I’ve been doing this blog for a little while now and mostly just put up recipes and occasionally a restaurant review for you guys to enjoy. That has been fine up to now but I think its about time I kick it up a notch and start discussing a few other food related topics like tips, tricks, ideas and just my general opinion on different cooking, prep, food and shopping topics.
I don’t claim to know everything about cooking but I do know some things that work for me and over the years have come up with ways of doing things that my help out the new or causal home chef. Even if these tips don’t help you out, I at least hope you get a little enjoyment or even a chuckle out of reading them.
So let’s get to the first topic on my mind. Mayonnaise, or just mayo to a lot of us. More specifically “Light Mayo”. I know that for me growing up in a very southern family, mayonnaise was a huge part of certain meals. Burgers, slaws, sandwiches, tomato pie, tuna salad, egg salad, etc… It all had mayo and usually lots of it. Now some people out there don’t like mayonnaise or think its just gross. If you fall into that category then just go ahead and move along. You will find no enjoyment here. (Just kidding, keep reading, you may learn something).
I have tried a lot of different mayo’s and can tell you that they are definitely not all created equal. Each brand has their own unique flavor and consistency. There are even quite a few alternative types of mayo starting to get more and more popular these days. Olive oil mayo and avocado mayo are two that spring to mind. Sadly those are not as good as the original. Now let’s face it, mayonnaise is not really that good for you. As I get older I have come to the conclusion that I need to pay a little more attention to health and less to that creamy goodness that I grew up on. So began my journey to find a good light mayo that tasted like the real thing. I don’t know about you all but this is a daunting and near impossible task. There are many varieties of light and low fat mayo out there but for the most part they all are pretty bad compared to the real deal. I have found that when you start taking out the stuff that makes it bad for you to lighten it up, you are also removing the flavor and the texture and consistency that make it so great.
Regular mayo has a great thick and creamy consistency which to me is just as important as the taste. The two actually go hand in hand. Most light mayo’s however have a more “synthetic” or oily texture to them. You don’t get that rich creaminess no matter which brand you use.
To give you an idea of my tastes in mayo I will list my top three big brands. Hellmanns is at the very tippy top as my all time favorite. It has the flavor and creaminess and mixes the best in various salads and recipes. Next up would be Dukes. Dukes is similar to Hellmanns in consistency but has a slightly different flavor. I would say it is a little more tangy. It also mixes well and has a great creamy factor. Third on the list is Kraft. While a very good and solid mayo it tends to lack the overall creaminess and consistency that the other two have but is still a good mayo and works fine if that is all that is available. So keeping that in mind, you now know where I am going with my search for a good light mayo.
Hold on! Let’s pause for a second. Before I go any further we need to clear something up. This is something that just bugs the heck out of me and I feel that people need to be made aware of. Miracle Whip IS NOT Mayonnaise or anywhere close to being a suitable replacement for it. Let me say that again… Miracle Whip IS NOT Mayonnaise or anywhere close to being a suitable replacement for it. If I come to your house for a cookout and you are making burgers and all you have out for toppings are ketchup, mustard and Miracle Whip, there is a great chance that we will not be friends any more. That stuff is gross. So just don’t do it. Consider this a public service announcement.
Now back to my search for a light mayo. This search is more about finding a light mayo that works well when mixed into something like tuna or egg salad. Most of the light mayo’s are passable on a sandwich but very few actually taste right or give the right consistency when mixed into something. I had just about given up my search when I happened to be walking down the aisle at Target recently and saw a sale sign for their Market Pantry brand of condiments. I usually don’t go for the store brand of… well of just about anything, but I saw this light mayo sitting there on sale for very cheap and I thought “what the heck”? If I didn’t like it I wasn’t going to be out much and knowing me I would find something I could use it in. I got home and popped open the squeeze bottle and put some on a sandwich and took a big bite. To my surprise there was a creaminess that most light mayo’s don’t have. It also had way more flavor than most light mayo’s. I was kind of shocked. So I decided a few days later to make a tuna salad. I chopped up my onions, and pickles and a little bit of bell pepper and then popped open a can of tuna (all of a sudden my cats decided they liked me) and then started mixing in the light mayo until I get it the way I like it. After taking a bite I was again, very surprised and pleased at what I had discovered. This store brand, Market Pantry, Target, Light Mayo also mixes into salads well. At least way better than most other light mayo’s I have tried.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like using regular old full fat mayo. I’m sorry but nothing is going to be able to replace that. But if you are looking for a great tasting, light suitable replacement, then this is the way to go. It is without a doubt as close as I have got to the real thing.
Give it a try yourself and see what you think. If you have any suggestions or thoughts please comment below and let me know. Unless you are trying to advocate for Miracle Whip. Then you can keep that to yourselves. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.
Thanks for reading,