You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

13 mayonnaise brands ranked — how did your favorite do?


Mayonnaise is to a sandwich what peanut butter is to jelly. They just belong together: Imagine a BLT without a creamy doodle on top of that slice of sun-ripened tomato, or a smoked turkey club without a thin mayo mortar on the toast. And what’s a tuna salad sandwich without mayonnaise? Chuck the bread, toss in some green beans and anchovies and make a salade nicoise instead.

Indeed, millions agree about the importance of mayo, making it one of the top condiments in the U.S., with sales for 2016 reaching $1.93 billion, according to Mintel, a market research firm. 

Yes, homemade mayonnaise is great on a sandwich — if you want to take the time to make it and aren’t put off by raw eggs (or have pasteurized eggs on hand). For the rest of us, there’s a jar of the prepared stuff waiting in the cupboard or refrigerator. 

What mayo though? That’s where the debate begins. People swear by their favorite brands (and, sometimes, swear at all the others). My Connecticut-born mother was a devout Cains fan — and there always had to be a jar in the kitchen when she visited because nothing else was going on her sandwich. We decided to put top mayonnaise brands up against each other in a blind tasting. 

In advance of this mayo comparison, I posted a photo on Facebook showing six different mayonnaise jars. No explanation — just one of those slice-of-life things you find on social media. The reaction was immediate, particularly from those wondering why their brand wasn’t there. (Don’t worry, Duke’s fans, I got a jar.) 

The Feds are very serious about what’s sold as mayonnaise in the U.S. There’s a very precise definition, that you can read here but, in short, for a mayonnaise to be sold as mayonnaise, it must be made with oil, an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, and egg yolks or “egg yolk-containing ingredients.” After that, makers can add salt, sweeteners, spices (except saffron or turmeric or anything that mimics a yolk-y color) and monosodium glutamate, among other ingredients. 

For the tasting, I purchased 13 brands, not all of which are technically mayonnaise under the government definition — that’s why you’ll find Kraft Miracle Whip Dressing and Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo Spread & Dressing, a vegan brand, here. Their popularity and widespread use called for their inclusion. 

I bought 10 of the brands at Chicago supermarkets that cater to the general public and do not require membership for admission (no membership-only club brands). Three brands were ordered via Amazon.com because they are more regional products not necessarily found here — and I wanted them in the tasting. Prices listed are what I paid (Amazon.com orders are duly noted) or the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (also noted). 

This was a blind tasting, meaning that those who participated didn’t know which mayo was which. Each taster had the option of trying the mayo as-is or spreading it on Pepperidge Farm white sliced bread — just as one might do at home. They were asked to assess the mayonnaise in terms of appearance, aroma and flavor and to rank it on a score from 1 to 9, with 1 being poor, 9 excellent and 5 average. While there was a clear winner among the brands, most rated relatively close together, so there were multiple ties. 

For the rankings, see the photo gallery.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Cooking and Recipes

Ellie Krieger perfects the zucchini noodle salad
Ellie Krieger perfects the zucchini noodle salad

I have a relatively small kitchen (not nearly the size of the one I use on my television show) and an aversion to clutter, so I tend to avoid collecting gadgets. That's why I had held off buying a spiralizer - one of those slicers that cuts vegetables into noodle shapes. Until now. After all, you can get a similar, ribbonlike effect using a vegetable...
To promote kimchi abroad, scientists are trying to get rid of the smell
To promote kimchi abroad, scientists are trying to get rid of the smell

Move along, kombucha. You're old news, kefir. The next big fermented food craze is . . . kimchi?  If Western consumers on a health kick can be convinced to drink yeasty, probiotic tea and tart, cultured yogurt, then why wouldn't they be up for spicy pickled cabbage fermented with garlic for months on end?  Well, that's the goal of South Korean...
Food & Wine magazine will leave New York for Alabama

Food & Wine, the glossy, chef-focused food magazine, is moving to Birmingham, Alabama, joining a stable of other publications owned by Time Inc. that includes Cooking Light and Southern Living. Hunter Lewis, editor of Cooking Light, will become Food & Wine’s new editor-in-chief, replacing Nilou Motamed, who is leaving the company after a little...
Sleep and weight gain
Sleep and weight gain

Oh, those early mornings and late nights. They may be contributing to a little weight gain, according to a study done in South Korea and reported in the journal, Sleep. The antidote? Sleep a little later on weekends. Those extra hours on the weekend may help people keep their weight down.  Not getting enough sleep can disrupt hormones and metabolism...
Yoplait learns to manufacture authenticity to go with its yogurt
Yoplait learns to manufacture authenticity to go with its yogurt

A few years ago, as the Yogurt Wars were heating up and Greek invaders were storming the grocery aisles, executives at Yoplait, one of the nation’s largest yogurt companies, began arguing among themselves. Thick, sour Greek yogurts with names like Chobani, Fage and Oikos were surging in popularity. Sales of runny, sugary Yoplait were oozing off...
More Stories