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Friday, March 4, 2011

Today In The Frig ...

I bought some pepper turkey at my favorite deli … sliced extra thick … as well as some mild Swiss cheese, crisp lettuce, and a luscious tomato. I was going to build the perfect sandwich. So I was just short of insane when I discovered that my jar of Miracle Whip was empty. I mean like “rattle, rattle” empty.

I was raised on Miracle Whip. There was no debate or battle to choose sides in my house. Miracle Whip was used on sandwiches and burgers and in yummy pasta and potato salads. I remember being about 7 and having lunch at a neighbor kid’s house. His Mom had made tuna salad for sandwiches and, as was their family custom, used Hellmann’s … Miracle Whip’s top competitor. After that first bite, I wanted to ask my pal’s Mom if she had substituted rat for tuna. It tasted disgusting. So in my world, the fight of Miracle Whip vs. Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise … the “real” standing for “really awful” … was simply good vs. bad. Actually, good vs. evil!

In 1933, Kraft Foods launched its Miracle Whip product at the Chicago World’s Fair. The company claims that the product was an in-house development, but some attribute this creamy condiment to a man named Max Crosset who created a vibrant salad dressing in 1931 which he later sold to Kraft. Regardless of its origins, Miracle Whip sits on grocery shelves everywhere and on refrigerator shelves in millions of homes.

Miracle Whip … supposedly named for the “whip” apparatus developed to mix the product into a proper consistency … is defined as a salad dressing and sandwich spread, but it has become interchangeable with mayonnaise as a condiment and cooking ingredient in salads, dips, and more. Like mayonnaise, Miracle Whip embraces the simplicity of the recipe … eggs, oil, salt, mustard, and vinegar or lemon juice. But Miracle Whip doesn’t stop at standard … it truly delivers a “zip” with higher levels of vinegar, sugar (a supposed no-no for “true” mayo), garlic, paprika, and other palette-pleasing spices. It’s bold! It’s zesty! It’s sweet! It’s oh-so creamy! And it has HALF THE FAT of traditional mayonnaise!!

But what has been catching my eye lately is the hilarious advertising campaign that highlights the “feelings” of both fans and detractors of Miracle Whip. One advocate says “Miracle Whip is America!” Another believes that MW may be “the greatest thing since toilet paper.” But on the antis’ side, one woman rates Miracle Whip’s taste on a 1-10 “bad scale” at 26! And one unhappy man describes the eggy emulsion as “spreadable disappointment.”

POINT OF RANT: Regardless of where you stand on the MW vs. Hellmann’s debate, you will love this vid of a commercial currently airing.

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