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Why Pink Peeps Taste Bad

Why Pink Peeps Are the Pits

I can't stand pink Peeps; there, I said it. But not for the reason you might think: no, I'm not in the Peeps-hating camp (type Peeps in your Google search bar; the autofill confirms the Easter staple's polarity). In fact, I fully endorse Just Born's marquee sweet — I've enthusiastically written about a plethora of Peeps-decorated desserts, I eagerly await The Washington Post's annual diorama contest, and each Spring season I loyally purchase at least a couple packages of the marshmallow chicks and bunnies. My prejudice only extends to those coated in violently neon-pink sugar.

Why? I still distinctly remember biting into a pink bunny as a little girl and spitting it out. Unlike its white and yellow siblings — this was the early '90s, a time before the Peeps rainbow expanded to include lavender, green, and orange — it had a distinctly different bitter, metallic flavor. The thing is, all of the original Peeps are meant to taste the same, my issue has to do with a sensitivity to the food coloring used (Red #3), which has a bitter taste to some (like me). Peeps aren't the only culprit (other sweets with a heavy-handed dose of pink or red food coloring taste off to me as well), but they're the most obvious as the marshmallow's mild flavor does little to mask the bitterness.

Sensitivity to (and dislike for) a compound in cilantro is well publicized; distaste for pink and red food coloring, less so. But I can't be the only one. Can you taste the bitter notes?

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
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