Not a Peep out of them

Over the years, Mr. Tidbit has had many occasions to mention new renditions of Marshmallow Peeps. What was once a single product of the Just Born company — yellow marshmallow chicks, for Easter — first began appearing in other colors. Then there were other shapes — pumpkins, trees and more — as Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day were added to the occasions on which a Peep would somehow seem appropriate.

There have been flavor innovations, as well, and as Valentine’s Day looms this year one can find heart-shaped Marshmallow Peeps in strawberry crème, vanilla crème and raspberry (that one is chocolate-dipped) in addition, of course, to what might be described either as original flavor or as no flavor. There’s also a sugar-free Peep heart, and a teddy-bear shaped Peep (chocolate mousse-flavored).

And there have been, in the past, more peculiar versions: a Peep in a hollow milk-chocolate egg, for example, and large pink Peep hearts supplied with a tube of white frosting, for writing messages.

That’s about as far as Mr. Tidbit had foolishly assumed Marshmallow Peeps could go: new colors, flavors, shapes and accessories.

Of course, he was wrong. Now there are Crispy Rice Marshmallow Treat Peeps. For Valentine’s Day, that’s a heart-shaped blob of pink crispy rice bar. There’s marshmallow in it, but just to hold the rice together. It is nothing like the regular (simply marshmallow) Marshmallow Peep, no matter how that item has been colored, flavored, shaped or accompanied. So what in the world makes this a Peep? A license from the makers of Marshmallow Peeps. Yes, these Peeps are made by an outfit called CandyRific, under license from Just Born.

Mr. Tidbit fears that, now that that the licensing dam has burst, there will be no stopping Peeps. He confidently expects Peeps cereal, then Peeps sushi and, soon, Peeps USB memory sticks.

Plus real flavor

There’s a new flavor of Cheez-It crackers — provolone. Ordinarily that wouldn’t float it above Mr. Tidbit’s admittedly low threshold; it’s just a new flavor. But get this: “With real hickory smoke flavor added.”