We all have at least one in our lives: the mayonnaise hater. Ketchup-haters are all, “Naw, I’ll pass.” They don’t complain when ketchup finds itself on the burger, they just scrape it off and move on. Mayo-haters are different. They’ll let you know they’re unhappy AND make sure you know how much they HATE MAYONNAISE, complete with barfy sound effects. They even have a Hold That Mayo club.
More times than I care to count, I have entertained mayo-haters not realizing it ahead of time. “Ewwwww, I’m not eating that because it has MAYONNAISE in it.” Then when someone gets two helpings of my potato salad (because it really is the bomb, so much so that I actually used “the bomb” in a sentence), they’ll say something again about being a mayo-hater. Heaven forbid there is a deviled egg anywhere in the vicinity of the mayo-hater.
Tip: If there is something I really just do not like and the host/hostess offers it to me, all I say is, “It’s my not favorite.” For example, if I am offered something with radishes I say, “No thank you. Radishes are my not favorite food.”
I haven’t been able to nail down why people so adamantly hate mayo. Could it be taste? It doesn’t really taste like anything. It’s eggs (which thankfully don’t taste like they smell), oil (which has no taste), and vinegar. It’s basically just a binding agent.
Could it be texture? I mean, it’s not cottage cheese (which I also love, but totally get why it’s gross) or oatmeal (I would actually rather starve than eat oatmeal). The texture is pretty neutral.
Is it the horrific lack of nutritional value? Mayonnaise isn’t good for you. I know. Bacon isn’t good for you either, but that doesn’t stop me one bit from eating it. Olive oil based mayonnaise is now readily available, and per tablespoon it has 100 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of saturated fat. A tablespoon of traditional mayonnaise has 103 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat. You’re not really saving a substantial amount of calories by choosing olive oil or regular, so if you’re worried about being too piggy pants and want to save a few cents, go for low fat regular.
Wait, it’s that one time you got sick in 1986 because Uncle Fred had too many beers at the family picnic, left the jar of mayonnaise on the table, and then made you a sammich so you’d stop complaining about being hungry, isn’t it? It’s that. It has to be that. (By the way, in Oxford, MS we call that “Grove Poisoning” which is what happens when you come back to your tailgating tent after the football game, tear into the chicken tenders from that morning, and WHOOPS… the sauce is mayo based and you get sick. Granted, I don’t think anyone has ever proved the sickness comes from mayo. More than likely it’s the bourbon we drink all day mixed with the extreme heat.)
What IS it? And how can mayo-lurvers change minds and give joy to palates?
If you don’t eat mayonnaise, you don’t eat some of my favorite foods: pimento cheese, hot bacon & Swiss cheese dip (uh-huh, I did that, but you have to eat mayo), broccoli and raisin salad (the best spring/summer side dish on the planet), potato salad, Come Back sauce, coleslaw, and my all-time favorite, Rosalynn Carter’s pecan and cheddar cheese ring.
I hate to see anyone miss out on good eats because of one small ingredient.
Note: Miracle Whip is not mayonnaise, and should not be put on or in anything.
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