I Said Hold the Damned Mayo! A Primer in the Art of Mayonnaise Hatred
As Usual, the French Are to Blame
The French are treading on pretty thin ice as far as I’m concerned. Sure, they have given the world Louis Pasteur, Victor Hugo, and the Louvre; but they have also contributed mimes and Gérard Depardieu.
They have graced world culture with Monet, Renoir, and Catherine Deneuve; yet they unleash a never-ending torrent of overpriced bottled waters and obscenely expensive perfumes.
The proverbial straw that broke this camel’s back, however, is not one of the above travesties against humankind. The final outrage that has forever steered my mindset into an unalterable bastion of anti-French sentiment is their fiendish, underhanded introduction of that slimy, vomit-inducing condiment of the devil himself into world cuisine.
Mayonnaise… cursed be thy name.
It would take a thousand Jacques Costeaus to fully compensate for that sin against nature.
Mayonnaise, like hollandaise, was invented by the French to cover up the flavor of spoiled flesh, stale vegetables, rotten fish. Beware the sauce! Where food comes beslobbered with an elegant slime you may well suspect the integrity of the basic ingredients.
- Ed Abbey, The Fool's Progress
Personal Conversion to the Anti-Mayo Camp
Admittedly, I have not always approached my loathing of mayonnaise with the intensity and fervor it merits. It shames me to say this, but there was even a time when my outlook could best be characterized as mayonnaise-neutral. That all changed one fateful Sunday afternoon.
I like food. I like to eat it. I eat it with my mouth. As far back as I can remember, I recall consuming food (with my mouth). It is a lifelong habit that I have never broken. Sometimes I go to restaurants and consume food professionally prepared by food-preparation professionals. It was on one such occasion that my abhorrence of mayonnaise was born.
Bonanza, although a standout television program, is a subpar restaurant. It markets its dead animal flesh and tuber fare to the unrefined, undiscriminating, and otherwise culinarily-challenged. In other words, it screams out for my patronage; and I willingly oblige. Despite my preference for consuming dead cow flesh and a general disdain for “rabbit food”, I will invariably cruise the salad bar because its cost is included within the price of my meal and, hey, isn’t gluttony the name of the game?
The Plot Thickens
On one such excursion to Bonanza’s salad bar, I was delighted, I mean simply delighted, to see that they had a bucket fully stocked with vanilla pudding, one of my favorite dessert dishes. I scooped out a healthy portion of pudding and continued down the line selecting those few salad bar items that I consider edible (including several dozen green olives!). I meandered back to my table, cleared my palate with a healthy swig of tap water, and proceeded to dig into my pseudo-gourmet feast.
Upon taking a massive whomping spoonful of my beloved vanilla pudding, I entered into a state of general distress. It tasted funny. Funny odd, not funny ha-ha. The kind of funny that demanded immediate expulsion. It had an uncharacteristically goopy texture to it and a rancid taste distinctly non-vanilla. My gag reflex kicked in and the offending matter exited my mouth with all due haste, finding a new home on and in my girlfriend’s blouse. I was not pleased. My girlfriend was not pleased. Displeasure hung in the air like a large, unhappy hanging thing.
Mayonnaise-Based Products Make Poor Fashion Accessories
I sat, stunned, pondering what evil substance I had placed into my unwitting mouth and awaiting the return of my disgusted, if not disgusting, girlfriend. Upon returning from her undesired restroom exodus, she assured me, in no uncertain terms, that it is no pleasant thing to clean regurgitated tartar sauce from one’s bra. It was tartar sauce that pushed me over the edge, and it was the insidious presence of mayonnaise (a bad and disgusting thing) that made the tartar sauce so extra-revolting. I blame mayonnaise (and the rotten French!) for my woes, and you can be darn tootin’ I hold a grudge.
Damn you, mayonnaise. Damn you to hell.