In cooking, mayonnaise is a thick, white, creamy, cold sauce; an emulsion of fat (originally olive oil, now usually other vegetable oils) suspended in a matrix of egg yolks, flavored with vinegar or lemon juice, and seasonings.

Mayonnaise is made by slowly introducing oil into the other liquids while whisking vigorously to break up the fat into small droplets that will become dispersed in the liquid. The egg yolks provide lecithin, which stabilizes the emulsion. It is then seasonedd with salt and sometimes other seasonings.

Mayonnaise is only eaten cold, for instance on sandwiches (mainly in North America) and on French fries (mainly in northern Europe and Canada). The French serve it with cold chicken and, frequently in unassuming restaurants, with cold, sliced, hard-boiled eggs. It is also often used as a base for many other cold sauces with more varied ingredients. Aioli, for example, is a garlic-flavored mayonnaise. Popular herbed mayonnaises include tartar sauce. Many salad dressings are mayonnaise-based.

Homemade mayonnaise can approach 75% fat before the emulsion breaks down; commercial mayonnaises are more typically 65-70% fat.

Homemade mayonnaise can also be made using raw egg whites, with no yolks at all, at least if it is done at high speed in a food processor. The resulting texture appears to be the same, and, if properly seasoned with salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, and a little paprika, it is indistinguishable in taste from that made with egg yolks.

Since homemade mayonnaise contains raw egg yolks, it poses a danger of salmonella poisoning.  At home, be sure to use the freshest eggs possible, and thoroughly clean them before use. Some stores sell pasteurizedd eggs for home use. You can also coddle the eggs in 170° water and remove the hot yolks from the whites, which will have cooked slightly. Homemade mayonnaise will only keep under refrigeration for three to four days. A lower-fat version can be made with silken tofu.

Real Cooking

Commercial Mayonnaise
Commercial mayonnaise producers pasteurize the egg yolks, or freeze them, and substitute water for most of their liquid, or use other emulsifiers.

Commercial products typically replace much or all of the egg yolk with water, requiring the addition of lecithin or other emulsifiers from sources such as soy (some commercial mayonnaises may thus be appropriate for vegans). "

Commercial mayonnaises are more typically 65-70% fat.

Low fat" mayonnaise products contain starches, cellulose gel, or other ingredients to simulate the texture of real mayonnaise.

Commercial mayonnaise sold in jars was born on Manhattan's Upper West Side. In 1905, the first ready-made mayonnaise was sold at Richard Hellman's delicatessen on Columbus Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets. In 1912, Mrs Hellman's mayonnaise was mass marketed and called "Hellman's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise." FREE Recipes