Note: This is not a piece of sponsored content, although it reads as such. I did not accept any compensation or gifts from Big Mayo. I’m just a husky dude who really loves mayonnaise.
When did it get so cool to hate mayonnaise? It’s almost like overnight half of internet users put it in their sights and started hating it like pineapple on pizza (which is also awesome, fight me). Duke’s Mayo Bowl reminds me a lot of mayonnaise today, unlike every other day when only a moderate part of my daily thinking is devoted to mayonnaise.
I’m not going to convince anyone who hates mayonnaise that it’s good. I accepted that this just won’t happen. However, I would like to share with you why I believe my beloved, off-white, fat-based food lubricant is the pinnacle of human culinary success.
At first glance, mayo doesn’t make any functional sense. It’s the first gourmet equivalent of putting crisps in a Reece’s Cup, which, hey, it does exist. However, instead of piling up random decadent shit as part of a post-millennial marketing program, handsome 18th-century French bastards were tinkering with egg yolks and oil, and thanks to power. of alchemy, they made a pure fat sauce so wonderful it changed the world.
The early mayonnaise was such an odd achievement that pharmacists thought it was medicine, not food. Mayo’s thick, gooey, and naturally lubricating consistency has become the basis of many ointments. I mean hell, we even have the damn MAYO CLINIC in Minnesota celebrating the impact of mayonnaise on medicine. It’s an outright lie, but you believed me for a second, didn’t you, because I’m making you believe in the power of mayonnaise.
The truth is, I don’t really need to explain the historical significance of mayonnaise. I don’t need to praise its virtues as a base for tartar sauce, remoulade, ranch, or white hibachi sauce. I want, because the mayo is awesome, but I don’t need at.
Instead, let me explain what mayo meant to me as a kid. It meant one thing: love.
I grew up without having a lot of money. My mother was a wizard who could spend a dime so far that I never even noticed we were poor until I was a teenager. She was absolutely determined not to make any money, which I worried about as a child, and the easiest way for her to save it was to cook my lunch. My lunchbox was more or less the same every day. A refillable ice water bottle that also served as a cooling mechanism, a piece of fruit (which was on sale at the time), and a humble, often soft sandwich containing three ingredients: ham, cheese, mayonnaise.
It wasn’t like a lot of other kids. There weren’t any Ziplock bags of lettuce and tomato, lovingly wrapped so the sandwich could be assembled fresh on the playground. Damn, I didn’t even have a Ziplock bag. They were too expensive. Most of the time my sandwich was wrapped in a double paper towel and secured with a piece of duct tape.
This method meant that by lunchtime the bread (which was often close to stale in the first place) would be dry, the cheese would start to harden, and the meal would otherwise be inedible – with the exception of one savior: the mayonnaise. He brought it all together. This made the sandwich possible. It lubricated those sad, budget-friendly ingredients enough that I was allowed to eat midday, and while I was still disappointed, I didn’t get a bag of crisps with my lunch, or I haven’t lost thought, a cookie, for the best part of a decade of mayonnaise was my lunch friend. My hero.
I think that’s why I’m on the defensive when people say ‘mayonnaise is disgusting’ or ‘how could someone eat this shit? In order to earn cool internet points. I know I shouldn’t get on the defensive for something so stupid, but it’s almost like insulting my childhood, or more accurately insulting my mom, who sacrificed EVERY basic adult comfort like coffee in order to to make sure she could deliver three square meals each day.
Mayo is the world’s most versatile sauce for a reason. It exists to bail out meals that would otherwise be terrible and uplift those that are already good. It can be flavored with spices and called aioli, infused with exotic ingredients to make the menu of a $ 17 sandwich shop boujee … it can also be inexpensive, spread hastily on a sandwich and put in a box before labor try to cook a child’s lunch a little better, knowing that all the rest of life was so difficult.
Enjoy Duke’s Mayo Bowl today, and even if you don’t like mayonnaise, appreciate what it means to others. In the end, all mayo is good mayo … except for the Miracle Whip, which is an evil hellish substance that’s probably haunted.