All hail the Mayonnaise

Why the white sauce is objectively the king of condiments

Art by Kristen Frier

Art by Kristen Frier

Hear me, child of humanity, for I shall impart unto you the divine truth that is the objective majesty of the one true condiment: Mayonnaise. 

We shall begin, as is right, with explaining what Mayonnaise is. In its purest form, Mayonnaise is made from the marriage of oil, egg yolks, and an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. This procedure must be done carefully, as one can’t rush perfection of this form, any blasphemous attempts to do so will result in a failure deserving of your lack of discipline. 

But while purity is often sought after, Mayonnaise knows no such limits. 

Flavourings are added, enhancing it with the infusion of spices and herbs to create stunning aiolis and dressings. Have you ever had garlic aioli alongside truffle parmesan fries? *Chef kiss* cause that’s where it’s at folks. Truly, Mayonnaise can elevate any dish, be it as a side, a dressing, or hiding at the core of a borsch. 

But where did this godly food first make its mark upon our earth you may ask?

The origin of this glorious food is disputed, both Spain and France vie to take credit for its creation, but that is no surprise, who wouldn’t want to be the creator of such magnificence? It first appeared in a French cookbook in 1806, but references have been spotted in manuscripts in the 1750s, in both Spain and France. 

Regardless of the origin, it’s a staple of modern Western and European cuisine, with French chef Auguste Escoffier describing it as “the French mother of cold sauces” in a 1912 cookbook. It has gained such renown, that entire cultures may destabilize if it disappeared overnight. Indeed, the largest consumer of Mayonnaise is Russia, where sources report that the average citizen eats as much as 5 kg of Mayonnaise per year. As a wise woman once said, “I put that shit on everything!” 

And if you ever need to look at the cultural impacts of Mayonnaise on a society, look no further than Mexican people living in America. While some may claim it is to remember the Mexican victory over the French Empire in 1862, this is only partially true. It was due to the fact that the French were withholding Mayonnaise from the Mexicans. 

If you have ever had chipotle mayo, you know why they went to war. Truly I tell you, Cinco de Mayo is as much about the liberation of this glorious condiment as it is of remembering victory.

Further proof in the divine properties of Mayonnaise is its prominence in healthcare. The esteemed Mayo Clinic is not named so for a family name, though it is a good guess, but is due to the fact that they impart the blessings of Mayonnaise upon their patients to assist in the healing process. 

Now that this knowledge has been imparted upon you, I hope you have been imbued with a new sense of astonishment and fervour for the glorious condiment that we call Mayonnaise. Take this blessing and go forth into the culinary world. 

Mayo within and Mayo on the side,
Dressings and Aioli,
May your fries never be unadorned.