HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Mayo Fear vs. Salad Dressing (Miracle Whip)

  • a

What fun reading this huge thread. I myself like Mayo, of course it really should be Hellmans full fat version or homemade for my tastebuds. The thing I hate is Salad Dressing, you know the Miracle Whip stuff. Yuck what is it about this that tastes nothing like Mayo! I think it tastes kinda chemically. I can't stand it, a sorry substitute for real Mayo. I've often been surprised by a deviled egg or potato salad made with this dreck, and not in a good way. Am I the only one?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I never had it until I moved to CHicago for about 5 years. I would more often get miracle whip (a miracle anyone eats it!) than mayo and, believe me, I would SPECIFICALLY ASK FOR MAYO!!! I would return the sandwich and ask for another and if they didn't have mayo, I would have another condiment or change my sandwich to something I like without mayo on it.

    Miracle Whip (and all 'salad dressing' stuff) is ridiculously sweet and nasty. Of course, I have a friend (from the midwest) who loves the stuff and eats it by the spoonful (when no one is looking!). YUCK! Like him anyway, though...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jill-O

      Down here in the south, people seen to have pretty sweet teeth. Since Miracle Whip has tons of sugar in it, it tends to be popular. I always hated my Mom's sandwiches but never knew why, until I tasted Hellman's. Sorry, Mom. Miracle Whip is just plain yucky. Ought to be banned.

        1. re: Greg Spence

          lol Speak for yourself. I live in Louisiana and we'll stomach it if we get it by mistake, but everyone I know likes real mayo best. What drives me up the wall is it's not always that clearly labeled, it'll say "dressing" REALLY small and my husband accidentally picks it up thinking it's mayo. Then we opened it and had some on a sandwhich and UGH! Not mayo at all!

      1. I'd like to cast a dissenting vote and express my fondness for Miracle Whip. I like it a lot. It is not supposed to taste the same as mayo, so I can see why it is a shock to some people when they get it on their sandwiches, but I really like the flavor it gives to salty or dense foods like bacon or cheddar cheese in sandwiches.

        I tend to like my foods sweeter, so I prefer MW or Cains mayo over Hellmans, though I like all mayos.

        One of the best sandwiches I ever had - stop making that face! - was a cucumber and plum tomato sandwich on fresh-out-of-the-oven white bread with miracle whip.

        3 Replies
        1. re: fladd

          I'm with you, John! While I generally use mayo (the sacred brand Hellman's at our house), I think a BLT is best with Miracle Whip. You hit it that that touch of sweetness combines well with the saltiness of the bacon. Spread on Pepperidge Farm toasted thin white sandwich bread, add the BL&T and I go to town!

          1. re: fladd

            Im with you. I grew up in a Miracle Whip home, in Ohio. That is just what we used to make BLTs, egg or tuna salad, etc. etc. Im not a big mayo user at all but Miracle Whip tastes just fine to me and is what I reach for when I make that type of item. In my home, unlike the typical NYers (who seem to be purists in these items), the egg or tuna salad is typically flavored up with mustard, chives, olives, parsley, dill, whatever, which dilutes down the mayo flavor anyway. American-style potato salad (also highly seasoned) is another place where MW works fine. In that case, eggs, onion maybe sweet pickle relish, paprika, french dressing, you name it are being added and there is a lot of tasting goes on - the "mayo" component is highly flexible.

            Obviously there may be dishes where the flavor of the mayo should be truer or where the sweetness is undesirable. In that case, Hellmans, which demonstrably is closer in flavor to homemade would be a better choice.

            But frankly, the "Hellmans Light" which someone advocated isnt all that different from Miracle Whip (which was developed as a lighter substitute for mayo in the first place.) Its regional brand preference which is working in this last case, I think!

            1. re: fladd

              Have you ever had a peanut butter, miracle whip, and dill pickle sandwich? Its actually really good.

            2. I love Hellman's and my wife prefers Miracle Whip, I HATE Mircale Whip, it is too sweet...

              1. I've lately been seeing a set of commercials for Miracle whip that seems to be trying to recast the product as hip and edgy. It's amazingly bad marketing.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Scrapironchef

                  Here on the West Coast it's Best Foods, not Hellman's, and I confess to liking Miracle Whip on two things only: BLTs and turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving. MW on one slice of bread and BF on the other. A holdover from my youth.

                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                    I've seen those ads and you are 100% correct.
                    Gives me the skeevies just to see the ad, let alone taste the MW

                    1. re: Scrapironchef

                      Have you seen Stephen Colbert's response to those "hip" Miracle Whip commercials? Hilarious!


                    2. I live in a divided house....My DH loves Miracle Whip and I prefer Mayo.....which is interesting because he isn't a big sweet eater and I find that MW has a sweeter taste while Mayo has an eggier taste just like Mayo should.

                      1. I was raised on MW and never tasted mayonnaise until my early 20s. It was either tuna or egg salad and it was a revelation. Never went back.

                        Now I just can't stand the sweet taste of MW; it is absolutely unpleasant. When I get a bite of deviled egg or potato salad, as you said, made with this dreck ~~ I have to spit it out.

                        1. What? No Hellman's nose holders yet? I give it a few minutes - then there will be those who will poopoo it for its sugar content and artificialness. Me? I love Hellmans. I think it is among the best commercially available mayos. I think it is the same as Best Foods. Anyone know?

                          Once in a while I make my own mayo - like if I am looking to use eggs or am out of jarred mayo. It is better, but not appreciably.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                            I agree. Live in California and it is Best Foods. (known as Hellman's east of the Rockies)

                            I have tried other mayos and homemade and Best Foods is still my fave. I had been told that once I had homemade, I would never want jarred again, and I agree that it is better, but not that much better.

                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                              Hellman's and Best Foods are the same: Hellman's in the eastern US and Best Foods in the western US. Definately top notch.

                              1. re: TomSwift

                                When I was living in Albuquerque, I could buy both Hellmann's and Best Foods depending on whether the supermarket's distribution center was east of the mountains or west.

                                1. re: TomSwift

                                  IIRC, there is a slight difference in formulation between Hellman's and BF mayos.

                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      The Best Foods website used to say there was a slight difference, but it currently says they are the same product with the same taste. So apparently there is no longer any difference.

                                2. I dunno, there's a couple of mashed potato type potato salads that I really like Miracle Whip in, stuff like beet and mustard salads, where I guess the sugar fits in well. The exception is when anyone tries to pass off the half-fat or worse, non-fat varieties of it.

                                  Definitely no MW on my sandwiches though. I love me some Hellmans.

                                  1. I'm definitely a Best Foods California chowhound . . . BUT, my Dad makes a fruit salad with Miracle Whip, whipped cream and of all things, marshmallows that looks bad, sounds bad, but tastes AMAZING. It's a family tradition and present on the table at holiday meals.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: vday

                                      Wait so Hellmans Light really tastes like Miracle Whip?? JW, I might need to return some I have in my Fridge. Eeek. Eeeek

                                    2. "dreck"..rolled my eyes at that a few times.
                                      People can be so overdramatic..with the spittting out of the offending food.et al.
                                      Wow..just stick to your mayo.
                                      Sounds like you work for Hellman's, or you root for them like a rabid sports fan.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: rochfood

                                        "People can be so overdramatic..with the spittting out of the offending food.et al."

                                        The spitting out is done in an undramatic non-offensive manner (unlike your post) to the best of my ability

                                        1. re: laliz

                                          yeah i have to agree a little with rochfood. I can understand if you have an allergy or are vegetarian and realize there are peanuts or meat in a dish and spitting it out, but miracle whip ? sounds a tad pretentious. People see you with your napkin.

                                          1. re: laliz

                                            And I have to agree with laliz . . . no need to make offensive personal comments (judgments, directives . . .) just because you happen to disagree

                                            1. re: laliz

                                              I don't want to hear about your spitting out food. That grosses me out and offends me. Just say you didn't like it.

                                          2. I agree. Hellmann's is the one and only. I have taste-tested it in groups against Kraft and Duke's and the H wins every time. Salad dressing is a reduced fat, sugary, vinegary mayo.

                                            You are not alone.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: CDouglas

                                              Where are these group taste-testing data published?

                                            2. Another divided house. I am a devoted Miracle Whip lover. Hubby likes Hellmans. I like Miracle Whip because it is tangy. I don't like mayonnaise as much because I like tangy. It depends on what I am making what I use. I think the tangyness balances well with the protein and other flavors. Mayo I don't like the texture of as much, to me it is greasier on the tongue and when you put it on a sandwich I can't taste it as much. But it's what I grew up with.

                                              1. miracle whip has mustard and more sugar cf. with mayo.

                                                growing up, my oldest sister was already married and out of the house. over at her house, she used to make a salad which i'll still crave every now and then: chopped tomatoes (good, fresh florida tomatoes -- in florida!) and chopped iceberg lettuce, and miracle whip blended in to very lightly coat the veggies. salt & pepper. the tomato juice thins it out, and the combination is savory, good stuff. one can also put this on a slice of wonderbread, and fold over the sandwich. watch out for dripping juice! stand over the sink to eat! ;-).

                                                now, i'm thinking that a thinly chopped vidalia would be a real nice addition to this! maybe some bacon if i'm being extravagant.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  You actualy had me until yu hit the bacon- MW and bacon in any combination sounds wrong to my palate (but go ahead and knock yourself out- you know what you're talking about!)

                                                2. I grew up with Miracle Whip. When my mother divorced my father and married my stepfather, I moved in with them. My stepfather's family used Hellman's mayo. Mom used to buy Miracle Whip for both of us, but they ran out one time, and eventually, I switched over to mayo. Haven't bought MW since then (25+ years).

                                                  Same thing with margarine & butter. Mom bought margarine through the 60s and early 70s; stepfather's family was a butter family, and eventually I switched. I now LOVE butter (especially European butters).

                                                  My stepfather was a smart man. ;-)

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    I think it is truely a matter of where you grew up, in the midwest, MW all the way, east coast Hellman's rule. I grew up in the midwest thinking of Mirical Whip as mayo, wasn't until I moved to the east coast that I realized there was a difference. Now I am pretty much a Hellman's girl, except when at Thanksgiving. Leftover turkey sandwiches with Mirical whip and a touch of salt are really, really good. The one midwestern trait I cannot shake is unsweetened iced tea, something so simple yet not so easy to find here on the east coast!

                                                    1. re: shorebilly

                                                      Ahhh, but I grew up in northern New Jersey! So I'm not sure where the Miracle Whip thing came into being, unless they marketed themselves as lighter in calories than mayo back then.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        I grew up in No. Jersey, also, on Miracle Whip. When I got married, the fridge had
                                                        MW for me and Hellman's for my husband until I realized his was the better choice.

                                                        Now I also have a place just south of the Mason-Dixon line where I discovered Duke's
                                                        which I find superior to either. Of course, it's not really a fair comparison because
                                                        I use the full fat Duke's which is all I've been able to find as opposed to "light"
                                                        Hellman's. I keep them both on had now - don't mind the Hellman's on most
                                                        sandwiches or in something like Thousand Island Dressing, but if I'm savoring a
                                                        succulent late summer tomato, I'll go for the Duke's which is pricier.

                                                  2. When my current wife and I first sarted talking about moving in together, I actually asked her this question. LUCKILY she said that she has never even TASTED MW before! I was relieved and told her so because Miracle Whip is not even ALLOWED in my kitchen!

                                                    1. If you never tasted Duke's or Japan's Kewpie you have never tasted Mayo.

                                                      1. You're not the only one, i'm right there beside you.