Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Ode to Mayonnaise

It seems that this world is divided into two types of people: Those that eschew mayonnaise and those that can consume mass quantities of it single meals. There is no in-between. Either mayonnaise totally creeps you out, or it is one of your dearest, time-tested culinary companions. I find myself in the latter group. I love mayonnaise. So...there. It's out. I've said it.

I feel so much better now.

I have always been somewhat embarrassed by my passion for the stuff. It's definitely not the most glamorous, or um, health-conscious thing to eat. And it's impossible to look sophisticated whilst eating something gobbed with the white, greasy goo. When fellow mayonnaise junkies discover one another, there's an instant bond. An unspoken camaraderie. Together, we share in the fellowship of our mayonnaise-y sufferings. We've heard the comments. The jeers. Seen the peculiar looks as we smother our various food items with the thick, white, gooey condiment. I believe that mayonnaise lovers are really rebels at heart. We go on and eat our mayonnaise-laden victuals, raising our greasy fists in the air shouting, "To heck with my arteries!" And we stick together.

I remember one such instantaneous bond occurring a few years ago, when the mom's group I was a member of ventured out for a play date and lunch at the mall. We sat down to eat our Chick-Fil-A, and I found myself sitting across from a young mother and relatively new member of our church. As we pulled out our respective value meals and readied them for consumption, our eyes fell on each others' piles of mayonnaise adjacent to our waffle fries. We looked at our food. We looked at each other. And a profound mutual respect was earned that day.

If you've never tried mayo on your waffle fries, before you scoff, I double dog dare you to give it a try. No, I triple dog dare you. I don't find the obsessive compulsion to do this to any other pile of fries EXCEPT waffle fries. There's just something about the way the pockets (or holes) trap the extra mayo, making it extra mayo-licious. I've been ridiculed mercilessly for my waffle fry habit, even by so-called "friends" and family. People that simply do not understand the finer things in life. People with, I'm just going to go ahead and say it, underdeveloped and immature pallets.

I guess I feel this strongly about all condiments. My philosophy is, Why bother eating something if you can't smother it with something, rendering it completely unrecognizable??? To me, the food is just a medium for the sauce. I've been known to pour copious amounts of mayonnaise and other various sauces on my food at what some would deem "inconvenient" or "inappropriate" times. Whilst traveling at high velocities. Whilst wearing evening wear, etc.

I've been a mayonnaise fan ever since I was a kid. I used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches. It's not rocket science. There's no guess work. It's two pieces of bread with, you guessed it, nothing but mayonnaise. Oh sure, you can throw on a tomato or two if you want to get all gourmet-like. But for me, there was nothing finer, or simpler than a mayonnaise sandwich. Go ahead and make one. You know you want to. Any brand of mayo will do in pinch. And believe me, I've tried them all. But Hellmann's is the best, by far. There really is no substitute.

Not only am I a fan of mayonnaise itself, but I love all mayonnaise-based things. Potato salad. Chicken salad. Egg salad. Tuna salad. Dips made with mayonnaise. And a sandwich just isn't complete without a dollop (or two...or three...or four) of mayonnaise. And I recently stumbled across this ingenious invention. Are you even kidding me??? That's like combining Heaven with even more Heaven. Double Heaven. In a jar, no less. I might never leave the house.

So, tell me. Are you a mayo slut or a mayo prude? Go on. Hit me with it.