Amazing Mayo


I have been lazy recently and buying mayonnaise from my local supermarket.  To my credit it was organic mayonnaise, however it is still made with sunflower oil.  But now the shop has stopped stocking it, so I was looking at the ingredients of the other brands on the shelf.  Actually there is really only one other brand of mayonnaise up in rural Yorkshire– Hellmann’s.  The ingredients start with ‘vegetable oil’ which usually means ‘soybean oil’.  So I looked online at the Hellmann’s website and guess what? They state that outright… That was on the USA website.  The UK website doesn’t list the ingredients!

So I then looked at the Weight Watchers brand, thinking that may be better – but no!  I was shocked at the first 4 ingredients: water, vegetable oil, modified maize starch, glucose fructose syrup. 

Why was I so shocked?  Because 1) 3 of those ingredients are not even needed to make basic mayonnaise, 2) the oil is still soybean oil & 3) modified maize starch & glucose fructose syrup actually help you put on weight!  But as long as food manufacturers can say ‘reduced fat’ on the label people will believe that it is healthy and non-fattening!!!!!

For those of you that don’t know how to make Mayonnaise, here’s the most basic of mayonnaise recipes (c/o Cooking for Engineers – how could I resist such a website? J):

  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)

So what oil to use?  As mentioned above most commercial brands use soya bean oil, some use sunflower oil.  I have tried making my own with olive oil, but even using very light olive oil it gives it a really strong flavour!  I guess the next best option is to combine canola oil (or possibly sunflower oil) with light olive oil in a 50/50 combination.

So I guess I need to start making my own mayonnaise again with 50% olive oil & 50% canola oil.

Making mayonnaise sounds complicated but actually it’s very easy and here are a few good tips from Julia Child which will help it all go smoothly:

  • All the ingredients need to be at room temperature (specially the eggs),
  • Always beat the egg yolks for a minute or two before adding any other ingredients,
  • Drip the oil in very slowly initially until it starts to emulsify, then the oil can be poured a little more steadily,
  • The maximum amount of oil one large egg yolk can absorb is six ounces, or ¾ cup. When this maximum is exceeded, the binding properties of the egg yolks break down, and the sauce thins out or curdles. If you have never made mayonnaise before, it is safest not to exceed ½ cup of oil per egg yolk.

It takes 10 minutes to make & should last in the fridge for 3-4 days or even up to a week.

I dare you to chuck the processed mayo and make your own…



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