Will the real mayonnaise please...
Hellmann's on the left, Haverchuk's on the right. Or I should say Henderson's, though I don't think mayonnaise really belongs to anyone in particular. The homemade mayo was inspired by Henderson; I wanted not only to see if I could get it to go boing (nope), but to try out his direction to mix with a wooden spoon. Every mayonnaise I had ever made was mixed by whisk and now I can report that a wooden spoon does the trick just as well. And I wanted to put to the test something I read a while back about mayonnaises made with extra virgin olive oil not coming together right. I wish I remember where I read this; could be McGee. Do I need to get up and check? So I was skeptical about this claim and H recommends all extra virgin. Usually I use vegetable oil because extra virgin olive oil has a distinct flavor that I don't associate with mayonnaise. Could be I don't associate it with mayonnaise because all my life I've eaten Hellmann's mayonnaise, which of course is not made with olive oil.
The procedure: combine an egg yolk, a spoonful of dijon, "a gesture of salt," and the juice of half a lemon in a bowl. (My amounts are different from H's, and he calls for half lemon juice and half vinegar.) Mix vigorously with your wooden spoon. Then drizzle in the oil while stirring. He cautions strongly, as do all cookbook authors, against adding the oil too quickly. When I was mostly done, I switched to vegetable oil because the mayo was taking on a greenish cast.
Indeed, I was astounded by the color and the olive-oiliness of the Henderson condiment. It doesn't make sense that this should be called by the same name as the stuff in the jars. It's not that one is better than the other. Hellmann's is sweeter as it contains sugar and it has much more body, as you can see, because it's produced industrially. They both make an excellent tuna salad sandwich, but I don't think I'd be as likely to collect big dollops of the Hellmann's au naturel on carrot and celery sticks and crunch away as I was doing just now between phrases of this post.
Ok, here's McGee:
-p. 634: all ingredients for making mayo should be room temp. All of mine are always cold except the oil, doesn't make a difference that I can tell.
-.p. 635: "Olive Oil Can Made Crazy Mayonnaise." This is interesting: made with olive oil, mayonnaise often "forms properly, but then separates just an hour or two later." Scientific explanations, blah blah blah, molecules, emulsifiers, droplets, blah blah blah, in Italy "the sauce is said to 'go crazy' (impazzire)." It's been about 45 minutes and the mayonnaise is ok. I'll be sure to let you know if it loses its mind.