Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip often get used interchangeably, but even though they look quite similar, they are NOT the same. They use a lot of the same ingredients, but they taste incredibly different from each other. You could even say that one of the condiments, in particular, is far superior to the other (more on that later). Before we get into the major differences and similarities of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip, let's learn more about each product, individually.
Mayonnaise, often referred to as mayo, is a thick cold spread that can be used in composed salads or as a condiment on sandwiches. There's some dispute about mayonnaise's actual origin story: some believe it was invented by the French as a sauce involving velouté, gelatin, vinegar, and an optional egg. Others insist that it was invented in Menorca, Spain while it was under French control. Regardless of where it came from, these days, mayonnaise is made by whisking together these basic ingredients: oil, egg yolks, and either vinegar or lemon juice.
Mayonnaise can be found in cultures and cuisine all over the world, including the United States, Japan, Russia, Chile, and France. Americans spend over $2 billion dollars on mayonnaise every year, making it the country's most popular condiment with Hellmann's accounting for a large chunk of those sales.
Compared to Miracle Whip, mayonnaise is high in fat and calories. However, it contains less ingredients and additives. The following lists the nutrition and ingredients for 1 tablespoon of Hellmann's mayonnaise.
Unlike Miracle Whip, there a different brands of mayonnaise you can buy at the store. Though there is a lot to choose from, these brands are great for any of your mayo needs.
In the 1920s, Kraft Foods, the inventor of Miracle Whip, decided to tap into the mayonnaise market after finding success in the cheese business. They purchased a handful of mayonnaise manufacturers and started selling mayo with their label and found some success. Then, the Great Depression hit and American families started making their own mayonnaise at home to save money. Rather than accept their losses, Kraft decided to make a new product that would be similar enough to mayonnaise to utilize their pre-existing resources, but different enough to keep buying their products. The final result was Miracle Whip, which was first introduced by at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 as a cheaper alternative to mayonnaise.
Miracle Whip quickly became a hit in households across America and started to outsell competing mayonnaise brands. Though most people believe that mayonnaise is far superior than Miracle Whip (I am one of these people), Miracle Whip still has quite the fan base (especially in the Midwest) and is still one of the top-selling brands in the grocery industry today.
Compared to mayonnaise, Miracle Whip is low in fat and calories. However, it contains more ingredients and additives. The following lists the nutrients for 1 tablespoon of Miracle Whip.
It's understandable why some folks may use mayonnaise and Miracle Whip interchangeably. Appearance-wise, they are very similar products. They are both white and creamy and come in similar packaging. Mayo and Miracle Whip contain a lot of the same ingredients like oil, egg, an acid, like vinegar or lemon juice. However, that's about where the similarities between the two products end. Miracle Whip contains a lot more added ingredients like water, sugar, and spices, which make its flavor noticeably more tangy, sweet, and spicy. Miracle Whip also contains much less oil than mayonnaise, which is why it is less expensive to produce and has less fat and calories than Mayonnaise.
Miracle Whip's lack of oil also marks a key difference in the products' labeling. No matter what the brand is, mayonnaise is labeled as mayonnaise and can also be labeled as a spread, sauce, dressing, or condiment. Miracle Whip, on the other hand, is labeled as a salad dressing because, in order to be classified as a mayonnaise, it must be at least 65% vegetable oil by weight, which it is not.
At the end of the day, it's only up to you to decide if you prefer mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. If you’re looking for a condiment that will add a creamy and tangy compliment to your sandwiches and recipes without being too overpowering, mayonnaise is your best bet. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind the added sugar and spice, go for Miracle Whip.