Mayonnaise, often referred to by people in the know as "mayo", is a thick, cold, and creamy condiment commonly used on sandwiches, hamburgers, salads, and French fries. It also forms the base for various other sauces like tartar sauce, fry sauce, remoulade, and rouille. At least, that’s what Wikipedia tells me. You might not think of it as sultry or sexy but mayo is one of those condiments that’s had a real glow-up over the last few years. It’s everywhere, and look in the fridge of any half-decent home cook or chef and you’re bound to find a jar of the stuff.
According to Statista, an estimated 8.26 million people in Great Britain in 2020 were classified as “heavy mayonnaise users”. Speaking anecdotally, my own mayonnaise usage has certainly shot up recently. Being cooped up in my flat over the last couple of years (thanks, COVID) meant I spent many more nights than I normally would have pre-pandemic eating frozen french fries dipped in mayo for dinner. I might be alone in that but another one of the reasons people are using that comforting condiment more and more is because of its overwhelming versatility.
Everyone knows you can lob it in a sandwich but did you, for example, know that you can use mayonnaise to make brownies? Well, you do now. Along with that versatility, mayo is also having a bit of a comeback – especially with young, conscious home cooks like me and you – due to its ability to help you reduce your food waste. How does a humble emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and acid do that? Well, like with any good tool, you need to know how to use it properly.
Hellmann’s (who make some of the best mayo on the planet) are big proponents of the flexipe. Rather than following a stringent recipe for your dinner every night, Hellmann’s suggests that you stick to a super simple formula that’s based on common sense rather than any written rules or instructions. And when I say super simple, I really mean it. Here’s how it works: first, you pick a base like a soft wrap, bread, or portion of rice and pasta. Your classic kitchen staples. Secondly, you’re going to want to grab some veggies and use up whatever you have to hand. Next, you’re going to want to add a protein (think chicken or beans/pulses) into the mix. After that, it’s time for the magic tough: Hellmann’s Mayo. A good dollop of that stuff can transform the simplest of ingredients into a delicious meal.
Follow the above formula on a regular basis and you’ll find yourself using up a lot of those miscellaneous ingredients at the back of your fridge.
If you do want to be doing that on a super regular basis then I’d suggest you do the sensible thing and start implementing a Fridge Night at home. It’s the one night a week where Hellmann’s help you get more out of your fridge. All you’ve got to do is choose a night of the week to dedicate to being rigid with using up every last scrap you’ve got knocking about and you’re set. So there you have it: not only is mayo more popular than ever and an easy way to make your food taste better but it can help you stop wasting so much of it, too. Winner.
For those of you who are interested in learning how to become super resourceful in the kitchen, you should download Hellmann's free E-book which they've filled with super helpful (and sensible) advice and recipes.