The TV Made Me Say It: Jarred Mayo is the "Real" Deal
Have you seen this television ad?
I got a real earful while watching the tube one night last week. Here's how the ad begins:
What if we all said No? No to fake food. No to over processed food.
No to food that’s not fit for our kids.
For a hot second, I thought, this could be interesting television, bring it on.
And then in a bat of an eyelash, the “no to fake food” became a Yes to real. Yes to Hellmann’s.
It was the television-viewing equivalent of slamming down the brakes of your car on a pile of wet leaves.
Let’s put aside the part that I find jarred mayonnaise the most repulsive food known to man, and that if you ever serve it to me intentionally, you will no longer be my friend.
But real? When did white congealed goop in a jar become real?
Apparently, last year, when Unilever, Hellmann’s corporate parent, launched a massive online ad campaign, “In Search of Real Food,” in partnership with Yahoo! and the Food Network’s Dave Lieberman as the virtual host/emcee. (The Ethicurean’s Bonnie Powell shares her experiences of being pursued last summer by Ogilvy ad execs for her thoughts on “real food.”)
This summer, the mayo baton was passed to celeb chef Bobby Flay, who’s been executive producer of this project from get-go. (The web videos are now called “Real Food Summer School With Bobby Flay.”)
But I ask you, no matter what you think of mayo and its place in the kitchen, doesn't the notion of casting a white goopy condiment as "real food" seem a little, well, jarring?
Even this avowed jarred mayo hater has been known to make her own egg yolk emulsion and slather it on turkey sandwiches. You want a taste of the real stuff? Below, recipe notes from James Beard, the godfather of
soul, American cookery, who "learned how to make mayonnaise when I was just about tall enough to reach the work table" using a fork and elbow grease to emulsify.
Mayonnaise: Food Processor Method
From "James Beard's Theory & Practice of Good Cooking"
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (he doesn't specify black or white -- use what you like)
For his "blender method," Beard adds 1/2 teaspoon of dry or Dijon mustard, which I think is a nice touch
1 1/2 cups olive or peanut oil
With the metal blade in place, add egg vinegar, salt and pepper to the beaker. Process until blended, two to three seconds. Continue processing and gradually pour oil through feed tube, slowly at first. As mayonnaise thickens, the sound of the machine will become deeper. Taste for additional vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed. Will hold for a week to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Makes 1 3/4 cups.
Before you go, take our poll and weigh in on the white stuff:
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