Petrified Marshmallow Chickees

Althea (falsus)
Donated by Kelly Day
Donated in 1995

a row of five very dry, yellow, marshmallow peeps

A perennial favorite of museum-goers, these petrified peeps remained virtually unchanged for over two decades. Many marshmallow connoisseurs who prefer to eat their peeps crusty and crunchy, poke a hole in the plastic wrap and set them side for weeks or—in this case—for years.

Traditionally marshmallow candies were made from the root of Althaea officinalis (marshmallow plant). The museum has categorized the peeps specimen in the malvaceae (mallow) family, but notes that this is a false categorization. Today’s Peeps are made of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, yellow #5, tartrazine, potassium sorbate (a preservative), natural flavors, and carnauba wax.

Peeps are alleged to be indestructible, but due to unfortunate circumstances in 2013, these peeps were exposed to warm, moist conditions and became covered with moldy splotches. They also softened and became slightly squishy. It was with great regret that Dehydrated Food Museum staff disposed of the specimen.  NEXT >

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