Now here’s something I bet you’ve never heard. “Hey, you know what sounds good right now?” “What?” “Mayonnaise!” My Tuesday food category isn’t limited to just ready-to-eat stuff. I definitely plan to talk about ingredients and other food sub-assemblies.

When I was a kid, I didn’t like mayonnaise at all. (Now there’s a big revelation: I might as well say I didn’t like brussels sprouts, homework, or “give him a haircut just like mine.”) One day, when I was in my teens, I recall my cousin making a sandwich and spreading mayonnaise all over the bread. “Ew!” I exclaimed. In utter disbelief I asked, “You like mayonnaise!?” “No,” she replied, “but it’s the only thing that makes the pepper stick.” It wasn’t until years later (and by that I mean, “just now”) that I realized she wasn’t serious.

Despite not enjoying mayo, I did have a certain fondness for deviled eggs. Apparently mayonnaise is a primary ingredient. One day while I was still in college I called up my mom. “Mom! How do you make deviled eggs?” (Ahhh… life before the internet as we know it.) “Eggs, mayo, mustard, relish, salt, pepper,” she shot back. “How much of each?” “No idea. Just what looks right.” Fair enough.

I boiled eggs, peeled them, cut them, and separated the yokes. Into the yokes I put two teaspoons of mayo, a quart of mustard, two whole pickles (didn’t have any relish) plus a cup of salt and a cup of pepper.

Just kidding. I did it right. But when I was done, the spoon still had mayonnaise on it. I was about to rinse it off when a thought occurred to me. Hmmm… I wonder… Before I could talk myself out of it, I popped the spoon in my mouth and cleaned it off the old fashioned way. Hey, that wasn’t half bad. Maybe there is a reason it exists.

After that, I found many new and wonderful things I could put mayonnaise on: sandwiches, cheeseburgers, fettuccine, corn flakes, marshmallows, Pop-Tarts, stray dogs, roommates faces while they were asleep, … the possibilities were endless. I couldn’t believe I’d gone so long denying this wonderful substance.

So what’s my point today? Well, if you happen to like mayonnaise, just eat it. Don’t worry about the fat, the calories, or all the stuff we’ve been brainwashed to condemn over the last few decades. It’s not like you’re going to put a gallon of it on your sandwich. A tablespoon, tops, I would guess. Maybe even half that. You’ve probably added, what, fifty calories to your sandwich? (Plus a whole lotta taste.) And in return you haven’t added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cellulose gel, xanthan gum, artificial colors, or calcium disodium. Is all that gunk really worth a couple dozen calories?

Eat the real stuff. In the long run you’re probably better off both physically and psychologically. Just don’t spread it on your friends while they’re asleep. Some people apparently don’t like that at all.

7 Responses to “Mayonnaise”

Fattygetsfit said
September 9, 2008 at 4:08 am

i hate mayo
except in tuna salad, potato salad, really any of those classic american treats but the smell taste and texture are still awful to me

Rachael said
September 10, 2008 at 8:27 am

The mayo that they have now that’s made with olive oil is half the calories/fat plus it’s better for you PLUS I think it tastes even better!

Biz said
September 10, 2008 at 9:01 am

I can only do mayo in deviled eggs and potato salad – not just plain on a sandwich, although its been a while since I tried it!

Jennifer said
September 10, 2008 at 11:40 am

I laughed outloud about you can put mayonnaise on your roommates face! Mayonnaise to me by itself is gross, however I will eat it with deviled eggs, or potato salad. Maybe I should try it again to, just by itself.

Charlie said
September 10, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Rachel: I’ll have to try that. Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing it.

Biz: If you haven’t tried it in a while, don’t. There’s no point in getting addicted to raw mayonnaise at this point.

Jennifer: I have to fess up, I haven’t ever actually spread mayo on anyone’s face. I just needed a punchline. 🙂

nati said
September 14, 2008 at 9:12 am

nuts, avocados, mayo, hummus, and real european butter…i think i have a permanent hard on for good fats in moderation…and for your blog.

Kathy said
September 19, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I totally agree that a single serving of the real stuff is the way to go. The diet industry has convinced us that we should always search for the “lite” or “lo-fat” versions of everything and sometimes the actual calorie count difference is minimal.