Easter Peeps Experiment: How Long Do Marshmallow Chicks Last in Tucson's Sun?

Peeps at the start of experiment in Tucson tree.
Easter season would not be complete without Peeps, the sickly sweet marshmallow treats that have been rotting kids’ teeth for more than 50 years.

Although the sugary snacks have several claims to fame—such as their astounding array of colors that now include bright blue, and shapes that go way beyond Easter chicks—their main claim to fame is their shelf life.

Peeps supposedly stay fresh, sweet and edible for an incredible two years. That is, of course, if you keep them wrapped in their plastic, far from greedy little fingers—and out of the Arizona sun.

We wanted to test Peeps' longevity through a Tucson summer so we stuck them on a stick in a tree last March, right before Easter 2010.

You’ll be amazed and perhaps even surprised at what we found.

First off, Peeps do not melt in the Arizona sun. They instead become hard and dense, not unlike those sugar roses on wedding cakes you’re not supposed to eat, but still try to every time.