Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mayonnaise - in praise of the Real Hellmans

Oh lord, I'm down to the last 2 tablespoons of Hellman's Mayonnaise - real honest to goodness, New York bought Hellman's mayonnaise.

One of the horrors of "localisation" of brand foods is what is done to Hellman's Mayonnaise in the UK. Obviously it's what the company believes is preferred by British consumers. But as I'm not, I find the UK product completely alien. I've been lucky in recent years to have visiting family and friends haul over jars of Hellman's when they visit. But now I'm running on fumes so I'll have to make homemade American recipe mayo now.

Btw: Commercial mayonnaise sold in jars originated in New York City, in Manhattan's Upper West Side. In 1905, the first ready-made mayonnaise was sold by a family from Vetschau, Germany, at Richard Hellmann's delicatessen on Columbus Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets. In 1912, Mrs. Hellmann's mayonnaise was mass marketed and called Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise.

Here's the basic recipe. Details to follow after I make a batch tomorrow with my stick mixer (immersion mixer) and document the process.

2 large egg yolks
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of white pepper
1 cup oil - this should be a "tasteless" oil like sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, or canola (rapeseed)

Important: All ingredients must be at room temperature before you start this recipe.

Traditional way to make mayo:

Add first 4 ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined and light.

Whisking vigorously add the oil 1 drop at a time, whisking after each drop until it disappears into the mixture (about 8 strokes/2 seconds).

After you have added about 1/3 of the cup of oil, and the mixture has thickened a lot, start adding the rest of the oil in a slow very thin stream.

When all the oil has been added and the mix is thickened - taste and add additional lemon juice and seasoning to taste, whisking it in smoothly.

You can add crushed/mashed garlic to the mayo to create aioli or minced tarragon or other hebs. The add-ins are endless.

My way to make mayo (quick and easy)

I use a stick mixer and a narrow cylindrical container to make mayo in under 30 seconds.
I'll add details and photos tomorrow afternoon. later daughter has generously offered me her last jar of US Hellmans Mayo which I will eagerly collect tomorrow.