The very first time it dawned on me there were two different camps seeing mayonnaise was one day at a restaurant. I was having lunch with a great friend, and she had been interrogating the waitress about the chicken salad , asking her,”This does not have some of the dreadful Miracle Whip, does it?” My friend seemed relieved and ordered it, but I purchased something else.
I acknowledge I come by it honestly. I was raised in a Miracle Whip home, and that I inherited my mother’s dislike for mayonnaise. early. To this day, I buy just MW and so does my sister. However, mayo holds top honors in the condiment world, at least in the U.S., tied only with ketchup in popularity, and a must-have millions of sandwiches daily, in addition to in salads and sauces. Some fanatics even place it on french fries.
As a child, I often asked my mom why some sandwiches or salads tasted”gross” before I knew that MW had a distinctly different taste than traditional mayo, which, in my opinion, has no taste in any way. When it finally clicked in my mind, and I knew the difference, it was MW all the way from then on.
But let us travel back in time to find out about mayo, and the French fire that began it all. While the Duke was defeating the British at Port Mahon in Menorca, Spain, his chef was whipping up a unique victory feast that included a special sauce made with cream and eggs, staples of French cuisine. Some food historians insist that the Spanish pioneered the wealthy spread, but it appears more probable that the French did the honors. Word of mouth (and taste buds) traveled across the pond, and Americans quickly adopted the creamy insanity. Many residents of French tradition, and of course chefs looking for new frontiers, introduced it in nyc, and we understand that by 1838, the favorite restaurant Delmonico’s in Manhattan offered mayonnaise in many different dishes.
Soon chefs were dreaming up different ways to utilize the popular spread, especially in salads. In 1896, the famed Waldorf salad, made its debut to rave reviews at a charity ball at the Waldorf Hotel, chock full of apple bits, celery, walnuts and grapes, all held together by that creamy mayo, and diners could not get enough.
As refrigeration blossomed at the turn of this century, hundreds of food manufacturers raced to receive their version of mayo in the stores. 1 such maker was Hellmann’s, a nyc brand that designed wide mouth jars which could accommodate large spoons and scoops, and they soon started to dominate the industry. Mayonnaise, which had heretofore been considered a luxury, was quickly becoming a household staple and taking its place in the dinner tables in millions of homes. Many professional chefs and homemakers created their own versions, but jars of their favorite condiment were featured prominently on grocery store shelves.
Input Miracle Whip, created in 1933 from the Chicago-based Kraft Foods Company.
So whether you’re a straight mayonnaise user, a renegade Miracle Whip aficionado, or you’re frequently heard to say”hold the mayo”, there is no getting around this exceptionally popular condiment, and we can thank the French gourmands once more for this creation.