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Candy and Peeps

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween everybody!

I am not generally the first person most of my friends would think of saying such a thing, as I generally ignore this “holiday” or, as what happened last year, begrudgingly dress up in costume and attend (or work at) a party. Even as a kid, I don’t remember being terribly excited about Halloween – I was more excited to get the chocolate that was given out on Halloween. I mean, what kid is not at least somewhat motivated to trick-or-treat by the promise of enough chocolate to last until December?

However, not all people understood this motivation, and some gave away candy other than chocolate. Specifically, a candy called “Bit O’ Honey”. Who gave that candy away? To me, it was just cruel to invite children to your door and then subject them to Bit O’ Honey. I would get home with my stash, eagerly dump it out, and find, hiding among the “snack size” (for that is what, in my childhood, was given away at Halloween. None of this cheap-o “mini” stuff) Snickers, Milky Way, Reeses, and M&Ms, Bit O’Honey. Yuck. So I would trade it away to my brother, who, knowing how much I hated the stuff, would always charge a premium on the trade – in other words, I would receive less equivalent in chocolate than I gave in Bit O’Honey. Eventually I just gave the stuff away without asking for anything in return.

Did anyone else not understand this candy? I mean, what is the purpose of it? Does it even still exist? To answer this question, I did a web search (of course) for Bit O’ Honey. I found a website called “Old Time Candy.” Bit O’Honey does indeed still exist, and is made by the Nestle company. Anyone who gives this candy to children should be punished. Don’t do it – it’s just mean. Stick with the chocolate. If you must, give away jelly bears or Nerds (or even Smarties, another one I never really liked). Candy necklaces. But not Bit O’Honey.

Enough about that. Something that is out now but was not when I was a kid is Halloween Peeps. Now, Peeps, I never understood. Perhaps it is because I have never been a big marshmallow fan. I tolerated them (or ignored them) when they were out in the springtime, but of late, they have been popping up for all holidays. And having just checked the web site, I see that there is now chocolate-covered marshmallow pumpkins offered by peeps.

At what point do we stop calling them Peeps, anyway? I mean, I always thought that the name Peeps came from the fact that they were shaped like chicks (and later, bunnies). But when they no longer are shaped like any sort of creature associated with springtime, but like pumpkins, cats,ghosts, hearts (Valentine’s Day), snowmen, stars, reindeer, gingerbread men, trees, and who knows what else, why do we still call them Peeps, anyway?

On the subject of Peeps…a number of years ago, I found a website that did “research” on Peeps, subjecting them to different experiments – microwave ovens, pots of boiling water, blowtorches. I laughed so hard when I saw those web sites that I cried. I still do – in fact, I am sitting here at work, unable to look at the page because I cannot make that much noise here. The site is called Peep Research. They have not only retained their previous experiments (and photos) but have added new ones. Anyone looking for a laugh should check out this web site.

I’ve been told that it is “mean” to laugh at these poor Peeps, who are being subjected to such experiments. However, may I remind the reader that these Peeps did in fact volunteer to be part of these experiments (perhaps hoping to be in a reality show? No, wait, that motivation did not exist when the experiments were first conducted, in the 90s. Though maybe now it does.). The Peeps were not subjected to any test without their consent, and, I am sure, signed all waivers prior to undergoing any procedures. As the website says, ” Before any testing begins, all peep subjects are thoroughly examined and sign a disclosure form explaining the potential risks of their volunteer service.” So do not feel sorry for them – I am sure they were well-compensated for their time and troubles. After all, they were web celebrities before that term really came into being.

And in case anyone thinks that the Peeps are being treated unfairly, Millikin University noted the same, and invited the Peeps to come and conduct their own research. The information on their research, along with photos of the Peeps arriving, conducting research, and attempting to use library resources can be found on its web site. I believe the website also includes the result of the Peeps’ research.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Heidi permalink
    October 31, 2010 5:20 am

    I always like Bit o’ honey, even as a kid. : ) I always HATED candy corn and circus peanuts. : ) I never super liked any of the “candy” holidays. Today I am dressing the twins up as biker dudes… : )

  2. October 31, 2010 5:42 am

    How could I forget Circus Peanuts? Maybe because I was not often subjected to them. ISH. I originally included an anecdote about when I was in Denmark and my mom sent me candy corn…which I liked a looooong time ago, and the Danes’ reaction to it…that did not make the “final edit” though!

  3. Jami permalink
    October 31, 2010 7:12 am

    I have to admit, I love Peeps. However, I am a purist and only consume them in the springtime. I agree with you about the Bit O Honey…hard to eat and not very tasty at that! Do you also remember the candy dots? They were little bits of hardened sugar that came on strips of paper. Inevitably you’d end up eating a little bit of the paper with the dot. My girls woke up this morning raring to go Trick or Treating and I’m hoping they will feel kind enough to share some of their treats with mom (we all fight over the reese’s peanut butter cups). Happy Halloween Karin!

  4. Mom permalink
    October 31, 2010 10:17 am

    What a waste of time and money (research) over a few marshmallows. By the way, I like them, too.
    Bit O Honey is way hard on the teeth–I assume that’s what the gripe is.
    Sure, let’s promote chocolate–highest in unsaturated fat and the most likely to become “addictive.”
    Not to mention the sugar high/behavior problems some little kids get from binging on so much sugar at once.
    Yes, I remember you all made your Halloween candy last until Christmas and your Christmas candy last until Easter, etc. (Because I didn’t give it to you otherwise.)
    I remember finding it hidden in dresser drawers, and under beds when I cleaned.
    Think of how boring life would be without candy. (I give away full size Hershey bars on Halloween.)
    How’s the Ukrainian chocolate, by the way??

    • October 31, 2010 10:22 am

      Mom – the research was not real – it was a bunch of college kids playing in the lab and putting together the web site.

      • Mom permalink
        October 31, 2010 10:23 am


      • Mom permalink
        October 31, 2010 10:50 am

        OK, so to clarify, the DUH was for me. Guess ol’ Mom is just not with it at all.

  5. Lisa permalink
    November 1, 2010 8:54 am

    Guess what, as I was buying whatever was left at Walgreens yesterday – I ended up with an Asst. bag that included LOTS of Bit O Honey. Gross, I share the same sentiment as you. I put together treat bags – 3 pcs of candy (one was a BOH) and a toy. I made 80 of them and had a lot of leftover single pcs. We got about 200 kids. Luckily, we were able to go through our own kids stash and have them donate their crappy candy to the cause. At the end of the evening, we had 5 toys and one mini tootsie roll. It was a great Halloween. By the way, the Halloween Party theme this year was Superheroes and Villains. We had some Chilean miners and BP oil guys. I glued eyeballs all over my body and was Visionary! Or, Lady Aargon if you know your Greek mythology. Sorry you missed it this year. Good times and wonderful people as usual. I don’t understand people who don’t like Halloween.

  6. Mom permalink
    November 1, 2010 11:51 am

    We-l-l-l-l-l-l, I just bought some Halloween Peeps (50% off) and inhaled half of them at one time. They ARE good!!

  7. Mom permalink
    November 1, 2010 11:52 am

    So, I just bought some Halloween Peeps (at 50% off) and inhaled them. They are good!!

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