Splatoon 2's first post-launch Splatfest kicks off tomorrow, and fans are passionately rallying for their favorite the upcoming Mayo Vs. Ketchup battle. Snacktaku removes passion and common sense from the equation to try and determine a winner using the magic of snack science.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Splatfest, it’s a contest in which players of the Nintendo Switch game Splatoon 2 are given a choice between two similar things. Players pick sides and fight multiplayer battles in that side’s name. At the end of the event, the side represented by the more attractive of two anthropomorphic sea creature women wins.

Using the power of snackology, the science of snacking, we here at Snacktaku are able to look past our primitive maritime lust. We conducted a series of highly scientific tests to determine, once and for all, which condiment reigns supreme.

The Condiment Combatants

In one corner we have ketchup, a table sauce made from tomatoes, vinegar and various spices. In North America it is a mainstay on fries, burgers, hot dogs, meatloaf, all sorts of fried things and presidential steaks. It’s often used in recipes by people who couldn’t be bothered to just use a real tomato.

In the opposite corner is mayonnaise. Mayo is a stable emulsion of egg whites, vinegar and lemon juice. Its primary uses include sauce bases, making tuna fish less fishy, baking, sandwich topping and generally lubricating the digestive system. It bears mentioning that Japanese mayo is slightly different than Western mayo, utilizing sweet vinegar (apple cider, rice) rather than distilled vinegar, so when the Japanese talk mayo, they aren’t talking Hellman’s.

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Neither is Snacktaku, for that matter. Hellman’s is expensive. Kraft’s “real” mayo is much more budget-friendly. Honestly we should have just gone with Blue Plate. Oh well.

Test One: Appearance

How we taste things is closely tied to how we see them, so for the first test we applied a metric dollop of both condiments to a decorative plate.

Ketchup: Glistening and deep red, as expected. Note that the various lumps created by the pouring spout have begun to merge with the rest of the tomato-y puddle. This is a condiment that is of one body.

Mayo: Observe the mayonnaise puddle. It is our scientific conclusion that it resembles an impressionist painting of a mother shielding her infant child from a very large bird dropping. You’ll see it.

Winner: Mayo, for artistic achievement.

A controversial conclusion, surely. Art and science do not regularly mix, but this is snack science, and snacks are art.

Test Two: Feel

If you’re going to judge a condiment, you must touch the condiment.

Ketchup: Wet. Slightly slimy. Oozing. The ketchup is translucent on the finger tip and easily dislodged.

Mayo: The worst moisturizer ever. Mayo applies to the finger in still peaks initially, but heat temperature causes it to settle shortly thereafter. Note the edges of the glob. The mayo clings to the skin, as if being absorbed into it like some creepy ivasion of the body I AM MAYONNAISE. BOW BEFORE MY CHOLESTEROLIC MIGHT.

Winner: MAYONNAISE IS A FAIR RULER. KETCHUP MAY HAVE THIS ROUND.

NOW LEAVE US WHILE WE FERMENT.

Test Three: Amiibo Compatibility

Tapping Nintendo’s beautiful plastic Splatoon 2 statues to the Switch while playing the game unlocks all sorts of cool exclusive gear. What do they unlock when combined with the contested condiments?

Ketchup: Well that was a waste.

Mayo: And this just looks . . . ug.

Winner: Certainly not the Amiibo.

We figured nothing would come of this experiment, but we had to attempt it. Science is always doing stuff like this.

Test Four: We Are So, So Sorry

Perhaps you noticed the Oreo package in the image atop this post. Oreo are a mainstay of Snacktaku, with nearly a dozen flavors sampled and judged. We’d be remiss if we did not include them in this groundbreaking scientific study.

We begin with a pair of de-cremed Oreos.

Then we applied liberal dabs of both condiments.

Finally, we gazed upon what we had wrought, nodding in a very scientific, self-assured manner.

Ketchup: Well that just doesn’t look natural at all, does it?

Mayo: In a world where stiff “creme” is actually real “cream,” this is what an Oreo would look like.

Winner: Ha ha ha, you thought we were actually going to eat these. You should have seen the look on your faces.

Nobody really won here.

Final Test: Beard Presence

At the last moment, we here at Snacktaku realized that our testing process lacked a correlation to real-world occurrences. So we thought, “What happens every time you bite into a sandwich containing either ketchup or mayo?”

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That’s right, you get it in your beard. Every single one of you gets it in your beard. It’s a universal constant. We looked it up and everything.

So we put ketchup and mustard in Snacktaku’s finest beard. For science.

Ketchup: Since Snacktaku’s test beard is a combination of gray, red and dark brown hairs, the ketchup is much less noticeable when liberally applied.

Of course, the color of your own beard determines how obfuscated the sauce will be. Those with snowy white, bright blue or completely invisible and intangible beards might not see similar results.

Mayo: Much more noticeable on our test beard. On the plus side, mayo’s color and texture means it can easily be passed off as a less inherently icky substance, like vanilla ice cream, queso cheese or at least two other things we’re thinking but not typing, because we care.

Winner: We supposed it all depends on your beard.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, and we did learn something about hygiene, so really everybody wins, don’t they?


Final Verdict

Tallying up the results of our testing, one test goes to mayonnaise, one to ketchup, and the three remaining we’re going to consider triumphs of science.

  • Ketchup: 1
  • Mayo: 1
  • Science: 3

And so the winner of Snacktku’s Splatoon 2 Ketchup Vs. Mayo experiment is the sweet science of snackology. Witness its power.

Good luck with the fight this weekend, squid kids.