Friday, April 30, 2010

M or M?

Miracle Whip has been attempting to usurp mayonnaise as the condiment of choice among sandwich makers and chewers with a gamy, faux-hip series of television ads featuring seemingly boneless teens and college freshmen flailing about to some clik-trak electronica while an announcer smugly declares that the new generation of brash alt-spreaders "Will Not Turn It Down!" Chief among my complaints would be that these crazee kids are a gooney bunch of waifs whose brains , collectively, have yet to develop that sphere that helps a nascent sense of "hip" into an appreciation for quality--I'd be offended, ticked off, pissed, angry and downright irritated if I were a generic young person , seeing my generation depicted as a graceless bunch of droogy trance dancers made to bounce like addled puppets on a string in the tribal worship of a product as truly wretched as Miracle Whip. It is a item that cannot decide what it wants to be--spicy? tart? sweet? tangy? velvety? It is an amalgam of the worst aspects of all these taste differentials--it ruins a perfectly good piece of sliced ham, it soils a fine piece of chicken, if offends the tongue as it turns chicken salad into a war crime. It's not that Miracle Whip "will not turn it down": it's more that the hap lass among us, sans mayonnaise, cannot keep it down.


So why mayonnaise? It's the simplest math problem you'll encounter : it tastes good, and it tastes good on nearly everything you put it on, burgers, hot dogs, chicken salad, tuna, ham, cheese, oh god yes, it has the right texture, the alchemical brilliance of sweetness restrained by the right guiding hand of creamy texture, it is a pleasure on the tongue and the blend of oils, egg and spices compliments the flavors of the food it adorns, it meshes well with the bread it connects with, it is a condiment that makes the minute you take for lunch in an otherwise dreary day of bad news, late fees and bill collectors an island of sensual solution; nothing else matters for the fifteen or twenty five minutes it takes to make the sandwich and eat it with a relish that reminds you that your senses are elements one must bring pleasure to. Mayonnaise brings joy to the lunch counter.