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5 things you didn't know about America's favorite Easter candies

FARGO - Did you know there is a Facebook page dedicated to people who hate Peeps? That's intense. I can understand a page dedicated to hating liver and onions or lutefisk, but picking on the poor old Peep seems a little extreme.

Marshmallow Peeps are considered by many to be the No. 1 Easter candy. Photo special to The Forum
Marshmallow Peeps are considered by many to be the No. 1 Easter candy. Photo special to The Forum
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FARGO – Did you know there is a Facebook page dedicated to people who hate Peeps? That's intense. I can understand a page dedicated to hating liver and onions or lutefisk, but picking on the poor old Peep seems a little extreme.

By most accounts, Peeps, a sugary, marshmallowy concoction shaped to look like a chick or a bunny, is America's No. 1 Easter candy. But what do you really know about Peeps or any of the other top Easter treats? Here's your chance to impress your family as you pass the ham and potatoes on Easter Sunday.

1. Peeps used to take more than a day to make.

Peeps were originally made by the Rodda Candy Co. in Pennsylvania. Workers would use pastry bags to pipe individual marshmallow Peeps, only to wait 27 hours for them to dry and decorate.

When the Just Born Co. acquired Rodda, company officials figured out how to automate the process in 1953. But workers still had to decorate them by hand.

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2. President Ulysses S. Grant could have eaten a Cadbury Egg.

The classic Cadbury Egg was first made in 1875 by the Cadbury Candy company in Birmingham, England. The first eggs were dark chocolate and plain on the outside. The website says "they were filled with sugar-coated chocolate drops known as 'dragees.' Later Easter eggs were decorated and had their plain shells enhanced with chocolate piping and marzipan flowers."

3. Reagan wrote the Jelly Belly company a fan letter.

It's pretty common knowledge that President Ronald Reagan was a fan of jelly beans. But it was more serious than you might have thought. Reagan first discovered Jelly Bellys in 1967 while he was governor of California. He was such a fan, he wrote the company a letter in 1973 remarking, "we can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing the jar of jelly beans."

The Jelly Belly company sent 2½ tons of Jelly Bellys to his inauguration in 1980.

4. The Lindt Chocolate Bunny was inspired by a little girl.

A master chocolatier at the Swiss chocolate company created the famous Lindt gold chocolate bunny after watching his young daughter mesmerized by a bunny, only to burst into tears when it hopped away. The first bunnies were produced in 1952 and now come in different flavors.

According to the website, "each bunny wears a small colored ribbon bow around its neck identifying the type of chocolate contained within. The milk chocolate bunny wears a red ribbon, the dark chocolate bunny wears a dark brown ribbon, and the white chocolate bunny wears a white ribbon."

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5. Robin Egg candies - a health food?

Robin Eggs are tiny malted milk candy produced by the Whoppers company. They're made from malted milk and covered in a candy shell coating. But did you know malted milk was once considered a health food? Englishman William Horlick is credited with developing malted milk powder. He marketed it as a health food and a convenience food, offering it to men on expeditions to the Himalayas, the tropics and the Poles. For his contributions, a mountain range in the South Pole is named the Horlick mountains.

Related Topics: FOOD
Tracy Briggs is a News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 30 years of experience.
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