I am opening 2018 with a special Taste Test post. This is the first session for which I have had brought in a consultant. A specialist, if you will. My lovely friend Daisy is excellent in all respects, but kind of weird in that her favourite food is mayonnaise. ‘How much can a person really like mayonnaise?’ you might wonder. A lot, is the answer. I am not a mayonnaise expert, and there were a lot of samples to get through, so I brought in Daisy to do the heavy lifting on this one. Also I wasn’t as delighted with the concept of eating a whole load of mayonnaise as she was.

And we ate the mayonnaise on bread. We’re not animals.

As before, I feel I need a rambling disclaimer: obviously, I am doing this in my kitchen and not in a lab and I am not a scientist. Also, the products used in this series are just examples – obviously each supermarket has, say, eight or nine different types of mayonnaise or whatever the product may be, and I’m not going to try every single one because what am I, made of money?

Finally, I should highlight that we tasted all the products blind, and at the time of tasting and making our notes we didn’t know which product came from which shop. We sat in one room while my glamorous assistant (er, my husband), prepared the samples in another. Any notes added regarding packaging and so on were only done after blind tasting, when we learned which who had made product A, B, C and so on.

The Blind Taste Test: Mayonnaise

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Mayonnaise
per 100g
£
kcal
fat
carb
fibre
protein
salt
Hellmann’s
0.75
721
79
1.3
1.1
1.5
Wilkin & Sons
0.92
748
81
3.5
1.8
1.27
Tesco
0.22
691
75
2.5
1.5
1.0
Waitrose
0.24
685
73
5.9
1.1
1.1
Sainsbury’s
0.23
677
73.2
3.5
1.0
0.9
Bramwell (Aldi)
0.12
722
78
3.9
0.8
0.96
Delouis
1.00
741
80
0.6
2
1.7

A – Tesco – 6/10

  • Looks very standard. Smells pretty lemony. Quite creamy, but fairly bland and a bit too oily. A bit of sharpness and a lemony flavour, but not salty enough. Fine, perfectly edible, but not very exciting.

B – Aldi – 3/10

  • Neutral colour. Thicker consistency than A. A bit of a strange taste – sour, but not in a good way. Not very pleasant to eat.

C – Sainsbury’s – 7/10

  • Tastes milder than the first two options. Quite light and quite creamy, but a good level of sharpness and salt too. Generally a pleasant sample, and good to eat.

D – Waitrose – 6/10

  • A very sharp smell, almost vinegar-y, that carries through on the taste. Light in texture, not oily. Not bad at all, but worth bearing in mind that it’s very sharp, so depends what you want to use it for.

E – Wilkin and Sons – 3/10

  • A very odd taste – weirdly sweet, especially in comparison to the other samples. Not enough sharpness, very cloying. Very different to the others.

F – Delouis – 8/10

  • Most visually different – very yellow, like butter. Tasted completely different to the other samples. A good lemon flavour, and really tasted like it contained real eggs. Interesting, complex. Good level of saltiness too.

G – Hellmann’s – 5/10

  • Looks very white. No particular smell, and that carries through to the taste – nothing distinctive. Nothing wrong with it, but very dull. A good vehicle for other stuff.

Conclusions

I didn’t know if I would be able to taste the difference between the different types of mayonnaise, as it’s not something I eat lots of or feel particularly strongly about, but actually the samples were all really distinctive, so this was more interesting than I thought it might be.

So, two favourites here. If you’re looking for a good, cheap, standard option, then Sainsbury’s own is your winner. We both preferred it to Hellmann’s, and it’s less than half the price of the brand leader. If you’re looking for something a bit special to go alongside something fancy, then the Delouis is delicious and was the favourite sample for both of us. It’s also by far the most expensive option. Sometimes these experiments are surprising and the cheapest thing is the most delicious, but sometimes you have to pay for quality.

Also, at the risk of invalidating this entire post, homemade mayonnaise is delicious, and actually pretty simple to make. Just saying.