Mayonnaise Remains Lord of American Sandwich Condiments By Huge Margin

mayonnaiseflickrkimberlykv.jpg
Flickr user kimberlykv
I will never understand mayonnaise--its urine scent, its clotted consistency, its taste of eggs one day away from rotting. Give me sour cream, crema fresca, must-o-musire, anything cooling and tart, anything but mayo.

Of course, like most of my views and tastes, my opinions are in the American minority. Mayonnaise remains ruler of the American condiment universe, and a recent survey proves this depressing fact.

Something called Technomic's MenuMonitor recently polled thousands of sandwiches on American menus, according to Nations Restaurant News, and found mayo on an amazing 20.1 percent of them. That's right: Mayo appears in one of five sandwiches in the United States. Ew.

Mustard came in a distant second at 9.4 percent, while "honey" (both the actual bee kind and flavor modifying other condiments) snuck in at third. Most surprising result? "Caesar" flavor beat aioli by a full percentage point, meaning the Italian-created, Mexican-born salad is more popular in American sandwiches than ketchup. And the Reconquista continues.

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909Jeff
909Jeff

So Dave, you know what we need is a good mayo recipe. I also am not a huge fan of Mayo but I dislike dry sandwiches more. Typically what I'll do is mix Pico Pica with my mayo before putting it on my sandwich to give it a little spice.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

1. Put the yolk of an egg in a metal or glass bowl and start whipping it.2. Add a big pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of prepared mustard (good stuff, not French's yellow).3. Put a cup of good olive oil (or half olive oil and half grapeseed oil) in a squeeze bottle, just for ease.4. Very slowly, while whisking constantly, dribble the oil into the mixture. Drop by drop at first. When it starts to thicken (after you've put about a quarter of it in), you can increase the stream just a little bit. It should take you about 5-7 minutes to incorporate all the oil, and it should be thick, but still fall off a spoon dipped into it and turned upside down.5. Whisk in the juice of a quarter lemon, and add salt to taste.

The longer it sits (in the fridge—this is raw egg we're talking about) the mellower it gets. To make French-style aïoli, grind the pinch of salt with a clove of garlic or two in a mortar and pestle before adding the egg yolk and proceeding as above. (Catalan allioli doesn't have egg, mustard or lemon juice in it—just garlic, salt and olive oil—and it's very difficult to make correctly.)

If the mayonnaise breaks, put a new egg yolk in a clean bowl, whisk it smooth, then whisk in the broken mayonnaise glop by glop until it's all re-mounted.

Jeff Overley
Jeff Overley

Vegenaise rocks the house. No funky egg flavor, no disconcerting yellowness.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

But... but... mayonnaise is SUPPOSED to be yellow. It's made of egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and oil, all of which are yellow (or yellow-green). It's when mayonnaise is that disturbing creamy white that I start to think twice about it.

What mayonnaise is NOT supposed to be is shelf-stable. It's not supposed to taste like urine, or sulfurous eggs, and it's most definitely not supposed to be clotted. If you can take a spoonful of mayonnaise out of a bowl and it leaves that "ripped", panna cotta-type look, that mayonnaise has been badly overwhipped and over-oiled. A cup of oil to every USDA Large egg yolk, at least here in SoCal where it's rarely humid (humidity has a negative effect on mayonnaise).

Vegenaise tastes like... not mayonnaise. It tastes like someone tried to replicate the taste of Best Foods and didn't do so well. (I admit that I do not like canola oil, its first ingredient—it always tastes of chemicals to me.)

Jeff Overley
Jeff Overley

I hear you on white mayonnaise - it used to strike me as synthetic-looking, and it recalls noxious, reduced-fat versions of the real thing.

But during a youthful brush with vegetarianism, I only consumed Vegenaise, and I was permanently converted; it has a clean, bright flavor and never looks at you funny, to quote my easily nauseated wife. A better mousetrap, perhaps.

For Gustavo and like-minded souls, as well as non-purists, it might be a good alternative.

Thefatlamb
Thefatlamb

I hear you Mr. Gustavo on the mayonnaise but the Belgium in me needs that stuff for my pommes frites, yes disgusting but oh so good...

Jack Green
Jack Green

I'd rather spread the secretions from my dog's anal glands on a sandwich or burger. THAT'S what I think of mayo.

For some hard-hitting satire on middle America's love affair with the nasty stuff, be sure to see the mockumentary "The History of White People In America".

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

"Italian-created, Mexican-born salad is more popular in American sandwiches than ketchup. And the Reconquista continues."

I never knew that! Although it's somewhat confusing, and the Wikipedia page only made me more confused: "The salad's creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian-born Mexican."

The fuck?

Also, it's not surprising that ketchup is last. They just went from instances on menus. Ketchup is only going to appear on one thing: burgers. The rest could be on any type of sandwich.

DEPORTGUSTABO
DEPORTGUSTABO

if you don't like mayo then maybe u should GO BACK TO MEXICO!!!!!

O. C. Rider
O. C. Rider

I'm just an old cowboy and maybe too cynical, but whenever I see illiterate commentary from a wild man or maniac I always suspect it's really from someone trying to make the other side look stupid. We see that in the news occasionally. If it's not the case here, then, D.G., you're every kind of an illiterate maniac.

DEPORTGUSTABO
DEPORTGUSTABO

yes, old cowboy-rider, that makes a lot of sense.

i'm illiterate, unable to read or write, and just bashing my keyboard with clenched fists after seeing the flickering ads on the screen and, like monkeys reproducing shakespear, this is result...

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

You conflated liking mayonnaise with being American, as though there are not hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans who don't like mayonnaise; you don't have much credibility to talk about making sense.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Guess what, troll? They have mayo in Mexico as well! BURN...

DEPORTGUSTABO
DEPORTGUSTABO

i'm sick of your USA-bashing!

if you hate everything that is American and love meeheeko so much then why are you here?

if you're a US citizen and not an actual citizen of Mexico, then you're just a fraud.

you're a racist too.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Dude...

Look I take as much issue with Gustavo as anyone else but think about how your going to make your case before you do it. Gustavo was Born here in Calafia which makes him as much a citizen as you and I. I regularly tee off on him, and belive me I have beat about every piece of marzipan out of the Gustavo pinata as possible. But when you say crap like this on a message board about Mayo no less you lend a wee little bit of credibility to his racist rants on the news blogs.

Clean it up for gods sake!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Okayyy...and this is the point where we all ignore you and urge you to return to your skinhead serenade...

Latonya "Keed" Bunn
Latonya "Keed" Bunn

I first realized how much I hate commercially prepared mayo when I was a little kid in Brownsville, Tex., and had not yet learned to order hamburgers with clear instructions: first, foremost, and don't forget, you minimum-wage high-school honey-chile at the grill, NO MAYO!

But in later years I learned the pleasures of homemade mayonnaise (as pictured, above) made with fresh lemon juice, not cheap vinegar (which smells like urine for a reason).

The hand-whipped variety can be a wrist-buster, but it's actually quite easy to make in a blender. Also excellent is homemade Caesar dressing, and that's not hard to do by hand, because the coddled-egg yolks thicken quickly even when you don't add the oil drop by tedious drop. (And remember: mayonnaise-style sauces come together more easily when the liquids are not refrigerator-cold and you provide enough fine-grained ingredients -- salt, pepper, powdered mustard, cayenne, etc. -- for the yolks to hang their hats on.) If I have leftover Caesar dressing, I use it on sandwiches, with different kinds of salads, etc. Just go light on the anchovies (or omit, in certain cases) and other strong flavors.

Now, for those who like the smell and taste of urine ... I'm kidding, of course. You just think you do!

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

You need to eat Kewpie mayonnaise, which is far better than Best Foods/Hellmann's. And then you need to let me make you mayonnaise, real mayonnaise made from ingredients you would use in other foods: egg yolk, mustard, olive oil, salt and lemon juice. It couldn't be further from the preternaturally-white gunk in the jar.

Tran
Tran

Can you make some mayonnaise for Gustavo and have him report back?

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Never heard of it, but I enjoy a good mayo. I take it I should head to a place like Mitsuwa to find it?

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Yes, that's exactly where to find it. Not as good as homemade but leagues better than Best Foods.

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