Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kitchen Intuition: Mastering mayonnaise

Last week in my column about french fries, I gave a shoutout to aioli in the final sentence. The reason is that I’m getting a little obsessed with aioli, along with its sibling, mayonnaise (the only difference between the two is that aioli contains garlic).

I never was a huge fan of mayonnaise, but that’s because for a long time, I had never tried anything but the stuff you buy in the store, which can be rather bland (not to mention high in fat, calories, sodium, sometimes sugar and who knows what else). There’s a lot that has to be done to it to make it shelf-stable because authentic mayonnaise is prone to separating and spoils easily. Stabilizers and preservatives don’t improve the taste or the texture of the final product; they just make it easy to bottle and able to spend months on a grocery store shelf.
Homemade mayonnaise is such a completely different thing that the store version shouldn’t even be allowed to share the same name. Homemade mayonnaise's texture is light and creamy, and the flavor is full and rich. Michael Ruhlman calls it "voluptuous" and suggests that the "flavor is so good that you could, and may, eat the mayo straight off the spoon."

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