I have a friend named Bert Neville—yes, just like Wil Smith’s character in “Legend”, except I am pretty sure my Bert has never had to battle weird zombie-vampire creatures. Except for, he’ll tell you, when he debates with Democrats.
Anywho, Bert is older and wiser than I. Since we share some very similar belief systems, and since he is very diplomatic even we don’t, I have always respected Bert’s opinion. Except on Miracle Whip. Bert love’s Miracle Whip, and has described it as one of life’s simple pleasures, especially when spread on bread with some turkey.
I, on the other hand, do not understand why the whip is miraculous. And although Miracle Whip is supposed to be revered in Southern households, and despite the fact that I hold fiercely to Southern customs, I just can’t seem to embrace Miracle Whip. Seems to me that somebody ruined a perfectly good jar of mayonnaise.
Maybe that’s my whole problem with it. It is packaged like, and marketed as an alternative to, mayonnaise, but is really something else altogether. I like mustard, and I love Durkee Sandwich Sauce. But they don’t look like mayonnaise, and they have their own shelf. So there you have it—I guess I hate Miracle Whip because of Kraft’s marketing strategy. Marketing FAIL!
Case in point: I had given a recipe to a friend of mine for this fierce corn dip that I make. I got a text from her while she was at the store that said “what kind of mayonnaise?”
I responded “Hellman’s, Duke’s…whatever your favorite brand is…”
When she asked me “what about Miracle Whip?, I nearly passed out.
“NOOOOO. Miracle Whip isn’t mayonnaise…You need real mayonnaise.”
Just the thought of my corn dip made with Miracle Whip made my brain bleed a little bit.
Kraft introduced this lower cost alternative to mayonnaise during the 1933 World’s Fair, and it was an instant success. Combing the elements of mayonnaise with elements of a salad dressing, they were able to make a sandwich spread/dressing that looks and acts like mayonnaise, but has much more sweet and tangy zing to it. It is labeled as salad dressing, although I wouldn’t use it that way either. Kraft describes it as “sorta-kinda-not-really-like-mayo, but multiplied by awesomeness”. As a side note…The name Miracle Whip was the nick name given to the machine that was used to emulsify the product, and ensure it stayed nicely whipped. It stuck as the product name as well.
So, I decided that in order to figure out if I really like Miracle Whip, as its own unique and special being, I needed to let go of any mental and marketing tendency to lump it together with mayonnaise. Because in the mayo y mayo battle with mayonnaise, mayonnaise wins. I needed to try Miracle Whip in a way that I have not used mayonnaise.
Try these….The extra sweet, tangy, and kicked up flavors of Miracle Whip added flavor that mayonnaise alone would not have offered. I am not saying that I wouldn’t still prefer mayonnaise, though. I guess there’s a little Yankee lurking in me somewhere….
Cracked Pepper Smoked Turkey Breast
- 1 boneless turkey breast (4-5 pounds)
- 1 cup Miracle Whip
- ½ cup coarsely ground black pepper
Rub the Miracle Whip evenly over the turkey breast, on all sides. Use your (clean) hands—they are the best kitchen tool you own. Evenly sprinkle the pepper all over the turkey. Place in a smoker, or on the cool side of a lit BBQ pit, where the temp will be about 220*. Smoke for 4 hours. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, and then slice against the grain.
Serve with traditional BBQ sides, or as a sandwich.
Ham and Eggs Salad
As it turns out, Miracle Whip makes a decent ham salad. With its inherent tanginess, no pickle relish is needed, so this comes together super quick and simple.
- 1 pound left-over baked ham
- 4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
- ½ cup Miracle Whip
- 1 small (2 inch) onion
- 2 t ground black pepper
Put ham and onion in a food processor, and pulse until minced. Add Miracle Whip and pepper, and pulse a few times to mix. Fold in eggs. Add more Miracle Whip if necessary for desired consistency. Serve with crackers, rolls, or as a sandwich spread.
Okay, I lied….I have made macaroni salad with mayonnaise before. But I figured it’s tanginess might work well with pasta salad, if I omitted the chopped pickle I might otherwise add.
- 1 pound elbow, bow tie, or other small pasta
- 1 large bell pepper, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup Miracle Whip
- 2 t ground black pepper
- 1 t salt
- ¼ cup milk
Cook and drain pasta according to package directions. Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss pasta into mixture, and chill for several hours before serving.