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Buy or DIY: Mayonnaise

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Believe it or not, mayonnaise is the UK’s condiment of choice. Yep, more bottles of mayonnaise are sold than ketchup every year. Who'd have thought it?! Not us. But now we've got that cleared up -  should you be buying mayonnaise or making it yourself? 

Whether your chief concern is convenience, health or taste - here are the pros and cons of both:

Shop-Bought Mayonnaise 

Both shop-bought and homemade mayonnaise contains a lot of calories and fat. If you're watching your weight, low fat or light mayonnaise might seem like an appealing option when spotted on the supermarket shelf. But beware, because manufacturers use some un-savoury ingredients to lower the calorie count. 

Low fat and low calorie mayonnaise is packed with nasties like artificial preservatives, sugar, and fat replacers like corn starch and guar gum.  If you think about it - how else could they re-create a low-fat version of a sauce traditionally made from egg yolks and oil? Even the full fat versions seem to contain some questionable ingredients. Hellman's "Real Mayonnaise" lists "flavouring" among the ingredients here in the UK. What's so real about that?! All the major brands seem to add sugar to their mayonnaise too - totally unnecessary if making your own. 

Homemade Mayonnaise

Making homemade mayonnaise does require some patience, because the ingredients need to be carefully combined. That said: it's not rocket science, you don't need any special equipment, and the ingredients are pretty simple too! All you need are free range eggs, English mustard, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper and olive or rapeseed oil. Look for videos online, you'll soon see what to do. The trick is to mix the egg yolks, vinegar and seasoning first, then emulisfy by adding the oil very, very slowly. 

The other downside of homemade mayonnaise is the fact it doesn't last very long - even in the fridge. Personally, I wouldn't store it for more than a week. Of course - the upside to making your own mayonnaise (and it's a big one!) is the taste. Homemade mayonnaise made with fresh, free range eggs and good quality olive oil really is street's ahead of it's shop-bought imitations. 

The Verdict  

If you have the patience, try making your own mayonnaise at home. It's really worth the effort if you're looking to impress. If you're pressed for time, look for a high quality alternative to supermarket brands. I love Cotswold Gold, but then again I'm probably biased! 

  #Columns   #sauces   #buy or diy   #homemade   #store bought   #Buy or DIY   #mayonnaise   #mayo

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