Condiment of the Week – Mayonnaise

March 10, 2016 at 5:53 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | 2 Comments
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Jar of pale-yellow mayonnaise

Jar of pale-yellow mayonnaise

Mayonnaise (/ˈmeɪəneɪz/, /ˌmeɪəˈneɪz/ or in AmE also /ˈmæneɪz/, and often abbreviated as mayo /ˈmeɪoʊ/) is a thick, creamy sauce often used as a condiment. It is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Proteins and lecithin in the egg yolk serve as emulsifiers in both mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce. Commercial egg-free alternatives are available for vegans and others who want to avoid animal products and cholesterol, or who are allergic to eggs.

Mayonnaise varies in color, but is often white, cream, or pale yellow. It may range in texture from that of light cream to a thick gel. In countries influenced by French culture, mustard is also a common ingredient, but the addition of mustard turns the sauce into a remoulade with a different flavor and the mustard acts as an additional emulsifier.

 

 

Standard ingredients and tools to make mayonnaise

Standard ingredients and tools to make mayonnaise

Mayonnaise can be made by hand with a mortar and pestle, whisk or fork, or with the aid of an electric mixer or blender. It is made by slowly adding oil to an egg yolk, while whisking vigorously to disperse the oil. The oil and the water in yolks form a base of the emulsion, while lecithin and protein from the yolks are the emulsifiers that stabilize it. Additionally, a bit of a mustard may also be added to sharpen its taste, and further stabilize the emulsion. Mustard contains small amounts of lecithin. If vinegar is added directly to the yolk it can emulsify more oil, thus making more mayonnaise.

For large-scale preparation of mayonnaise where mixing equipment is being employed the process typically begins with the dispersal of eggs, either powdered or liquid, into water. Once emulsified, the remaining ingredients are then added and vigorously mixed until completely hydrated and evenly dispersed. Oil is then added as rapidly as it can be absorbed. Though only a small part of the total, ingredients other than the oil are critical to proper formulation. These must be totally hydrated and dispersed within a small liquid volume, which can cause difficulties including emulsion breakdown during the oil-adding phase. Often a long agitation process is required to achieve proper dispersal/emulsification, presenting one of the trickiest phases of the production process. Though, as technology in the food industry advances, processing has been shortened drastically allowing roughly 1000 liters to be produced in 10 minutes.

 
Commercial mayonnaise sold in jars originated in Philadelphia in 1907 when Amelia Schlorer decided to start selling her own mayonnaise recipe originally used in salads sold in the family grocery store. Mrs. Schlorer’s Mayonnaise was an instant success with local customers and eventually grew into the Schlorer Delicatessen Company. Around the same time in New York City, a family from Vetschau, Germany, at Richard Hellmann’s delicatessen on Columbus Avenue, featured his wife’s homemade recipe in salads sold in their delicatessen. The condiment quickly became so popular that Hellmann began selling it in “wooden boats” that were used for weighing butter. In 1912, Mrs. Hellmann’s mayonnaise was mass-marketed and later was trademarked in 1926 as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise.

 

 

Making mayonnaise with a whisk

Making mayonnaise with a whisk

A typical formulation for commercially made mayonnaise (not low fat) can contain as much as 80% vegetable oil, usually soybean but sometimes olive oil. Water makes up about 7% to 8% and egg yolks about six percent. Some formulas use whole eggs instead of just yolks. The remaining ingredients include vinegar (4%), salt (1%) and sugar (1%). Low-fat formulas will typically decrease oil content to just 50% and increase water content to about 35%. Egg content is reduced to 4% and vinegar to 3%. Sugar is increased to 1.5% and salt lowered to 0.7%. Gums or thickeners (4%) are added to increase viscosity, improve texture, and ensure a stable emulsion.

There are several ways to prepare mayonnaise, but on average it contains around 700 kilocalories (2,900 kJ) per 100 grams, or 94 calories per tablespoon. This makes mayonnaise a calorically dense food.

 

 

Vegan sandwich with egg-free mayo

Vegan sandwich with egg-free mayo

There are egg-free versions of mayonnaise available for vegans and others who want to avoid eggs, animal fat, and cholesterol, or who have egg allergies. In the US, these alternatives cannot be labelled as “mayonnaise” because of the FDA’s definition of mayonnaise making egg a requirement.

Well-known brands include Nayonaise and Vegenaise in North America, and Plamil Egg Free in the UK.

In August 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration sent out a warning letter to the San Francisco company Hampton Creek, objecting to the name of their “Just Mayo” product, which is not egg-based and therefore does not meet the U.S. legal definition of “mayonnaise”.

 

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One of America’s Favorites – Tartar Sauce

January 11, 2016 at 6:28 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Tartar sauce is often served with fried seafood

Tartar sauce is often served with fried seafood

Tartar sauce (in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, tartare sauce) is a mayonnaise or aioli-based sauce, typically of a rough consistency. It is often used as a condiment with seafood dishes.

 
Tartar sauce is based on either mayonnaise (egg yolk, mustard or vinegar, oil) or aioli (egg yolk, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice), with certain other ingredients added. In the UK, recipes typically add to the base capers, gherkins, lemon juice, and tarragon. US recipes may include chopped pickles or prepared green sweet relish, capers, onions (or chives), and fresh parsley. Chopped hard-boiled eggs or olives are sometimes added, as may be Dijon mustard and cocktail onions. Paul Bocuse describes sauce tartare explicitly as a sauce remoulade, in which the characterising anchovy purée is to be substituted by some hot Dijon mustard.

 
The sauce and its name have been found in cookbooks since the 19th century. The name derives from the French sauce tartare, named after the Tatars (Ancient spelling in French of the ethnic group: Tartare) from the Eurasian Steppe, who once occupied Ukraine and parts of Russia. Beyond this, the etymology is unclear.

An idea of what people in the nineteenth century meant by naming something “tartar” can be found in a recipe of Isabella Beeton in “The Book of Household Management” of 1861, recipe no. 481, “Tartar mustard”, made of horseradish vinegar, cayenne and ordinary mustard. In her recipe no. 503, “Remoulade, or French Salad-Dressing”, she describes a preparation with tarragon that can hardly be identified with a Remoulade as standardized by Auguste Escoffier forty years later or as it is considered today. But she explains that the tarragon for her recipe of “Green Remoulade” comes originally from Tartary. In the days of Tsarism, the Russian properties in Asia south of Siberia were frequently called Tartary, especially when an exotic undertone was intended. Sauce Tartare might be a descriptive term for a tarragon mayonnaise named after the origin of the so-called Russian tarragon, which actually is rarely used for culinary purposes.

In 1903 Auguste Escoffier gave a recipe for Sauce Remoulade (Rec. No. 130) with both mustard and anchovy essence, but he used only the term Sauce Tartare for it in the rest of the book. This is still common use in Austria and former Austrian regions like Bohemia, where Sauce Remoulade and Sauce Tartare are synonyms on restaurant menus. The German dictionary “Langenscheidt, Maxi-Wörterbuch English, 120.000 Phrases of 2002” identifies Tartar(e) Sauce as Remouladensosse.

In the early era of the Haute Cuisine from about 1890 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914 minced filet of beef was dressed with Sauce Tartare and served raw as Boeuf Tartare or steak tartare with regard to the sauce’s name. Between the World Wars, until today, it came into fashion to serve the dish with regard to the raw unprocessed meat just with the unprocessed ingredients of the sauce.

In fact, the Tatars have nothing to do with the sauce or raw beef steaks. Especially in the Haute Cuisine era, dish names were frequently selected from contemporary, fashionable, public issues to gain attention.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Deviled Egg

September 14, 2015 at 5:01 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A plate of deviled eggs

A plate of deviled eggs

Deviled eggs (US) or devilled eggs (UK) are hard-boiled eggs, shelled, cut in half, and filled with the hard-boiled egg’s yolk mixed with other ingredients such as mayonnaise and mustard, but many other variants exist internationally. Deviled eggs are usually served cold. They are served as a side dish, appetizer or a main course, and are a common holiday or party food.

 

 

The term “deviled”, in reference to food, was in use in the 18th century, with the first known print reference appearing in 1786. In the 19th century, it came to be used most often with spicy or zesty food, including eggs prepared with mustard, pepper or other ingredients stuffed in the yolk cavity.

In parts of the Southern and Midwestern United States, the terms “stuffed eggs”, “salad eggs”, “dressed eggs”, or “angel eggs” are also used, particularly when served in connection with church functions, avoiding the name “Devil.” The term “angel eggs” is also used in association with deviled eggs stuffed with “healthier” alternatives.

 

 

Cool hard-boiled eggs are peeled and halved lengthwise, and the yolks are removed. The yolks are then mashed and mixed with a variety of other ingredients, such as mayonnaise and mustard. Tartar sauce or Worcestershire sauce are also frequently used. Other common flavorings include: diced pickle or pickle relish, salt, ground black pepper, powdered cayenne pepper or chipotle chillies, turmeric, vinegar, green olives, pimentos, poppyseed, thyme, cilantro, minced onion, pickle brine, caviar, cream, capers, and sour cream. The yolk mixture is then scooped with a spoon and piped back into each egg “cup”. Old Bay, paprika, curry powder, cayenne, chives, and dill may then be sprinkled on top as a garnish. It may be further decorated with dollops of caviar, anchovy, bacon, shrimp or herring.

 

 

Contemporary versions of deviled eggs tend to include a wider range of seasonings and added foods, such as garlic, horseradish, wasabi, sliced jalapeños, cheese, chutney, capers, salsa, hot sauce, ham, mushrooms, spinach, sour cream, caviar, shrimp, smoked salmon or other seafood, and sardines.

 

Deviled egg plate

Deviled egg plate

The deviled egg can be seen in recipes as far back as ancient Rome, where they were traditionally served as a first course. It is still popular across the continent of Europe. In France it is called œuf mimosa; in Hungary, töltött tojás (“stuffed egg”) or kaszinótojás (“casino egg”); in Romania, ouă umplute (“stuffed eggs”); in the Netherlands gevuld ei (“stuffed egg”); in Sweden fyllda ägg (“stuffed eggs”); in Malta it is called bajd mimli (“stuffed eggs”). In many European countries, especially Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, a variation is served known as “Russian eggs”. This consists of eggs cut in half, served with vegetable macédoine and garnished with mayonnaise, parsley and tomato. Contrary to what the name might suggest, the dish does not originate in Russia: its name derives from the fact that the eggs are served on a bed of macédoine, which is sometimes called Russian salad. In the Black Forest region of Germany, Russian eggs may be garnished with caviar. In Sweden, the deviled egg is a traditional dish on the Easter Smörgåsbord, where the yolk is mixed with caviar, cream or sour cream, optionally chopped red onion, and decorated with chopped chives or dill, perhaps with a piece of anchovy or pickled herring. Deviled eggs are a common dish in the United States. In the Midwestern and Southern U.S., they are commonly served as hors d’oeuvres before a full meal is served, often during the summer months. Deviled eggs are so popular in the United States that special carrying trays are sold for them. Prepared and packaged deviled eggs are now available in some U.S. supermarkets.

In French cuisine, the other ingredients are most likely to be pepper and parsley. In Hungarian cuisine the yolks are mashed and mixed with white bread soaked in milk, mustard and parsley, often served as an appetizer in mayonnaise or as a main course baked in the oven with Hungarian sour cream topping and served with French fries. Other common flavorings of the yolks in the German cuisine are anchovy, cheese and caper.

 

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

August 14, 2015 at 5:22 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Thank you to Cathy L. for passing this Hint along!….

 
When you can’t get the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, try dribbling a little of your favorite vinegar into it, put the cap on tightly and shake well. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve been wasting.

One of America’s Favorites – Tuna Fish Sandwich

June 22, 2015 at 5:14 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A tuna fish sandwich, also known as a tuna salad sandwich or a tuna sandwich, is a type of sandwich made from

A tuna fish sandwich with black olives and avocado

A tuna fish sandwich with black olives and avocado

canned tuna, usually combined with other ingredients such as mayonnaise and celery. Other common variations include the tuna boat and tuna melt.

The sandwich has been called “the mainstay of almost everyone’s American childhood,” and “the staple of the snatched office lunch for a generation.” In the United States, 52% of canned tuna is used for sandwiches.

 
A tuna fish sandwich is usually made with canned tuna mixed with mayonnaise and other ingredients, such as chopped celery, pickles or pickle relish, hard-boiled eggs, onion, cucumber, sweetcorn, and/or black olives. Other recipes may use olive oil, Miracle Whip, salad cream, mustard, or yogurt instead of or in addition to mayonnaise. The sandwich may be topped with lettuce, tomato or other vegetables and fruits, such as cucumbers, bean sprouts or avocado in any combination.

A tuna melt sandwich served with French fries

A tuna melt sandwich served with French fries

A tuna melt has melted cheese on top of the tuna or on a tomato slice and is served on toasted bread. A tuna boat is a tuna sandwich served in a hot dog bun or long split bread roll.

 
Tuna is a relatively high protein food and it is very high in omega-3 fatty acids. A sandwich made from 100 grams of tuna and two slices of toasted white bread has approximately 287 Calories, 96 Calories of which are from fat (10.5 grams fat). It also has 20 grams of protein and 27 grams of carbohydrates.

According to the StarKist company:

The nutritional content of albacore may vary naturally from catch to catch. In particular, the fat and calorie content will differ depending on the region or depth where the fish are caught. Albacore tuna that swim close to the water surface can be higher in fat than tuna caught in deep ocean waters—but they are also lower in mercury content and higher in omega-3 content. Because availability of albacore tuna may vary from season to season, we use two different labels to accurately show the fat and calorie content of the product contents.

A larger, commercially prepared tuna fish sandwich has more calories than noted above, based on its serving size. A 6-inch Subway tuna sub of 238 grams has 480 calories, 210 of those from fat, 600 miligrams of sodium, and 20 grams of protein.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Lobster Roll

January 19, 2015 at 6:34 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 5 Comments
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A lobster roll from "The Lobster Claw" in Bar Harbor, Maine

A lobster roll from “The Lobster Claw” in Bar Harbor, Maine

A traditional lobster roll is a sandwich filled with lobster meat soaked in butter and served on a steamed hot dog bun or similar roll, so that the opening is on the top rather than on the side. There are variations of this sandwich made in other parts of New England, which may contain diced celery or scallion, and mayonnaise. The sandwich may also contain lettuce, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Traditional New England restaurants serve lobster rolls (made with butter, not mayonnaise) with potato chips or french fries on the side.[citation needed] The lobster roll was first originated at a restaurant named Perry’s, in Milford, Connecticut as early as 1929, according to John Mariani’s,

 

“Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink.” Once Perry’s put the new sandwich on its menu, its popularity spread up and down the Connecticut coast, but not far beyond. For those residing in Connecticut, a lobster roll served warm is simply called a “lobster roll” while the lobster roll served cold as it is throughout the rest of the northeast region and the world is called a “lobster salad roll” . The lobster salad roll took off on the Eastern End of Long Island, New York, starting in 1965, pioneered by the Lobster Roll Restaurant The Lobster Roll.

 

 

As far back as 1970, chopped lobster meat heated in drawn butter was served on a hot dog bun at road side stands such as Red’s Eats in Maine, Lobster rolls in the U.S. are associated with the state of Maine, but are also commonly available at seafood restaurants in the other New England states and on Eastern Long Island, where lobster fishing is common. They tend to be virtually unheard-of in landlocked regions (such as the Upper Midwest), where fresh lobster is more expensive and more difficult to obtain.

Lobster rolls prepared in Maine generally have several common characteristics: first, the roll itself is a “New England” or “Frankfurter” roll that is baked slightly differently from a standard hot dog roll, so the sides are flat and can be buttered on the outside and lightly grilled or toasted, and is split on the top instead of the side; second, the lobster meat in the roll is usually served cold, rather than warm or hot; third, there can be a very light spread of mayonnaise inside the bun or tossed with the meat before filling the roll, though usually do not have any other ingredients typical of the “lobster salad” variation in other parts of New England. The lobster meat is usually knuckle, claw, and tail meat chunks, with 4oz of meat (“1/4 pound”) the common advertised serving size.

They are a staple summer meal throughout the Maritime provinces in Canada, particularly Nova Scotia where they may also appear on hamburger buns, baguettes, or other types of bread rolls — even pita pockets. The traditional sides are potato chips and dill pickles.

 

 

McDonald's McLobster lobster roll sandwich

McDonald’s McLobster lobster roll sandwich

McDonald’s McLobster lobster roll sandwich
Some McDonald’s restaurants in New England and the Canadian Maritimes offer lobster rolls as a seasonal menu item when McDonald’s can buy frozen lobster cheaply, called the McLobster Roll.

 

One of America’s Favorites – the BLT

November 25, 2013 at 8:22 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 1 Comment
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BLT sandwich on toast

BLT sandwich on toast

 

A BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) is a type of bacon sandwich. The standard BLT is made up of five ingredients: bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and bread. The BLT evolved from the tea sandwiches served before 1900 at a similar time to the club sandwich, although it is unclear when the name BLT became the norm.

 

 

 

While there are variations on the BLT, the essential ingredients are bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and bread. The quantity and quality of the ingredients are matters of personal preference. The bacon can be well cooked or tender, but as it “carries” the other flavours, chefs recommend using higher quality meat; in particular, chef Edward Lee states “Your general supermarket bacon is not going to cut the mustard”.
Iceberg lettuce is a common choice because it does not add too much flavour whilst adding crunch. Food writer Ed Levine has suggested that BLT does not require lettuce at all, as it is “superfluous”, a suggestion that Jon Bonné, lifestyle editor at MSNBC, described as “shocking”. Michele Anna Jordan, author of The BLT Cookbook, believes the tomato is the key ingredient and recommends the use of the beefsteak tomato as it has more flesh and fewer seeds.
The mayonnaise used significantly influences the flavor of the BLT. The bread can be of any variety, white or wholemeal, toasted or not, depending on personal preference. A popular Southern California variation is the BLAT (Bacon Lettuce Avocado & Tomato). Though usually served on toasted Sourdough bread, one can still find the 1970s hippie version: dense grain bread, bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato and alfalfa sprouts.

 

 

 

The sandwich has a high sodium and fat content, and has been specifically targeted by UK café chains in an effort to reduce salt and fat. Due to the this, low-fat mayonnaise is a common substitute along with low salt bread and less fatty bacon. In 2009, seven large cafe chains in the UK made a commitment to reducing salt and fat through similar substitutions. A more visible solution is to use turkey bacon in lieu of normal bacon. One of the variations on the BLT is the club sandwich, a two-layered sandwich in which one layer is a BLT. The other layer can be almost any sort of sliced meat, normally chicken or turkey.
The BLT has been deconstructed into a number of forms, for example Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock created a BLT salad in The Gift of Southern Cooking, by cutting the ingredients into 1 inch (25 mm) pieces and tossing in mayonnaise. This variation was described by New York Times writer Julia Reed as “even more perfect than a BLT”.
Vegans and vegetarians may replace bacon with tempeh as meat analogue instead. This recipe is called TLT (Tempeh, Lettuce, and Tomato). Alternatively they can use mock bacon.

 

 

 

Although the ingredients of the BLT have existed for many years, there is little evidence of BLT sandwich recipes prior to 1900. In the 1903 Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book, a recipe for a club sandwich included bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and a slice of turkey sandwiched between two slices of bread. Whilst the 1929 book Seven Hundred Sandwiches does include a section on bacon sandwiches, the recipes often include pickles and none contain tomato.
The BLT became popular after World War II because of the rapid expansion of supermarkets, which allowed ingredients to be available year-round. The initials, representing “bacon, lettuce, tomato”, likely began in the American restaurant industry as shorthand for the sandwich, but it is unclear when this transferred to the public consciousness. For example, a 1951 edition of the Saturday Evening Post makes reference to the sandwich, although it does not use its initials, describing a scene in which: “On the tray, invariably, are a bowl of soup, a toasted sandwich of bacon, lettuce and tomato, and a chocolate milk shake.” A 1954 issue of Modern Hospital contains a meal suggestion that includes: “Bean Soup, Toasted Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich, Pickles, Jellied Banana Salad, Cream Dressing, and Pound Cake.” By 1958, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise advertised their product as “traditional on bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches,” suggesting that the combination had been around for some time. However, there are several references to a “B.L.T” in the early 1970s, including in one review of Bruce Jay Friedman’s play entitled Steambath titled: “A B.L.T. for God – hold the mayo.”. The abbreviation used in title references a line of dialogue in the play in which God yells, “Send up a bacon and lettuce and tomato sandwich, hold the mayo. You burn the toast, I’ll smite you down with my terrible swift sword.”The coexistence of the shortened version and the full name suggests this was a period of transition as the abbreviation was popularized.

 

 

 

According to food historian John Mariani, it is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the ham sandwich, and a poll by One Poll in 2008 showed that it was the “nation’s favorite” sandwich in the UK. BLT sandwiches are popular especially in the summer, following the tomato harvest. In the USA, the BLT-season is associated with an increase in the price of pork-bellies, which are processed into bacon.

 

 

 

BLT with Potato Wedges

BLT with Potato Wedges

In 1963, pop art sculptor Claes Oldenburg created a giant BLT sandwich sculpture, currently on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It measures 32 by 39 inches (81 × 99 cm) and uses vinyl, kapok and wood, painted in acrylic. Every time it is moved, it must be restacked, which means it varies between exhibits. The artist has said that he has not set it up personally since its creation in 1963.
In 2003, a record for the world’s largest BLT was created by Michele Anna Jordan, measuring 108 feet (33 m) in length. It was prepared at a 2003 tomato festival in Sonoma County, California and had a total area of 14,976 square inches (96,620 cm2). In 2008, Marie Ganister and Glenda Castelli created a 146 feet (45 m) BLT – a sandwich which was originally planned with Jordan. The record was broken again by the Iron Barley restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri, with a BLT measuring 179 feet (55 m), and is currently held by Bentley Dining Services for their 2009 attempt, measuring 209 feet 1 inch (63.73 m).
In 2004, the New Statesman reported that the sandwich chosen by a politician as his “favourite” is loaded with political symbolism. For example, it suggested that a chicken tikka sandwich would be a “gentle nod to an imperial past and a firm statement of a multicultural present and future”. The article went on to explain that the then Leader of the Opposition William Hague had accused the then Prime Minister Tony Blair of being a hypocrite with regards to food, telling one portion of society that his favourite meal was fish and chips and another that it was a fresh fettuccine dish. The conclusion of the article was that Blair chose the BLT as his favourite sandwich, which appeals to all classes.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Mayonnaise

October 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Posted in cooking, Food | 1 Comment
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Mayonnaise often abbreviated as mayo, is a thick creamy sauce often used as a condiment. It originates from Mahon, Spain. It is a

Standard ingredients and tools to make mayonnaise.

stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Lecithin in the egg yolk is the emulsifier. Mayonnaise varies in color but is often white, cream, or pale yellow. It may range in texture from that of light cream to thick. In countries influenced by French culture, mustard is also a common ingredient. In Spain and Italy, olive oil is used as the oil and mustard is never included. Numerous other sauces can be created from it with addition of various herbs, spices, and finely chopped pickles. Where mustard is used, it is also an emulsifier.

 

The origin of mayonnaise is the town of Mahon in Menorca (Spain), after Armand de Vignerot du Plessis‘s victory over the British at the city’s port in 1756. According to this version, the sauce was originally known as “salsa mahonesa” in Spanish and “maonesa” in Catalan (as it is still known in Menorca), later becoming mayonnaise as it was popularized by the French. The French Larousse Gastronomique suggests: “Mayonnaise, in our view, is a popular corruption of moyeunaise, derived from the very old French word moyeu, which means yolk of egg.” The sauce may have been christened mayennaise after Charles de Lorraine, duke of Mayenne, because he took the time to finish his meal of chicken with cold sauce before being defeated in the Battle of Arques.

Nineteenth-century culinary writer Pierre Lacam suggested that in 1459, a London woman named Annamarie Turcauht stumbled upon this condiment after trying to create a custard of some sort.

According to Trutter et al.: “It is highly probable that wherever olive oil existed, a simple preparation of oil and egg came about – particularly in the Mediterranean region, where aioli (oil and garlic) is made.”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, mayonnaise was in use in English as early as 1823 in the journal of Lady Blessington.

Mayonnaise can be made by hand with a mortar and pestle, whisk or fork, or with the aid of an electric mixer or blender. Mayonnaise is

Making mayonnaise with a whisk.

made by slowly adding oil to an egg yolk, while whisking vigorously to disperse the oil. The oil and the water in yolks form a base of the emulsion, while lecithin and protein from the yolks are the emulsifiers that stabilizes it. Additionally, a bit of a mustard may also be added to sharpen its taste, and further stabilize the emulsion. Mustard contains small amounts of lecithin. It is a process that requires watching; if the liquid starts to separate and look like pack-ice, or curd, it simply requires starting again with an egg yolk, whisking it, slowly adding the ‘curd’ while whisking, and the mixture will emulsify to become mayonnaise. If water is added to the yolk it can emulsify more oil, thus making more mayonnaise.

A classic European recipe is essentially the same as the basic one described above, but it uses olive oil with vinegar or lemon juice. It is essential to beat the mayonnaise using a whisk while adding the olive oil a little (e.g. a teaspoon) at a time, then it is possible to add the oil more quickly while briskly whisking to incorporate the oil into the emulsion. If there are two people in the kitchen, one person can slowly pour the oil while the other does the whisking. Experienced cooks can judge when the mayonnaise is done by the emulsion’s resistance to the beating action. Herbs and spices can be added at any stage and the vinegar may have already been infused with sprigs of French tarragon, or the oil may have been infused with garlic.

Homemade mayonnaise can approach 85% fat before the emulsion breaks down; commercial mayonnaise is more typically 70-80% fat. “Low fat” mayonnaise products contain starches, cellulose gel, or other ingredients to simulate the texture of real mayonnaise.

Some recipes, both commercial and homemade, use the whole egg, including the white. It can also be made using solely egg whites, with no yolks at all, if it is done at high speed in a food processor. The resulting texture appears to be the same and, if seasoned with salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar and a little paprika, for example, the taste is similar to traditional mayonnaise made with egg yolks.

Commercial producers either pasteurize the yolks, freeze them and substitute water for most of their liquid, or use other emulsifiers. They also typically use soybean oil, for its lower cost, instead of olive oil.

Commercial mayonnaise sold in jars originated in Philadelphia in 1907 when Amelia Schlorer decided to start selling her own mayonnaise recipe originally used in salads sold in the family grocery store. Mrs. Schlorer’s Mayonnaise was an instant success with local customers and eventually grew into the Schlorer Delicatessen Company. Around the same time in New York City, a family from Vetschau, Germany, at Richard Hellmann’s delicatessen on Columbus Avenue, featured his wife’s homemade recipe in salads sold in their deli. The condiment quickly became so popular that Hellmann began selling it in “wooden boats” that were used for weighing butter. In 1912, Mrs. Hellmann’s mayonnaise was mass marketed and later was trademarked in 1926 as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise.

At about the same time that Mrs. Schlorer’s and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise were thriving on the East Coast of the United States, a California company, Best Foods, introduced their own mayonnaise, which turned out to be very popular in the western United States. In 1932, Best Foods bought the Hellmann’s brand. By then, both mayonnaises had such commanding market shares in their own half of the country that it was decided that both brands be preserved. The company is now owned by Unilever.

In the Southeastern part of the United States, Mrs. Eugenia Duke of Greenville, South Carolina, founded the Duke Sandwich Company in 1917 to sell sandwiches to soldiers training at nearby Fort Sevier. Her homemade mayonnaise became so popular that her company began to focus exclusively on producing and selling the mayonnaise, eventually selling out to the C.F. Sauer Company of Richmond, Virginia, in 1929. Duke’s Mayonnaise, remains a popular brand of mayonnaise in the Southeast, although it is not generally available in other markets.

In addition to an almost ubiquitous presence in American sandwiches, mayonnaise forms the basis of Northern Alabama’s signature White Barbeque sauce. It is also used to add stability to American-style buttercream and occasionally in cakes as well.

 

 

Apple Chicken Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast or chicken tenders
1/4 cup finely-diced Red Delicious apple
1/4 cup finely-diced celery
1/4 cup finely-diced sweet onions
1/4 cup ranch dressing, lite or reduced
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise, reduced fat or fat free
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Walnut pieces, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, or your favorite salad fixings

Preparation:
Gently toss chicken breast, apple, celery, sweet onions, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, salt, and pepper until well-combined.

Serve with salad greens, walnuts, tomatoes, and olives or as a filler for sandwiches.

Yield: 4 servings

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