Fun Midwestern Facts: Miracle Whip =/= Cool Whip
The point here being that the commercial products Miracle Whip and Cool Whip are not the same thing.
This doesn’t come up too often in most people’s lives, I suspect, but out here in the Midwest it is not unheard of for a “salad” to include either of those ingredients, especially at potlucks. (Some day I expect to see both at once.)
That said, they are not interchangeable, despite being virtually-imperishable, highly-artificial white spreads sold at places like Walmart and Target:
- Cool Whip is a sweetened imitation whipped cream. It used to be dairy-free, but they started adding actual cream and milk in 2010.
- Miracle Whip is a sweetened mayonnaise-like spread. It’s cheaper, lighter, and surprisingly actually healthier than actual mayonnaise.
So when your Jell-O salad recipe calls for Cool Whip, don’t substitute Miracle Whip.
I was actually a little touched when someone told me she’d done this. There’s a charming, naive logic to it — “Oh God, here I am, shopping for Cool Whip in a Wisconsin grocery store. I’ve gone native. I’ve never even seen a container of Cool Whip before. Miracle Whip, that’s the same stuff, right? Creamy, white, in the spreads aisle, stupid name with “Whip” in it. Off I go. Two more years until I can move back to the coast…”
It’s an easy mistake to make, I guess.
But please don’t.