were introduced and popularized in the United States in the early 1900s, with the particular marshmallow affectation known as the Easter Peep being "born" in 1953.

"¢ Peeps were originally made by hand, which took 27 hours (requiring setting overnight). Today it takes six minutes to create one Peeps chick.

"¢ Why Peeps for Easter? Peeps may not have much to do with Jesus, but they do have a lot in common with Spring.

"¢ In fact, Peeps have been the #1 non-chocolate Easter candy in the U.S. for more than a decade. Yellow is America's best selling color of Peep chicks and bunnies.

"¢ Peeps are great for lots of things, including posing for odd pictures, some of which Miss Cellania regaled us with in the past.

"¢ Peeps are also excellent jousting participants.

"¢Â Follow the voyage of the Peep-o-nauts with Peeps in Space (sort of). Peeps are no stranger to science - there are plenty of websites devoted to exploring their chemical and physical properties.

"¢Â If you love Peeps, consider interning at Just Born. Or just satisfy yourself with a virtual factory tour.

"¢ According to a survey, most people relish eating Peeps head-first. How do you Flossers enjoy your Peep consumption? What's your (er safe, responsible) Peep-eating record? I once had a friend go into a late afternoon sugar shock from lunchtime Peep-eating. The maniacal laughter was terrifying. I suppose that's why some people are afraid of them.

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.