By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Nov 02, 2004 at 7:05 AM

{image1}When it comes to condiments, this city is in a dead heat.

For generations, Miracle Whip supporters and real mayonnaise backers have engaged in some fervent debates, so we decided to take a vote among Milwaukee's most seasoned sandwich makers to find out, once and for all, which spread is better. So, take a break from asking yourself questions like "Bush or Kerry?" and focus on this one instead: Can a sandwich really be a sandwich without the tangy zip of Miracle Whip?

Miracle Whip fans, even if they can't get it at their favorite sandwich shop, are die-hard consumers -- although many said that white bread must be the loaf of choice when using the mayo alternative. And mayo fans, for the most part, are completely hardcore.

"Miracle Whip is for weirdos," says Ken Koppa, owner of Koppa's Farwell Foods and veteran sandwich maker.

Koppa admits that the bologna sandwich at the in-store deli (called the Fulbeli Deli) is made with Miracle Whip, but the rest are slathered with the real deal.

"Mayo is classic sandwich material," he says.

Katie Nemus has slapped together sammies at Fuel for seven years, and she also prefers mayo.

"It just tastes better," she says. "Miracle Whip tastes fake. It's like the difference between Cool Whip and real whipped cream."

But sandwich eater Dan Hernandez wholeheartedly votes for the tangy zip.

"Miracle Whip all the way," says Hernandez, a cartoonist and "the flyer guy" for The Rave. "Mayo always struck me as being a little blah tasting. It (Miracle Whip) is especially good on a chicken patty sandwich."

Premiering at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933, Miracle Whip was an instant success, mainly because it was an inexpensive mix of "mayonnaise product" and salad dressing, appealing to Depression-weary consumers.

Mayo, on the other hand, is a much older condiment. It is said to be the invention of the French chef of the Duke de Richelieu in 1756.

Mike Wyck, the most experienced sandwich maker interviewed, is the manager of the Chocolate Factory in the Prospect Mall and has made subs for 23 years.

"We always use real mayo," he says. "It tastes much better."

Jimmy John's, Cousins Subs and Quiznos also use real mayo, and Miracle Whip is not available. But plenty of folks out there say they would order a sandwich with Miracle Whip if it were an option.

"Miracle Whip adds zip to a sandwich. And it reminds me of my grandma," says Sally Saunders. "She used to make ham sandwiches on white bread with Miracle Whip all the time. So I always, always have a jar in my fridge."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.