The Day the Miracle Whip Died

MiracleWhip.jpgToday we take a sad look back at the dark day in 2006 when Kraft Foods made the horrible decision to change the recipe for Miracle Whip. In one fell swoop they destroyed a classic American tradition and pushed civilization one step closer to the abyss. We’ve never fully recovered.

They took the soy oil out of the product and replaced it with a larger volume of water. This not only killed some of the flavor and thinned the consistency but also shortened its shelf life. At the time of the change, the Elementary Chef bemoaned the loss.

This is problematic, because like a lot of other people, I like to make the potato salad or coleslaw the day before, to let the flavors mingle. Only now I can’t, because it turns into a watery mess and tastes like I forgot the dressing!

I first noticed this change over a year ago, and have been scrambling to find a replacement ever since. I’ve tried lots of store brands, and found they vary widely by store. Some have an unpleasant aftertaste because of the kind of oil they use. I’ve also tried half a dozen different recipes, because my usual response when a product becomes unavailable or changes is to make my own. Yet none of the substitutes quite come up to snuff. The closest I’ve come is to add sugar and vinegar to Kraft mayonnaise, but haven’t quite achieved the magic formula.

They claim to have tinkered with the recipe in response to public demand, but it’s still not the same as the product I grew up with. And you won’t get any sort of admission of guilt from those bastards at Kraft. Their history page lists all sorts of wonderful things but no mention is made of this nefarious plot.

At the time, even the vaunted Instapundit weighed in on the subject and provided a letter from a Kraft employee who explained the atrocity. Some of us thought that it was another of those nanny state plots to force people to eat healthier, but it turns out that the culprit was the same old suspect. It was all about the money.

I work at one of only a few places that make the stuff. Every year, the cost of the raw material goes up, and every year the price that Wal*Mart and others want to buy it from us for goes down.

So there’s compromise; and even those of us who make the stuff miss the old Gold Standard. But the decision is out of our hands, out of R&D’s hands probably out of Corporate or even Wal*Mart corporate’s hands. The consumers don’t want seem to want to pay a premium for the good stuff.

I normally don’t approve of the use of soy for anything except sauce, but in this case I will make an exception. Clearly the oil was a large part of what gave Miracle Whip its flavor and texture. There just isn’t a good substitute. I was making a sandwich today and realized that I just can’t enjoy them as much as I used to.

CURSE YOU KRAFT FOODS!

Cross posted from The One True Tami.

3 Comments

  1. When it comes to potato salad my position is hardcore: if you make it with anything other than real mayonnaise you probably need to be strapped to a giant rocket and fired into the sun. Hellmann's will do at a pinch, but ideally it should have been hand-made out of egg yolks and mustard and olive oil.

    Sorry, that's just the way I roll.

  2. For some time now I have noticed that Miracle Whip tasted old before its time and that the texture was different. Tuna salad seemed watery, but still didn't taste like I had added enough. If I use too much in other things there was an off taste. Now I know I am not crazy, thanks for your comments. If Kraft doesn't fix this, I hope someone else will. I have always been brand loyal when it came to this sandwich spread, but no longer. I don't like it.

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