Peeps: Now With Even More Preservatives!

I will admit to having a thoroughly unhealthy obsession with Peeps, which forces me to buy at least four packages a year; two to eat fresh, two to let go stale. I think it goes back to my childhood when my big sister used to steal my Peeps, and now I’m overcompensating by eating as many as my stomach and teeth will allow.

Because I don’t have any dietary restrictions that aren’t self-imposed, I don’t worry overmuch about scarfing down the full-sugared Peeps. However, this year the Peeps company, Just Born, is introducing two new products: St. Patrick’s Day green Peeps, and sugar-free Peeps made with Splenda.

Linda Cole of the St. Petersburg Times wonders, “But if there’s no sugar, just what’s in the Peep?” Well, Mr. Tidbit from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who says he finds the new Peeps “disturbing,” can answer that:

Not disturbing because sugar-free Peeps are sort of a crime against nature, though they are, but because they consist largely of maltitol, isomalt, polyglycitol syrup and sorbitol —”sugar alcohols” required to carry a warning that excess consumption may have a laxative effect.

Brave enough to actually perform a taste test, the blog 20 Little Toes reports:

“This is not anything remotely like a normal Peep. It reeks of strong vanilla scent and the aftertaste is just awful. The texture isn’t soft and fluffy at all, in fact it’s almost rubbery.”

Several other blogs also want the laxative effect of these Splenda-stuffed sweetmeats noted.

That aside, I drink a lot of Diet Coke on a nearly hourly basis, so I am clearly not preservative-free. I was just starting to think about giving these Splenda Peeps a whirl when I came across this post from the Orlando Sentinel blog:

The Splenda Peep lacks the required sugar crust and does not do well for those (LIKE ME) who prefer an aged Peep. The outer covering is smooth, with no discernible grit and has strange looking translucent flakes. It made me sad.

No lovely crunchy crust? Sorry, Peeps, that’s a dealbreaker.