Mayonnaise is flavorless, slimy, globulous emulsion of egg and oil. I hate it because I’m a millennial socialist who hates America.
Wrong. I hate it because it tastes like what I imagine pimple juice tastes like.
Whenever I get an otherwise delicious chicken sandwich from McDonald’s, if I don’t beg them “NO MAYO,” I receive a gooey slab of meat coated in the stuff. I can’t taste the delicious flavor of the meat or the bun. All I get is mayo. This is the problem. For such a flavorless, disappointing sauce, mayo still overwhelms any sandwich it appears on. It instantly makes me feel like I just ate a tub of lard covered in raw egg.
The romanticization of mayo is not about the taste itself. It’s far too basic to be worth that. Rather, those who defend its existence as passionately as Philadelphia Magazine’s Sandy Hingston do it because they long for an America that no longer exists and never really did. They long for the “strivers,” as she calls them, of the 1950s, the pull-em-up-by-their-bootstraps white people that made America great. Well, that’s a load of racist and classist slime, almost as slimy their condiment of choice.
I do have something to say about aioli, the close cousin of mayonnaise and beloved hipster condiment. Mayo defenders like Hingston smugly observe “that’s just mayonnaise.” Only aioli isn’t mayonnaise, technically. True aioli is a Mediterranean emulsion of oil and garlic. The addition of egg as a thickener is the result of 1) ease of production and 2) adoption to Western tastes. So sure, aioli is mayonnaise-adjacent. But it’s also got flavor, and that’s the whole point. The biggest problem with mayo is its lack of flavor to distract from its color and texture, both akin to a popped zit. Plus, flavor just tastes better than no flavor? I don’t understand why this is so confusing to Baby Boomers who seem to feel we’re all still living in Levittown.
True social progress only comes when we realize we will survive change. Change in acceptable language, change in social norms, change in technology. We will survive this mayo-pocalypse, if indeed it is that. If mayonnaise ceases to exist, other far more flavorful sauces, dips, dressings and spreads will take its place. We’re living in an ever-expanding culinary cornucopia driven by food TV and a hungry populace. Let mayo die.