Friday, January 18, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Mayonnaise

Just the thought of mayo on anything makes some people cringe, but as far as condiments go, mayo is way to often overlooked. When used in the right amount, mayo can add a great flavor and creaminess to dressings, sandwiches, salads (as in tuna, turkey, chicken, seafood, potato, coleslaw, get the point) and dips. Recently more and more people have shied away from real mayo in favor of Miracle Whip, Nayonaise, or low fat mayo because it is so full of fat and cholesterol. To these people I say, rethink mayo! The same people who eat the "better for you" mayo tend to use more of it because it is not as flavorful, while those that use regular mayo usually realize that a little goes a long way. Anyone who uses mayo like a dip, with nothing else but carrot sticks, celery and a smile is as crazy as Hellmann's, who ran a commercial depicting women doing this a few years ago. I mean, c'mon, I love mayo, but the thought of dipping vegetables in it disgusts me more than McDonalds nutritional information.

Believe it or not, it's actually pretty easy to make your own mayo but why do that when you can buy the best, like Hellmann's. I still have not found a brand of mayo that comes close to Hellmann's in terms of the thick spreadable texture, and rich flavor that is both distinctive and complimentary to whatever is added to it. Ironically, in Europe mayo is more of a dipping sauce for french fries and not a sandwich spread. Mayo in Europe is preferred for french fries, but it is much thicker and the flavor is less eggy and more buttery. For the best example of this type of mayo, and other European mayo with different flavors (curry comes to mind) try the original Pommes Frittes.

The Mystery of Mayo

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