Thursday, May 17, 2007

Duke's Mayonnaise

History of Mayonnaise ('cause I'm a geek)

Mayonnaise was invented in 1756 by the French chef of the Duc de Richelieu. After the Duc beat the British at Port Mahon, his chef created a victory feast that was to include a sauce made of cream and eggs. Realizing that there was no cream in the kitchen, the chef substituted olive oil for the cream and a new culinary creation was born. The chef named the new sauce "Mahonnaise" in honor of the Duc's victory. (courtesy of Howstuffworks )

I love this stuff. For those of you reading along, who live up north, there is no finer condiment on the face of the planet. I am convinced of this. I used to know a guy who would complain all the time that mayo was flavourless, and not much use to anyone except for "sandwich lube". At the time, I was inclined to agree. And then I found this stuff: Duke's Mayonnaise.

According to their parent company's FAQ, it is a southern original. It was created by a woman named Eugenia Duke . She lived in Greenville, SC, and used to make sandwiches for the soldiers stationed at Fort Sevier. Everyone loved the sandwiches, apparently because of her homemade mayonnaise. She started selling the stuff, and her company was bought out by C.F. Sauer in 1929.

I'll admit, I don't like their light mayo as much as the full-fat version, and that's partly because it has high fructose corn syrup in it. The original stuff has no sugar whatsoever, and tastes fantastic. My favorite thing to do with it, is make a tomato sandwich. Y'know, the drippy kind where you stand over the kitchen sink to eat it.

My recipe:

1 medium tomato and please get a good one, from the farmer's market, or better yet, from someone's home garden)

2 slices of wheat bread : there's some controversy here, some Southerners say you can only make this with white, but I think the wheat tastes better and holds more juices, so anyone who disagrees can kiss my...well, grits will be another entry.

A really good slathering of Duke's Mayo on both pieces of bread and yes, slathering is a technical term.

A sprinkle of Old Bay or Tony Chachere's seasoning : again, some controversy here, as the purists say you should either leave the sandwich alone, or only put a bit of salt on there. As both of these products have salt, I think it satisfies the requirements. And I like the slightly spicy kick, so ...nyah.

Slice the tomato (that's kind of important) and make your sandwich.

Then just stand over the sink and enjoy, remembering to lick the dribbles off your wrists. I do have one use for Duke's Light Mayo, and that's in this great coleslaw recipe that I can't really lay claim to. I've seen variations on this theme, and this is mine:

1 12 oz. bag of Broccoli or Rainbow Slaw : this stuff is available in the produce section of your local grocery store, with the prepackaged salads. Broccoli or Rainbow Slaw is made with shredded broccoli, carrots and cabbage (sometime both red and green). It's high in fiber and vitamins, and if you've got people in your house who hate broccoli (Raymond!) then this is a good way to sneak it into them.

1/2 to 3/4 cup of Duke's Light Mayo
2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. yellow curry powder or 1/4 tsp. of Thai green curry paste

1 small can ( the 8 oz.) chunked pineapple, in juice
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
Salt and pepper to taste

Now, mix the dressing up, the mayo, and the apple cider vinegar, and a bit of juice from the pineapple. I don't like a thick consistency on this, but it's up to you. I use less mayo, and more vinegar and juice. Experiment to see what you like best. Then add the curry. Thai curry paste is pretty strong and hot. Go easy on it, but it tastes lovely. As for the yellow curry powder use more or less, depending on how much you like curry. I find if you're not used to eating curry, add a bit less and work your way up.

Then, empty the slaw into a bowl, and toss it with your dressing, and then fold in the pineapple, walnuts and raisins. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, and then chill it for at least an hour to let the flavours mix.

Anyway, that's my ode to a true Southern creation, Duke's Mayonnaise. And if you live up north and can't find it in a store up there, you can actually order this stuff from the company. See the link to the website under my links, or at the top of this entry. So slaughter a tomato today and get back to enjoying food! Vive la MAYONNAISE!


Gurnal said...


Only you could make mayo sound interesting. Not a huge fan of it myself...but any thing that's a true Southern creation can't be all bad. Right?

Anonymous said...

MMMMM... love me some mayo. As for your yummy tomato sandwich... which sounds slighty orgasmic by the way... home made bread is kickin' for the tomatoE sandwich. That's my two cents...

Anonymous said...

yeah, and apparantly my name is anonymous... :-), but you know who I am... nudge nudge, wink wink

Anonymous said...

Our store finally got in Dukes and yes, it's really good. I normally do not like mayo, well, it's OTHER mayo I don't like.

Off to try the slaw recipe. Sounds delectable.