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Peeps
Peeps

Cinnamon Roll Peeps Have Arrived

Peeps
Peeps

Cinnamon and marshmallow are two of the holiday season’s favorite flavors—and now they’ve collided in one adorably baby chick-shaped package, thanks to the ever-inventive folks at Peeps.

The iconic candy company has just unleashed a bevy of new winter flavors, including an addictive new cinnamon roll-flavored marshmallow chick, which is dipped in a cinnamon icing-flavored fudge. The only catch? You’ll have to hit up Walgreens to get some, as they’re exclusive to the chain.

Peeps

If you’re more of a Walmart shopper, they’ve got their own special Peeps varietal: Christmas cookie-flavored marshmallow chicks dipped in white fudge. Also new to the flavor lineup is a sugar plum chick dipped in white fudge, which is available nationwide.

The new additions join a growing list of wintry Peeps that already includes gingerbread, candy cane, chocolate mousse, and hot cocoa and cream—proving that Peeps aren’t just for Easter. They’re also not just for eating straight out of the box: the Peeps website offers a range of inventive uses for the candies, including a number of unique recipes. You’ve never had a monkey bread muffin until you’ve had it topped with a cinnamon roll Peep. Whether you prefer your Peeps soft or stale is a debate for another time.

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Odd Jobs
Dream Job Alert: Cadbury Is Looking for Professional Chocolate Tasters
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iStock

Can you taste the difference between semisweet and bittersweet chocolate? Do you have strong opinions on what makes a perfect cup of cocoa? If so, Cadbury wants to hear from you. As Insider reports, the candy brand’s parent company Mondelez International is hiring taste testers to aid in the development of their chocolate products.

The corporation, which also owns the chocolate bar brand Milka, is seeking applicants to fill four positions: three chocolate tasters and one chocolate and cocoa beverage taster. According to the job listings, Mondelez will train the new employees in sharpening their taste buds and broadening their flavor vocabulary, so no experience is necessary. The qualities they are looking for include a communicative personality, eagerness to try new products, honesty and objectivity, and a passion for all things sweet. Candidates must also be fluent in English and available to work in Reading, England, about 40 miles west of London.

Each job pays £9 ($12.44) an hour, with employees spending about eight hours a week working with other panelists in sensory booths and discussion rooms. The maximum 10 free chocolate samples they get to eat a day are a bonus.

Prospective employees have until February 16 to submit their resumes, but they should act fast: When Mondelez put out a call for taste-testers last year, they were flooded with thousands of applications.

[h/t Insider]

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Noshin R, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
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Big Questions
What Makes Pop Rocks Pop?
Noshin R, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Noshin R, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Eating most candy isn’t complicated: You take a bite, enjoy a sugar-fueled dopamine rush, and repeat until you have a stomach ache. Chemist William A. Mitchell added another step to the process when he developed Pop Rocks. When the sweet, hard candy bits hit your mouth, they act up before breaking down, creating a crackling, hissing noise that would be alarming coming from any other food product. But when it happens to Pop Rocks, you know you’re getting what you paid for. So what exactly is it about the candy that makes it just as much of a science experiment as a sweet snack?

The answer lies in carbon dioxide. It’s the same gas that gives cola, beer, and champagne their effervescence, but it’s not a common ingredient in solid foods. In the late 1950s, Mitchell wondered if it was possible to create an instant soda tablet by baking CO2 into candy. Even though his idea didn’t take off, the experiments laid the basis for Pop Rocks.

Like other hard candies, Pop Rocks are made by mixing sugar, lactose, corn syrup, and flavorings. Once those ingredients are melted together and boiled, highly-pressurized CO2 is added. When the candy mixture hardens, it traps bubbles of gas exerting pressure at 600 pounds per square inch (psi). For reference, the pressure inside a champagne bottle measures in at 90 psi.

It’s impossible to detect the special component in Pop Rocks unless you taste them. Magical things happen when the candy meets up with your mouth: As your saliva dissolves the sugar, those powerful air pockets begin to burst like miniature firecrackers on your tongue. The 600 psi carbon dioxide collides with the 15 psi pressure of the atmosphere, resulting in a crack you can feel and hear. That’s why Pop Rocks are so noisy, whether you’re eating them or standing next to someone who is.

And if you’re worried that all that pressure will do some serious damage to your body, you can rest easy. Contrary to the hysteria from kids and parents, there’s never been a known case of death by Pop Rocks. That includes when it's mixed with Coke (sorry Mikey truthers).

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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