Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ingredient of the Day: Mayonnaise

Ingredient of the Day: Mayonnaise

I once believed that mayonnaise and Crisco were the same thing, and I shunned it as such. Over the years, however, I’ve learned to appreciate mayonnaise as a versatile spread that is easily used on sandwiches, in dips and in sauces.

That being said, I was pretty grossed out this week when a friend of mine opened up some mayonnaise and dipped a cucumber slice into the jar. Now, as a child, I did watch my dad dip his broccoli into mayonnaise, but even the chameleon mayonnaise has its limits. If you must dip things into your mayonnaise, be sure to use a superior brand like Best Foods or Helmans. Anything else will result in compromised taste and quality.

As a thick condiment made from primarily vegetable oil and egg yolks, mayonnaise is typically whitish-yellow in color. It is a stable emulsion flavored with lemon juice, vinegar, salt and occasionally mustard. Nutritionally speaking, mayonnaise can be extremely high in calories, so choose a reduced-fat option whenever possible. Reduced-fat mayonnaise contains about 45 calories per serving and about four grams of fat.

Happy Cooking,