Monday, February 3, 2014

Rant: Mayo Haters Unite

What is the #1 condiment, based on annual sales, in the country? The answer depends in part on what you consider as a condiment. Some people consider salsa as a condiment while others see it more as a dip. Ketchup is a popular condiment but some news sources have recently noted that salsa has become more popular than ketchup, though I think far more people use salsa as a dip rather than slathering it atop a sandwich or burger.

However, whether you consider salsa as a condiment or not, the #1 condiment isa ctually mayonnaise. In 2013, mayonnaise sales reached $2 Billion while ketchup sales were only $725 Million. Salsa sales are higher than ketchup, but not by much, so mayonnaise still beats salsa too.

Despite its huge popularity, mayonnaise has its detractors, including myself. Mayo haters unite! There is even an anti-mayo site, Hold That Mayo. I dislike the consistency, the taste and even the look. I don't think it adds anything to a sandwich. There are other ways to add some moistness to a sandwich. Or maybe you shouldn't be eating meat that is so dry you need mayo. Mayo usually contains lots of fat and commercial mayos can contain high fructose corn syrup. Do you really need to add all that fat and sugar to your sandwich?

At some restaurants, mayo seems to be a common ingredient on many of their sandwiches, from burgers to fish. And it is not always listed as an ingredient on the menu. I hate ordering a sandwich, which doesn't state it has mayo on the menu, and then getting it delivered to me with mayo atop it. If it has mayo, the menu should say so. And a juicy burger should never need mayo.

If you like mayo, why? What does it add to a sandwich? Do you really think mayo helps a juicy burger? With these huge sales for mayo, what am I missing?

Or if you also hate mayo, step forward and be heard. Let us tell restaurants to put that ingredient on their menus when they add it to a dish. No more surprises on our sandwiches.


Frederick Wright said...

Mayo, especially commercial grade, is a cheap and easy way to cover up low quality ingredients. So I understand why it is used excessively in American restaurants, especially 'sushi' places, most of which serve Fancy Feast-grade tuna scrape. But the real deal, the original 'sauce mayonnaise' can be a sublime condiment, and is so ridiculously easy to make from scratch.

Unknown said...

It is the WORST when something comes with mayo and doesn't say it. Why is mayo implied? Why does the restaurant assume you want mayo? I hate being "that guy" and asking "does this sandwich come with mayo?" for everything just in case. Because man, that stuff can RUIN a sandwich.

Todd - VT Wine Media said...

I'm careful not to espouse any kind of condiment condemnation ;) Even though I was never a huge fan of mayo, I did learn to appreciate it's unique quality as a tuna salad component, and sandwich toast moisturizer. Years ago I did find I quite liked a product by Nasoya called Nayonaise
which I still use today and there is no "actual" mayo in our house.
That said the Worthy Burger down the road here in South Royalton, VT has a pesto mayo for the french fries that is pretty darned good.

Anonymous said...

where did you get the $725 million figure from?