The Truth About Mayonnaise
Labor Day is already this coming Monday! Can you believe it? Summer seems to go by faster and faster each year… To celebrate the end of summer, many people will be attending grill outs with their friends and family. When heading to these gatherings, it’s standard and polite to bring a dish to share. Chances are…some of these recipes will include mayonnaise. Before you freak out on someone if they leave a mayo filled dish in in the sun, we did some research and looked into what the condiment really is and whether or not it can be harmful if left out for too long.
Mayonnaise–often called just mayo, is a thick and creamy sauce made from egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar, oil and seasonings. According to TLC Cooking, the mixture of the ingredients classifies mayo as an emulsion. Mayo is used for the base to many other dressings and sauces such as tartar sauce and thousand-island dressing.
Invented by Duc de Richelieu, a French chef in 1756, mayo was actually a culinary mishap. Duc was celebrating the defeat of the British at Port Mahon with a feast, and the sauce he was originally going to create called for cream and eggs. He wasn’t able to find any cream in the kitchen, so he substituted with olive oil and VOILA…the new culinary creation was born. In honor of the battle that was won, the chef named is creation, “Mahonnaise.”
A lot can be said about this condiment. Either you love it or you hate it. Many believe that mayo is disgusting and is a cesspool for unwanted bacteria. This is actually opposite from the truth. According to this an article ran in the New York Times, researchers found and published in The Journal of Food Protection, that in presence of chicken and ham salad samples that were already contaminated, the growth of bacteria such as staphylococcus and salmonella either slower or stopped altogether. Most commercial mayo contains vinegar and other acidic ingredients which fight the food from spoiling. There’s no need to treat dishes containing mayo like hazardous or contaminated waste. If anything, you should feel confident that even if a small amount is present, mayo will not ruin the dishes. Food that is contaminated usually is caused by cross-contamination between the uncooked foods added together initially… pre- condiment addition.
Rather than obsessing about the tuna salad, backyard chefs should be aware of these higher risk foods:
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables
- Raw Shellfish
- Bulk ground beef
*Health officials say that just a single hamburger can actually contain meat from hundreds of animals…(but that’s a whole different blog post….)
To celebrate this amazing summer coming to an end this Labor Day, go out with a *BANG* by checking out our ‘Holiday Recipes‘ Pinterest board for some inspiration (mayo free or not!)