Marshmallow vs. Marshmallow

Here we go. It’s going to be a marshmallow throw down. Two chocolate-covered marshmallows. Both shaped as pumpkins. Russell Stover and Peeps. One will be declared victorious. The other will be shamed in the only way marshmallows can be shamed. By publicly calling them out on the Internet.

On the left side, we have Russell Stover. The first thing that comes to mind is some advice my mother used to always give me. Well, she had lots of advice, like don’t eat egg salads at picnics because they’ve been sitting in the sun. And I extend that to indoor egg salads, too. The egg salad is always the culprit.

The other advice was to never settle for any chocolate less than Russell Stover. The standard of all chocolate. Not even Gourmet Swiss Truffle Balls were good enough. And think about it. Really. Truffles do suck.

So for me, the words Russell Stover spell quality. And they’re written in a faux-cursive, which means it’s fancy. Of course I’m being somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I mean, Russell Stover is just cheap pharmacy store chocolate. I think my mother was scorned by a guy that gave her a box of Whitman’s. Still, I have high expectations for their orange marshmallow pumpkin.

On the right, we have Peeps, another pharmacy candy classic, made by Just Born. Peeps have only just recently gotten into the chocolate game. For years they were known only for those marshmallow chickens in rows of five. The debate over whether Peeps are better stale or fresh is legendary, and for the record, I side with those who favor them stale.

Over the years, Just Born started pumping out ghosts and cats and bunnies to their marshmallow lineup, and this year, they’ve added chocolate-covered marshmallows.

Now let’s have a look at the candy itself:

Russell Stover takes the elegant route. The chocolate is darker in color with a drizzled look. Overall, this guy is a bit heavier and just feels more solid. While the Russell Stover chocolate is hearty, the Peeps chocolate is slightly cracking out of the wrapper.

However, the Peeps pumpkin also wins me over with the cute carved face. The chocolate is greasier and smudges to the touch, which also gets on my fingers.

Going in, I knew that the Russell Stover pumpkin had an orange marshmallow inside, as advertised on the packaging. So when I sliced open the Peeps chocolate, I was surprised to find orange marshmallow inside of it as well.

As far as taste, the Russell Stover is a richer, velvety chocolate. The orange marshmallow is orange flavored. I’m a big fan of the orange/chocolate combo, and this is great.

For the Peeps, the chocolate is good, but somewhat tasteless compared to the Russell Stover chocolate. It’s clearly acting as a shell for the marshmallow, which is the main show here. This one is regular-flavored, but the texture is fluffy and airy. And as you can see in the second photo, the marshmallow is glistening, moist, and spongy. And if I was describing a Kleenex tissue using those words, it would be horrible.

Someone once asked me if I thought it was grosser to describe a tissue using the words “used” or “moist.” I’m not sure why they were thinking about it. Perhaps they were pondering Mark Twain’s quote, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

But it was one of those questions that just stuck in my head. Moist or used? A few years ago, I had the opportunity to put that question to the test.

I was riding the metro in DC to an evening class. It was winter and I was underground. The changes in pressure and temperature were affecting my sinuses. Sitting there on the train, I felt a faint drip. So I started sniffling. But it was getting worse and starting to run. Without tissues, I had no choice but to be completely disgusting and use the back my hand, which was freezing and felt like a chapped claw. That’s when I saw. A streak of blood.

I frantically asked if anyone had a tissue. A few people started digging, producing nothing. It was only getting a worse, a river gushing from my nose. Finally a man found a crumpled tissue…in his coat pocket. I didn’t have a choice. I’m telling you, I didn’t have a choice. It looked used, but not moist. And at that moment, I decided that moist would have definitely been worse.

You thought you were reading about pumpkin marshmallows and ended up reading a gross story about a nosebleed. Whoa. That glistening orange Peeps marshmallow gave me some PTSD flashbacks or something. But I think you have learned a lot from my blog today.

Let’s recap.

1. Avoid the egg salad.
2. Go with the Russell Stover. It’s better.
3. Take tissues.

16 thoughts on “Marshmallow vs. Marshmallow

  1. I agree, the Russel Stover version is superior. I first noticed the Peeps chocolate covered marshmallows at Easter. Then they were shaped like the chick Peep.

  2. i also favor the stale peep, and the orange-chocolate combo, so i’m inclined to go with your advice here! went looking for blood orange bat DOTS today on your recommendation but our local target was lacking. did you find yourself the pumpkin pie pop tarts yet?

    1. yeah I saw that… since 1993, but in the 80s they were different. like otter pops and flavor ice. and a lot of other things. it would be interesting to make a list.

  3. I’m glad the Peeps version lost. Teach them a lesson. Peeps should stick to making chick-shaped Peeps. In YELLOW. Damn these newfangled variations on things that were perfectly good the way they were. And Whitman’s is made by Russell Stover! What is the world coming to?

  4. In my house, Russel Stover was crap. Whitmans was the one to go for, at the very least.

    But then again, there’s a candy store about 10 minutes away that makes their own chocolates, so I mean.. it’s really no contest.

  5. Without a doubt “moist” tissues are grosser than “used.” Much more descriptive. Your DC Metro story shall forever end any debate to the contrary.

  6. The Russell Stover chocolate covered orange marshmallows are awesome! And while I’m not a fan of Peeps, I have to give them points for the pumpkin face on the chocolate. While we’re on the subject of Peeps…Did you see the Halloween peeps they have? I was at The Christmas Tree Shop this weekend, and they had a few different ones. I believe they are hot cocoa flavored.

  7. Speaking strictly onomatopoeically, moist is definitely worse than used. Moist joins the ranks of such unpleasant words as pus and uvula. Just say it. Mooooiiiisssst.

  8. Possibly your best overall Halloween-time post, I do not know how you could do better than this one. Great on the triangle-eyed face of it and with your own personal yet public bloodbath…

    I am damn impressed.

    Seasons greetings!

    1. ha. thanks. and my girlfriend told me not to post the nosebleed story because it would gross people out. but I let my inner “artist” lead the way. art must not be censored.

  9. It is true that *real* art is ALIVE.

    And possibly squirming with red blood cells – I’ll try to remember to ask someone in NYC about that… [grin]

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