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

One site ranked the best food in each state — here’s what they picked for Georgia
One site ranked the best food in each state — here’s what they picked for Georgia

Chili dogs sit ready to be served at The Varsity in downtown Atlanta/ BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL It’s “best of list” time, and the website The Daily Meal is has released its list of the best food and drink in every state. Several popular Atlanta restaurants made the cut,...
Chick-fil-A opens doors on Sunday to feed stranded passengers at airport
Chick-fil-A opens doors on Sunday to feed stranded passengers at airport

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long upheld the practice of closing on Sundays. Even when it added a presence at new sports venues SunTrust Park and Mercedes-Benz Stadium this year, the fast-food chicken chain kept its concessions closed on Sunday game days . But yesterday, Chick-fil-A...
Review: in ‘Soufra,’ a women-run food truck grows in Lebanon

A stirring tale of empowerment, the documentary “Soufra” shows how societal change can begin with small steps. Mariam Shaar leads a modest food business in Bourj el Barajneh, a refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon, comprising decrepit buildings, narrow alleys and a dangerous overhead mishmash of electrical wires. Despite her status as...
Want better potato pancakes? Try tasteless grapeseed or avocado oil.
Want better potato pancakes? Try tasteless grapeseed or avocado oil.

Chef Michael Solomonov and writers Susan Barocas and Joy Wilson recently joined the Post Food staff to answer questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.  A: Because I'm not a fan of canola oil, I don't use it. For frying I like grapeseed or avocado oil, which leaves no taste. It also seems the results are less...
Fires take toll on orchards of avocados and lemons
Fires take toll on orchards of avocados and lemons

The fire that rampaged through the Brokaw Ranch in Ventura County last week was fast, furious and unstoppable, driven by winds gusting at 70 mph. Flames raced through the chaparral, setting ablaze 60-foot-tall trees whose burning embers flew into the heart of the avocado orchard. “We lost about 80 percent of our avocado crop,” said Ellen...
More Stories