100 Words On: Why Miracle Whip Doesn’t Belong on a Tuna Sandwich

While most folks consider mayonnaise to be a condiment, any half-way decent chef will tell you that, technically, it’s a sauce. Beautiful in its simplicity, mayo is nothing more than egg yolks, oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. That’s it. On the other hand, Miracle Whip — mayo’s cheaper cousin — adds vinegar and sweeteners to the recipe, which gives it a provocatively different flavor that doesn’t come close to real mayonnaise.

The bottom line: Whether you like the stuff or not, Miracle Whip is not mayonnaise — and that’s why a proper tuna sandwich is never made with it. Ever.

Photo Credit: Photo Monkey


  1. 1

    Tom says

    Great post. I can’t stand Miracle Whip. Check that. I hate it. What I’d like to know is how could there even be a market for MW? Do that many people actually like it?

    • 3

      John says

      i absolutely Love the Tangy taste of Miracle Whip it was always my go to condiment BUT Sadly I had to stop using it once it was poisoned with High Fructose Corn syrup

  2. 6

    BC says

    Now you’re treading on thin ice. Having been a MW man my whole life, I’m finally finding a topic to disagree with you on…

  3. 14


    Oh my gosh Len, I feel the complete opposite of you. I feel tuna or potato salad that is not laced with Miracle Whip is not worth the calories it is made of. I need that zing!! Bring on the sweeteners and vinegar!

    • 15

      Len Penzo says

      Knowing that you’re from the Midwest, I’m not surprised, Kris. My folks were from Ohio and so when I was a kid they used Miracle Whip too — at least for a little while. Somewhere down the road they switched over to real mayo.

      Is it just me, or is Miracle Whip very popular in the Midwest?

  4. 22

    monica says

    This post cracked me up! The age old battle..MW vs. Mayo. I grew up in western PA, we were a miracle whip family. I live in OH now and still prefer the tangy taste of MW. Mayo is tasteless to me. Even the way it is in the jar, all blubbery and fatty looking. YUCK!!
    A few years back I found a recipe for a macaroni salad that uses half MW and half mayo and a bit of dill pickle juice for the dressing. It’s awesome…try it some day.

    • 23

      Len Penzo says

      Um, I think I’ll pass on your macaroni salad, monica — but thank you. You know, I never thought of mayo as being “blubbery” but, now that you mention it, I think you may be right. LOL!

      So put me down as a proponent of blubbery tuna fish sandwiches! :-)

      Now can you tell me why you folks from the Midwest love Miracle Whip so much?

      • 24

        Ken says

        I’m from Missouri and we grew up as a MW household. Now that I live in Georgia I still use MW. I guess MW really is a mid west thing because everybody down here uses mayonnaise for everything but my family in Missouri uses MW religiously. It’s almost like the Cream of Wheat vs Grits argument…folks up north prefer Cream of Wheat whereas folks down south prefer Grits…I guess it just depends on how you were raised.

    • 26

      Len Penzo says

      LOL! Maybe you and Kevin from Thousandaire should go out for lunch one of these days and enjoy some REAL sandwiches! 😉

  5. 27

    DC says

    My wife and I prefer the Real Thing(tm) — mayo. Can’t take any of that so-call “miracle” whip.

    What’s with the name “Miracle Whip” anyway? Sounds like an S&M toy. 😀

    Our son, however, is more diplomatic — he doesn’t like either. His preference is for a good brown mustard with a bit of horseradish.

  6. 29

    Libby says

    REAL mayo all the way! My father would have cursed if there was MW on his table. And at the risk of making some people really hate me, the only REAL mayo is REGULA Hellmann’s/Best Foods. All the others are just cheap imitations….and that includes fat free and reduced fat mayos from Hellmann’s/Best Foods!

  7. 31

    Seth says

    I don’t really like either one. I didn’t know there was a difference between the two. I guess that is how much I like them…

  8. 33

    jerry says

    Iv”e been using miricle whip for over 40 years and I was born and raised in southern cal.I use it in my mashed potato salad, yes I said mashed with onion,olives and a shot of mustard. love it on cheeseburgers with red onion,lettuce,mustard. Put a can of tuna in a bowel, mix in MW and sweet or dill relish on wheat bread, YUMM!Get out of the boring rut you mayo users are in, add some spice to your life,GO MIRICLE WHIP!!P.S.Why do some people say TUNA FISH instead of just TUNA?? Is there some other kind of tuna??

  9. 34

    Kathleen says

    Um, I don’t want to put a can of tuna in a bowel!

    I’d rather put the tuna in a bowl, mix it, eat it, and let it work its way into a bowel.


  10. 35

    Hollis says

    Maybe it is a class difference??
    Maybe it is a cost difference??
    Maybe it is what you grew up with? I grew up in a family of 5 children, in the ’50’s/60’s where we worked on the peanut farm in central Texas.

    Mayo is an acquired taste – I use it if nothing else is there

  11. 37

    SassyMamaw says

    You should have had this on one of your polls! I suspect it has more to do with what we grew up with. I grew up with MW, so mayo has an ‘off’ taste to me. (I would tolerate it on a sandwich, though.)

  12. 41

    Jenny says

    As much as I dislike miracle whip and tuna, I’d take that over the nasty concoction I was fed awhile ago. An egg salad sandwich made with gobs of miracle whip.

    I don’t mind the vinegary tang of miracle whip, but what’s with the sugar? Would you dump a big ole spoon of sugar in your tuna or egg salad. I wouldn’t, so I don’t want sweet miracle whip either.

  13. 42

    Polly says

    Grew up with MW (and yes, from the Midwest), once I tasted real Mayo ,I have never gone back. In fact, whenever I taste a macaroni salad et. with MW I quietly put my fork down!! MW tastes too sweet(yuk)!!!

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