A Brief History of Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is a mixture of oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and egg yolk that is commonly used as a dressing or sandwich spread. It’s also a staple of many everyday favorites like potato salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, and pasta salad. It may even be a secret ingredient in baked goods like biscuits, cakes, or casseroles. Although it is unclear who the inventor of mayonnaise was, the dressing was popularized by the French.

A popular story about the origin of mayonnaise claims that it was invented by the chef of the Duke of Richelieu during a siege of the Spanish island Port Mahon in 1756 during the Seven Years’ War. Some say the chef learned the recipe from residents of the island while other versions of the story say the chef invented the mayonnaise as a “victory sauce” and named it (originally “mahonnaise”) for the place where it originated. However, the history of mayonnaise remains somewhat controversial to this day, as some experts support a French origin and others a Spanish origin of the recipe.

The French, however, were responsible for introducing the sauce to the rest of the world. The first recorded recipe that resembles the modern one is found in an 1820 edition of a French cookbook by Alexandre Viard. It describes cooking an egg yolk with salt and lemon juice and adding a pound of oil. The recipe also suggests gelatin as an emulsifier for the egg and oil. The sauce became popular in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century.

While the recipe has remained more or less the same ever since, there are some new innovations for people who want to avoid eggs because of allergies, high cholesterol, or a vegan lifestyle. Just Mayo is an egg-free mayonnaise made by Hampton Creek, a food company that uses no animal products. The emulsifying ingredient in Just Mayo is made from the Canadian yellow pea. There are several flavors currently available, including original, garlic, sriracha, and chipotle, and more flavors are in production. You can find Just Mayo in many major retailers like Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and Safeway, and you will soon be able to purchase it Online from Hampton Creek.