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Volume II
June 30, 2006

Mayonnaise vs. Miracle Whip

I love Miracle Whip! However, when I use it to make egg salad, it turns to soup within 24 hours. Is there a chemical reaction between the two? I usually make the egg salad with drained, chopped green olives/pimentos. Would this happen if I used mayonnaise instead? If I add a little apple cider vinegar to mayonnaise, would the same chemical interaction occur? If you cannot help me in this, Please direct me to someone who will.

Thanks - Cathryn

Hello Cathryn, 

I apologize for the delay in getting to your questions. I hope you'll find the following articles helpful. Meanwhile, you might just want to try some science projects--add vinegar to your egg salad and see what happens. Usually these mayonnaise type foods are emulsified --a whirling of the acid/liquid and the fat to make a thick sauce. Adding vinegar or the acid from your olives/pimentos may be breaking down the bonds that emulsify the sauce together. Just a hunch--don't quote me. ;-)

Good luck - Desi @ DVO

Mayonnaise vs. Miracle Whip

James Bond eats his lobster "with a good mayonnaise." (The book version of James Bond, that is.) If you've got a blender or a wire whisk w/strong arm, it's not hard to make your own. A good, homemade mayonnaise is truly worthy to dress lobster, or any other prime seafood or meat.

I'll give a recipe later on, but meanwhile let's talk about the eternal clash between mayonnaise and Miracle Whip.

Many people mistakenly believe they are the same thing. They are not. Bargain brands of either are also quite different than the original. The closest to homemade mayonnaise is Best Foods / Hellman's, and the next best is Kraft. Other brands differ widely in taste and texture. The cheaper you go, the farther you get from the taste of actual mayonnaise, which should be fluffy, eggy, and without noticeable vinegar. That's because you really do need to break some eggs to make real mayo, and the lesser varieties tend to have less egg, and cheaper oils.

Miracle Whip is a unique product. It does seem to start out much like mayonnaise, but has additional sugar and vinegar, which defines it as a salad dressing. (mayo has no sugar, or a tiny amount) I've tried and failed to duplicate it my own kitchen.

I have learned to make a lot of name-brand things at home for less money. Stay tuned!

Sometimes you don't have the room or the budget for two big jars of stuff, since the quart jar of either is the best value for a small family. One thing you can do, if you happen to prefer Kraft mayonnaise over Hellman's, is to add half a cup of sugar to a cup of Kraft mayo, and let it sit on your counter long enough to come to room temperature. This is close to Miracle Whip, the closest you can get without buying the original.

A friend of mine used to use equal parts of mayo and Miracle Whip in her potato salad and/or coleslaw, to "slow down" the vinegar. This is another thing that only works with Kraft products. Oddly enough, if you try this with Hellman's, the two dressings cancel each other out and you end up with a tasteless blob.

The purposes of Miracle Whip are limited to "common" things like bologna salad, potato salad, tuna. Please don't try to dress a lobster or prime rib with it! It is excellent for its own purpose.

I quite literally had never had mayonnaise until I married and moved away from home. My mother preferred Miracle Whip over mayonnaise, and so that's what we had. As a newly-married couple, Paul and I enjoyed entertaining and one time we invited my co-worker Bob and his wife over to have a "horses doovers cook-off." Wendy brought a simple mayo-based item, and I was in love with mayo forever. All it was, that tiny rye bread you can get at the grocery store, spread with mayo, topped with a slice of onion and sprinkled with parmesan cheese out of the can. She put it under the broiler for a minute or two. After I tasted it, I actually said, "Wow! This is mayonnaise?"

So here's the recipe for basic mayonnaise:

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Cold eggs won't do the deal.

  • 1 egg + 1 yolk (give the white to the dog ;>)
  • 1 cup corn oil or olive oil.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 tsp powdered mustard.
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice.

Put everything but the oil in the blender. Whizz it all up for a minute. Then add the oil in a continuous stream until you can see the blender's not mixing anymore.

It's the same thing for "The Armstrong Method." Just plan on a good twenty minutes to accomplish it.

Email your thoughts to us. Tell us about you and your family, and send us a picture. We'd love to hear from you...and who knows...perhaps you will be the star of the next newsletter!

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