Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Seven Mayos - The Great Mayo Taste Test of 2013!

BLT's on sticks were one of the items used to taste the mayos.
I was nervous after I told everyone in 37 Cooks I was making a bunch of different mayonnaise recipes for this challenge. Really nervous. And then I procrastinated. That’s what I do when I get nervous. I played 3 games of solitaire on my phone, read Facebook all morning, drank coffee, did the dishes, played 3 more games of solitaire and finally got to work.

I got nervous all over again when I made my first mayo and it broke, which means it didn't turn into mayo; it was basically colored oil. And at that moment, I couldn't decide if I would continue on with my "mayo eggstravaganza" or if I would move on to trying meringue. But, there were instructions included with that first mayo recipe telling me what to do if your mayo breaks and I decided to follow them. I ended up with amazing mayo in less than a minute!

Mayonnaise is made with only a few ingredients and those that are made with a stick blender or a food processor come together in mere seconds. If you use the whisk method, you’ll get a great cardio workout (imagine constantly whisking as fast as you can for 16 minutes!). Someone should make a kitchen workout video!

I wanted some taste-testers, so I asked my friends and neighbors and some of them were excited, but my friend Megan wasn't. She told me she couldn't be a taste-tester because she is still traumatized by the grape salad she endured in her youth in a certain part of the South that shall remain nameless. I’m sure that town is an amazing place and I don’t want to cast further aspersions. But I will say this...grape salad has two ingredients. Grapes and mayonnaise.

Pasteurized eggs eliminate the risk of salmonella, so you can use these eggs for recipes that include raw eggs. You can cook with them, too! They’re eggs. Just like there is milk and pasteurized milk. Same sorta deal.

If Davidson’s Safest Choice pasteurized eggs are available in your area, your mayo keeps for up to one week, according to the Davidson's Kitchen Director. 

Each tester received this plate with all 7 mayos plus 2 mayos for the copycat test.

Seven Mayos - The Great Mayo Taste Test of 2013!
by Sandra

Thomas Keller’s recipe from Ad Hoc at Home:
2 egg yolks
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Put yolks in the food processor. With food processor running, stream oil in very slowly. Add lemon juice and salt. Blend until combined. If your mayo breaks, (it did for me on this recipe) then you can simply pour the broken contents back into the measuring cup you are using to stream the oil, add another egg yolk to a clean food processor bowl and start over. It worked for me the second time, and I never had another broken mayo with all of the recipes I tried.

Comments from the testers: Bright, luxurious, no tang, mustardy, kind of bland, not much flavor, buttery, thick, would be great in macaroni salad.

Gordon Ramsey’s Mayo:
His instructions in this video are excellent and this is such an easy mayo to make! When I made it, I forgot to use a whole egg. This recipe doesn't work with just a yolk.

Comments from the testers: Smooth, mustardy, potent, creamy, it’s alright, tart, it was okay, watery, tastes okay, sweet, tangy, salty.

Michael Ruhlman:
1 large egg yolk, preferably organic or farm-raised
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 cup canola or vegetable oil

Place the egg yolk in a big, clean bowl and add the salt, water, a teaspoon of the lemon juice and whisk. While whisking with one hand, drop a few drops of oil in the bowl with the other hand. Continue whisking and very, very slowly, stream the oil. Now be sure to do this slowly, even if it is killing your arm, because if the mixture breaks you will be doing this all over again. Once the oil is incorporated and you have mayonnaise, add the rest of the lemon juice to taste.

Comments: Citrusy, bright, lemony, a little bland, creamy, mustardy, bitter, did not like.

Alton Brown's Mayo:
As you would expect, Alton’s recipe and video are excellent! Try it out, but expect a workout!

Comments: Lemony finish, good tang , vinegary, likes this one with the pretzel.

Tulip’s Homemade Mayo:
Tulip’s video is easy to follow.

Comments: Slight tang but not citrusy, don’t like, liked this second best overall, my favorite.

Hellman’s Copycat Recipe:
This recipe from Top Secret Recipes has interesting historical mayo information! Read it!

Comments: Tangy, almost vinegary finish, some of these taste a lot alike, too thin, not much flavor, taste lingered.

Hellman’s (from the jar):

Comments: Subtle mayo flavor but best texture and consistency, wasn't bad, I think this is Hellman’s, tasty, mildly spicy.

Pretzels were also served to the testers. Thanks for your grandmother's suggestions, Jennifer!

The Copycat Test Results:
Now for the results. First, let's talk about the test between Hellman's and the copycat recipe for Hellman's. I hand each tester two spoons. One had Hellman's and the other had the copycat. The testers were not told this, they were only asked to taste the two mayos and tell me if they tasted the same. The answer was 100% no for every taster. Sorry Top Secret Recipes! I still admire what you do! I listed the comments the tasters wrote down because we all thought it was so funny that even though these mayos were part of the tasting, every participant gave different comments about the taste of the mayos. They had no idea they'd already tasted them!

Copycat Hellman’s:
Comments: Did not like this at all, tangier, No!, burns my tongue.

Hellman’s (from the jar):
Comments: Delish, tasted like mayo, Hellman’s, better than copycat.
Testers taking notes!

The Main Tasting Results:
As for the main tasting results, I've listed the comment the testers wrote down under each recipe above. The winner was Gordon Ramsay's mayo! His was a stick blender mayo, which is by far the easiest method to make mayo! Now before anyone calls Gordon to tell him, please keep in mind that all of the mayos were good! And 4 of the mayos received votes from the tester for the #1 spot. That tells me you can't go wrong making any of them! 

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