I confess. I am a "two kinds of people" world splitter from way back.
Especially as I began to spend the night over at friend's houses, meal time became revelation time. What other families ate and how they fixed what they served offered me a fascinating glimpse into a realm of food possibilities I thought existed only in magazines.
What is boringly obvious to the adult was to my child self an earth shattering observation. Other Moms shopped in different grocery stores. Bought different brand names. Prepared different dishes or perhaps most shocking to me initially; prepared the same dishes we had at home but in a different way.
I still remember grinning as a second grader, sitting at her kitchen table with my friend Meredith for the first time, swinging my legs happily as I ravenously devoured what tasted just like my own Mom's deviled eggs. Only these eggs were mashed and chopped up, served between pieces of bread! They called it egg salad sandwich. I called it genius.
Undeterred, I began angling for meal invitations to suss out the subtle and at times not so subtle variations on food themes as expressed at the tables of young girls in my acquaintance.
There were houses offering Coca-Cola, and others where only Pepsi products were found. There were those who favored sweet pickles and those who were all dill all the way. Potato or corn chips? Bunny bread or whole wheat? Ready made bottled juices or pitchers made from concentrate?
I grew up unquestioningly eating what my Mother liked best, Kraft Mayonnaise. The Hub grew up eating what his Mother liked best, Kraft Miracle Whip. They look the same. They are made by the same company. Is there a difference?
Well, yes. For starters Miracle Whip is sweeter to the taste, but has fewer calories. This is partly due to a lower oil content, which prohibits Kraft from calling it "mayonnaise".
When the Hub and I established our own home together, after an aborted attempt to eat mustard alone, it rapidly became clear neither one of us would easily or happily abandon our childhood ideal of what was the correct white spread to slather on a sandwich.
Thus, a truly hybrid pantry home was formed between us, one where both Miracle Whip AND Mayonnaise would be ever present. It was too difficult to choose so we chose not to choose.
Clearly I am not the only one who has noted this tendency to stick with whatever a person grew up eating. The recent ad campaign by the folks at Miracle Whip is (rather ingeniously I'll admit) playing with challenging that treasured 18-34 year old cohort to rebel against the majority (presumably as represented by their parents) who typically use mayonnaise products as the go-to sandwich spread.I'm not the only one to find the idea of Rebel with a Jar amusing. No less trenchant a social critic than Stephen Colbert had this to say recently on the subject:
Your turn to throw a knife in the jar. When it comes to your own sandwich making, are you a mayonnaise or a Miracle Whip person? If you are all mayo all the time, do you have brand loyalty? Are you one of the die-hard Hellman's/Best fans or do you buy what is available or what is less expensive? I mindlessly bought Kraft for years because that was what my Mom liked until I did a taste test of my own and discovered I liked Hellman's better.