Out of all the ingredients that we add to our food, some linger on our taste buds. Mayonnaise is certainly one of those iconic ingredients that make almost every food taste better. While some may not like it per se, the majority of us love to indulge in that white creamy layer of sweet-n-sour. What makes mayonnaise so unique is that it only tastes great when you eat with other food. The regular mayonnaise is pretty much boring if you decide to spoon it out of the jar and start eating it. Do not mistake mayonnaise for jam or butter. The whole point of having mayonnaise is enjoying it as a flavor enhancer to your plate.
In a motion picture of daily diets, mayonnaise is that supporting character which adds a tasty element to even the blandest scenes of the plot. Mayonnaise becomes the better version of cheese and boosts our receptiveness to new flavors of sour cream and milk. A mayo-based sauce is one of the most commonly found items in kitchens across the world. It is used as a dressing or a spread which helps people replace their regular ketchup and chopped pickles. At the same time, mayonnaise is also infamous for its “unhealthy” nature. So, what makes mayonnaise still so desirable? Let’s dip ourselves in it and find out.
What is Mayonnaise?
To begin with, we can start addressing mayonnaise as “mayo” which is its popular alias. It is a thick and cold sauce that is used commonly as a dressing on sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, and French fries. It is a white sauce that is not at all spicy but a little bit bittersweet. A layer of mayo spreads on almost all food surfaces. It is that unique form of saucy cream that one can identify with remoulade, tartar sauce, or rouille. Mayonnaise consists of an organic mix of egg yolk, oil, lemon juice acid (which can be substituted with vinegar). On top of these, mayo also contains a variety of additional flavorings. However, the color of mayo usually stays white. Some vegan mayo products may show a varying shade from off-white to pale yellow. The texture of mayo can is somewhere between a thick gel and a light cream.
How to Make Homemade Mayo?
Now, the commercial production of mayonnaise is a long, complex, and uninteresting process. To understand how mayo is made, we can simply go back in time to the original recipe of homemade mayonnaise. The first homemade mayonnaise was made in 1756 by the French chef of the Duke de Richelieu. It was created as a victory feast and included a white sauce made of cream and eggs.
To get a ¾ cup of yield, we need ingredients in the following portions:
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon of mustard
- 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of salt (may need to add some more to taste)
- ¾ cup of canola oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon of fresh lime juice
To prepare a thick gel of homemade mayo, you start by combining the egg yolk and the lemon juice. You also add the vinegar and mustard according to the proportions mentioned above. Then, you add a ½ teaspoon salt in this mix. Use a medium bowl to mix these ingredients well. Now, whisk this mixture until it gets the perfect blend of bright yellow color. In about 30 seconds, the blended mixture is ready to have another ¼ teaspoon measure added to it. Make sure you keep whisking the mixture constantly.
Now, add that ¼ cup of oil to this yolk mixture. Add only a few drops at a time and whisk it for another 3 to 4 minutes. Then, gradually add the remaining ½ cup of oil in the form of a slow and thin stream. Keep whisking constantly so that the mayonnaise becomes thicker. In about 8 minutes, the mayonnaise mixture will become lighter in color. Now, allow it to chill by covering the bowl. Keep the mixture chilled for a couple of days to get the most refined mayonnaise at home.
NOTE: Raw eggs are unhealthy for infants, pregnant women, and the elderly. They can also be a serious problem for weakened immune systems. Hence, make mayonnaise with pasteurized egg yolk and avoid getting infected with salmonella.
Foods that Go Well with Mayo
Now that we know how mayonnaise is made, it would be great to figure out which foods taste better with it. A classic dish for mayo lovers is the chili veggies with mayonnaise dips. It is a creative alternative to our everyday dinner. A chili-mayo veggie is a must-try in North America and Europe. It blends that eggless mayonnaise with some yellow chili and a bit of parsley. This mix is then poured on the boiled vegetables and can be seasoned with some salt and pepper.
Next up is a pop culture favorite, the chicken sandwich with mayonnaise. Here, a layer of mayo goes on top of another layer, and so on. These layers can be added not only in between the sandwich bread but also on top of it. This mind-blowing sandwich tastes amazing when coupled with some diced tomatoes and cheese slices. When the chicken and fried eggs mix with the mayo-ladened cabbage leaves and bread, every bite tastes like heaven. The mustard also keeps things rolling for this sandwich.
A simple mayonnaise delicacy is a homely potato salad. To make this salad, creamy, drench the potatoes in mayonnaise. Make the salad more comfortable for the tongue. Mash those hard-boiled potatoes and mix them well with mayo, butter, and some yogurt. Do add some spring onions and basil leaves for some aroma.
Another favorite for mayo indulgers is the Fish Mayo dish. Take any succulent fish fillet. Top it with some lemon and add salt as seasoning. Steam the fillet perfectly and topple it with some dollops of salted mayo. This serves the best starter for your house party as it is instant, super-easy, and fuss-free to prepare.
Pros and Cons of Mayo Indulgence
These dishes may tempt us to add mayonnaise on every food we eat, but that’s not how it is. Like every other ingredient, mayonnaise is not all good. There are some plus points to mayonnaise and then there are those downsides. To start with how this condiment benefits us, let’s have a look at the ingredients.
Pros of Mayonnaise
The original mayonnaise recipe contains egg yolk, which is a good source of energy due to its protein and essential mineral content. Then, it has oil and lemon juice which work well for digestion. Like every other seasoning, mayo is natural and safe when consumed in moderate quantities.
Mayonnaise has a short shelf life. The lifespan of a mayo mix, in the absence of any artificial or natural preservatives, is less than 3 to 4 weeks. Hence, one should consume mayonnaise when it is freshly made. A fresh homemade mayo jar may also last a few weeks longer. Natural mayonnaise also supports our heart health with its vitamin E content. It prevents heart strokes and ensures that its Omega-3 nutrients keep our heart functioning optimally.
Mayonnaise also helps us in the digestive absorption of nutrients from breads, vegetables, and other foods consumed with it. A layer of fresh organic mayo can lower our cholesterol levels due to the high presence of unsaturated fats. Rich in vitamins E and K, mayonnaise is a great source of healthy potassium and other minerals. It can indirectly reduce aging, resist free radicals, and end up improving our overall immunity.
Cons of Mayonnaise
Now, let’s round up the issues that revolve around mayonnaise. Firstly, a commercially produced mayonnaise is more unhealthy than homemade mayonnaise. Mayo products sold in stores have preservatives that are used as stabilizing components. These adulterants prolong the lifespan of mayonnaise. Hence, the quality of mayonnaise drops significantly. In addition to this, commercial mayonnaise contains high sodium levels which are severely unhealthy for us. The high amount of Omega-6 fats and low amount of Omega-3 fats also disrupts our heart health. It makes us prone to type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
Due to the high-fat levels and the presence of artificial additives, some mayonnaise consumers may experience headaches, nausea, and weakness post-consumption.
What Happens When We Remove Mayonnaise from Our Diet?
Removing mayonnaise from our diets is also not a good option. The needful vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that mayonnaise has are essential for our health. Hence, using mayo spreads occasionally and in moderate quantities is great.
New Ways to Savour The Mayo Flavour
Despite its unhealthy elements, mayonnaise ranks as one of the top condiments used in food preparations around the world. There is no exaggeration in dubbing mayo as the go-to fix for food lovers from all parts of the world. Sometimes, all you need to fix your mood is two pieces of bread and some mayonnaise.
People and mayo producers have come up with new and unique ways of indulgence. A dollop of mayos’ creamy goodness is not being instantly transformed into a fun and exciting topping on a regular pizza or cornbread. A hot dog goes well with some mayo. A burger also joins the sandwich league to get blended with flavored mayo and mustard. This way, one bottle of mayonnaise can unlock a plethora of interesting foods to our palate.
Keeping this in mind, here are some different ways in which a delicious layer of mayo can be enjoyed.
- Eggless Mayo: By replacing the egg with whipped cream in a classic mayo recipe, one gets a whisked mixture of eggless mayo. People use it as a base for making a variety of dips.
- Herb Mayo: When the flavors of basil, oregano, or rosemary get added to the whisked mayo mixture, the yield becomes tasteful. A rich flavor of herbs becomes a part of every dollop of such mayo, finding its perfect match with potato crisps and nachos.
- Mint Mayonnaise: A bottle of mint mayo is more refreshing than any beverage. It is a delicious condiment that goes well as a dip for fried chicken.
With these three new options, mayo shall continue to become a great addition to our kitchen pantry for the years to come.
Our Future with Mayo
There is no denying that mayonnaise has been in the global cuisine culture for more than two hundred years. It is more likely to continue being a part of diets in the future. But, that does not make things easy for mayonnaise producers. The rapidly-moving consumer trends are challenging several food industry giants. Mayonnaise producers may tackle multiple issues soon.
Retaining the production of premium and natural mayo emerges as a new challenge. Modern-day consumers are opting for all-natural products. Traditional recipes are a key factor in the success of foodservice institutions around the world. To make high-quality mayo, one must remove additives. As a result, mayonnaise producers face the economic losses incurred due to the short shelf-life of these emulsified semisolids. Some mayo producers are aiming to adopt new mixing technologies that deliver consistent sauce quality at varying scales and without any additives.
The wellness of consumers also poses flak on mayo markets. Obesity is at an all-time high and becoming more fatal with every passing year. Mayo producing companies may tag “clean” labels on their products, thereby practicing false marketing. To fix this, they need innovation that enables large-scale production of fat-free mayo.
The future of mayonnaise also goes hand-in-hand with the upsurge of vegetarianism. Food manufacturers are making their “vegan” move, thereby adjusting their products to the eating habits of the masses. In the view of price spikes as well as shortages in eggs, several companies will strive to develop dairy-free and egg-free alternatives of their mayo products. In the next decade, the taste of regular mayonnaise is likely to change as there is a strong chance that it may find a replacement.