Everything tastes better with mayonnaise!
I grew up with a food purist, Julia Child-groupie mother who made her own mayonnaise from scratch. If she was forced to eat a commercially produced store brand mayonnaise, she chose Hellmann’s.
I love mayonnaise. For the last several years my favorite has been Duke’s, a mayonnaise most easily found in the south, but it has been gaining in popularity around the country. Most people I talked to were pretty passionate about mayonnaise, and I came across only a very few who did not like it. It is most often used in sandwiches, dips and salads. I’m reviewing four brands of mayonnaise here, and if you have one you like that I didn’t include, please let us know.
Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise is thick but easily spreadable. It has a slight tangy taste from lemon juice and vinegar, but it’s not overpowering. It is excellent in coleslaw or paired with peanut butter for a great snack on a Ritz Cracker. They also offer a very good Light version, as well as one made with olive oil and soybean oil instead of only soybean oil.
I use Duke’s for everything, but the reviewers claim that it is the best mayonnaise for salads, especially egg salad. It has a thick, creamy texture and more personality than many other mayos. It has no added sugar, and the flavor comes from the vinegar and paprika. It has a lovely color. I am not able to find it in the Northeast, so I order it from Amazon. $13.54 for two 16 oz jars.
Sir Kensington’s has many types of mayonnaise, but I have only tried the classic. It has specks of pepper, so it is visibly different than its competitors. It uses sunflower oil instead of soybean oil, and contains only egg yolks instead of whole eggs. It has organic lemon juice for flavor. If you are unable to find it in your supermarket you can order it from Amazon. $6.49 for 12 oz.
Kewpie is a Japanese product. It is yellower than the rest of the mayonnaises reviewed here because it uses only egg yolks instead of whole eggs. It contains red wine vinegar and cider vinegar for flavor and has no added sugar. It has a silky consistency with a slight mustard flavor because it contains ground mustard. I cannot find it in any of my local stores, so I order it from Amazon. $9.00 for 12 oz.
If you would rather make your own mayonnaise, here is my mother’s recipe.
It takes 5 minutes and yields 1 cup of mayo.
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cold water
¾ cup of mild cooking oil like safflower or canola
Pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, salt and 1 teaspoon cold water until mixture is frothy. Whisk constantly while slowly pouring in the oil until mayonnaise is thick and the oil is thoroughly combined. This can also be done with a hand mixer, a blender or Cuisinart.
You can play around with the flavor by adding a bit of rice vinegar. It is worth trying other oils with stronger flavors like olive oil.
It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
A favorite ASE article is how to stock your pantry. Guess what? Mayonnaise is on the list.