Really, it’s not as terrible as it is made out to be. It consists of egg yolk, oil, an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, and a little seasoning. What is so bad about that? You can make mayonnaise fairly easily. Here’s a recipe from the Food Network’s Alton Brown. Seems pretty simple, though I haven’t tried it myself.
This year marks the 105th anniversary of commercial mayonnaise in the U.S. But it actually dates back internationally to 1756, where it most likely originated in Spain. It was known as salsa mahonesa. The name we call it today, mayonnaise, was introduced by the French. The French version is derived from the old French word moyeu, meaning “yolk of egg.”
The French also make a wonderful rendition called aioli, which is essentially a homemade garlic mayonnaise. It has a wide range of applications, including cold chicken, crudités, and “pommes frites” (french fries). There’s even a whole store in Brooklyn, N.Y. (where else?), the Empire Mayonnaise Co., that sells lots of different varities of mayo, from bacon to red chili to preserved lemon. Yum!
One of my favorite uses of mayonnaise is a BLT with perfectly ripened avocado on toasted whole-grain bread. There is just something about the salty crunchiness of bacon paired with the creamy nuttiness of the avocado and the rich, smooth mayonnaise.
OK, now I'm hungry…