Okay, Miracle Whip is tangier and has a slightly thinner consistency, but what else?
Let me start off by saying that, although I used to not be a fan of mayonnaise, I am now fully among the mayo camp. Furthermore, it has to be Hellmann’s – this is one grocery store item I do not swap out for the cheaper generic brand. Miracle Whip, on the other hand, is only made by Kraft.
For years I only put Ranch or mustard on my sandwiches, but slowly I got back into mayonnaise and have come to appreciate its classic simplicity. Miracle Whip, I’ve never really liked – and yes, I’ve tried it, which I feel the need to mention because Miracle Whip advocates claim that people say they hate the product without ever having eaten it.
In short, Miracle Whip contains the same ingredients as mayonnaise – eggs, soybean oil, vinegar – except there are more spices and additional ingredients added. Consequently, Miracle Whip is described as being sweeter, spicier, and tangier than mayonnaise.
Now, let us take a look at the history, definitions, recipes, and nutritional value of the two.
Mayonnaise originated in Philadelphia in 1907; Miracle Whip made its debut in 1933 at the Chicago’s World Fair. The Depression was going on at the time, and Miracle Whip was a cheaper alternative to mayonnaise. However, now Miracle Whip has “caught up” and the two are basically the same price.
There has been a debate for many decades now between the two products. Mike Redmond wrote a recent, humorous piece for CurrentInCarmel.com on the great debate, and he says, “When it comes to the white stuff people put on their bologna sandwiches and in their potato salads, people act like there is religion involved.”
Side note: Speaking of potato salad, be careful before substituting Miracle Whip for mayonnaise in a recipe – it can certainly be done, but you have to take into consideration the additional ingredients in the Miracle Whip that you may not want duplicated or clashing with the ingredients of the recipe.
According to RealSimple.com, the USDA requires anything labeled mayonnaise must contain a minimum of 65% vegetable oil by weight.
Dictionary.com defines mayonnaise as, “A thick dressing of egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, used for salads, sandwiches, vegetable dishes, etc.”
Hellmann’s defines their mayonnaise as follows: “America’s #1 mayonnaise is made with real, simple ingredients: eggs, oil, and vinegar. Hellmann’s is also committed to using certified cage-free eggs in our products.” They call their original mayonnaise “real mayonnaise” among their other options – light, with olive oil, etc.
Miracle Whip, as a brand name, is not listed in the dictionary. On Kraft’s website, they simply say about Miracle Whip that it’s “on a mission to open a million mouths.” Their Facebook page says, “We’re a creamy blend of sweet and tangy that some people say they don’t like without having tried it.”
When searching for a classic, traditional, mayonnaise recipe, although there are many, I found that it really is all about the pure simplicity – they all basically have the same ingredients. However, many recipes I found such as this one list vegetable or canola oil for the main base, when Hellmann’s uses soybean oil.
You may have noticed in my own recipes here I do not typically specify what type of oil to use, because different oils can be used interchangeably so often. However, supposedly vegetable or canola oil are of a higher quality than soybean oil. Hmm. Perhaps I have found my next Difference Between post! I digress.
Mayonnaise can be made up of eggs, Dijon mustard, oil of some kind, and either white wine vinegar or lemon juice.
As with mayo, I found a lot of different copycat recipes for Miracle Whip. Most seem to contain sugar, paprika, and garlic powder, in addition to the aforementioned mayonnaise ingredients.
InfoBarrel.com provides us with the nutritional differences between the two, which seem to be few and far between: mayonnaise has more calories and fat; Miracle Whip has more sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates (mayonnaise has zero carbs).
In conclusion, although Miracle Whip is arguably more flavorful than mayonnaise, in my own opinion, it can’t hold a candle to its traditional counterpart. There is something to be said about using a few super simple high quality ingredients over choosing something with more “stuff” in it.
Therefore, I would be inclined to believe that mayonnaise “goes” better with more sandwiches and additional dishes than Miracle Whip does. Because Miracle Whip has that sharper taste than mayonnaise, I would recommend being careful substituting one for the other, although again, it can be done.
As the aforementioned Mike Redmond said when it comes to which to put on a bologna sandwich, “the disagreement diverts us from serious questions, such as, Should we be eating this stuff in the first place? and Have you ever seen what goes into bologna?”