Monday, April 09, 2007

I Know Americans Are Fat 2

Sorry to bring this up again, but a new explanation for American fatness has just leapt out of my dawn web crawl. Americans eat too many Peeps. Harry Enfield's kebab store guy used this word to mean 'people', but, happily, there seems to have been no outbreak of mass cannibalism. These Peeps are small chick-shaped sugar things. Six hundred million are eaten around Easter, two for every American. They look disgusting, though Peep brulee has possibilities. This does not surprise me. Americans do most things better than we do - notably writing, TV comedy and optimism - but good confectionery has so far eluded them. Is there, for example, a more disgusting comestible than a Hershey bar? I think not.
PS. And now there is this shocker. Cadbury's creme eggs have shrunk.


  1. I have been told before, and it may just have been anti american predjudice on somebody's part, that the reason that Hershey bars taste so bad is that they contain parafin to raise the melting point of the chocolate. This always struck me as rather defeating the point of having the chocolate in the first place.

  2. Most of those peeps, however, are eaten by my elder daughter, so that skews the two for every American business.

  3. You're onto something, Bryan. Almost every major holiday in the US is an opportunity to eat candy. You have Valentine's day in February, and in early March Girl Scout cookies are delivered, and green beer quaffed in honor of St Patrick. April has Easter and all the chocolate and marshmallow excess that goes with it. There's a break for the summer months, as no candy manufacturer has yet thought of a way to market Memorial Day, Independence Day or Labor Day candy, but give them time. In October we have Halloween, Thanksgiving brings more feasting, though not much on the candy side. And Christmas rounds out the year with ribbon candy, candy canes and other assorted treats.

    Where I work someone is always bringing in treats for some occasion or another. Today we have mini chocolate eclairs to celebrate Josh's birthday. It takes great willpower not to be assimilated by the confectionary continuum. It is relentless.

  4. You know, of course, that this is the country that came up with "the Twinkie defense" for a murderer. If you've never read about that, Bry, you really must look it up.

    Peeps are like Twinkies -- refined-sugar pastries (actually, that's too good a word for them) spun out in puffy, gooey shapes. Your blood sugar rockets up as soon as you eat one; your teeth are assailed by cavities. And, yet: America sells these things everywhere. In Philadelphia, the local brand is called Tasty Kakes and I never go to work without seeing someone eating the Butterscotch Krimpets or some other variant (and many hundreds of calories a packet).

    However, about Duck's comment: My experience of candy among Europeans is that British and Western European kids eat chocolate virtually every day. No need to have holidays to celebrate candy eating when it's a part of one's daily diet. And of course it's good chocolate. I agree that Hershey's is bad (it *does* taste like paraffin!), but Cadbury's fruit & nut rocks.

  5. "Almost every major holiday in the US is an opportunity to eat candy."

    Unlike Britain then?

    "...You have Valentine's day in February, and in early March Girl Scout cookies are delivered, and green beer quaffed in honor of St Patrick. April has Easter and all the chocolate and marshmallow excess that goes with it."

    The UK consumes more chocolate per capita than any other European country, and most of it is mostly sugar. Easter weekend sees the highest consumption of the year, natch.

    Except for Girl Scout cookies it is exactly the same here. And Girl Scout cookies have at least the distinction of being a culturally entrenched exercise in civic-mindedness for children, for which there is no equivalent in the UK. The money raised goes to charity.

    Duck goes on to mention Halloween. I also never went trick-or-treating as a child without a Unicef can in one hand. At least in America it's not JUST about the sweets.

    And far from being some sinister freak of nature dreamt up by fat Americans, Peeps are just marshmallows, essentially. They're quite old-fashioned: someone, a long time ago, thought a chick-shaped marshmallow might amuse the kiddies. You can certainly get marshmallows here.

    It strikes me that Cadbury may be doing Britain a favour. Shrinking their (sorry, absolutely vile, sickly-sweet, nauseating, yet somehow universally consumed) eggs could help save the populace from becoming like those fat Americans.

  6. Well call me sugar tits, I made it past comment moderation.

    Can I have a side of fries with my free speech, Daddio?

  7. Comment moderation is only there to protect me from Uk libel laws. It's different in Cleveland I'm sure, my well formed Erin.

  8. Actually, this just comes down to our insane sugar laws.

  9. Cadbury cream eggs were exquisitely easy to steal for children equipped with such an inclination.

  10. Dear Brits,

    Peeps. Suck. Cock.

    You get a package of Peeps and let's face it: the little mothers are cute and you WANT to like them. So you take one and bite its little effing head off, only to find that it's so effing sweet and gooey and horrible that it is in-effing-edible.

    The proper consumption of a Peep consists of putting it in the microwave for a minute, laughing your ass off as it swells to three times its size, then taking it out and letting it deflate into a gooey pile of muck.

    Then you throw it away.

    No one ever finishes a package of Peeps. It's against the effing law.

    I have big tits and I drive a Mini Cooper. Everything I say is right.

    Now eff off.

  11. Strictly speaking, the correct form is not "Now eff off", but "Yours sincerely" if you know the name, and "Yours faithfully" if you're using "Dear Sir".

  12. Dear Brit,

    Thank you and one good turn deserves another, so here's a linguistic fact for you:

    The plural form of clitoris is clitorides. It's pronounced clit-or-i-deez.

    You do have those over there, I'm sure. To your compats who've never been able to find one, that does not mean they don't exist.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mrs. Erin O'Brien

  13. The tone of this place is gone right fucking downhill. And I can't even get onto the other fucking problem diagnose bullshit. So I'm stuck on Fat Yankee Bastards 2, while I of course wish to get to Fat Yankee Bastards 3.