HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Mayo Choices

I was recently reading the post about tuna sandwiches and realized that most people use either Hellmans or Miracle Whip. What surprised me is that not a single poster mentioned Duke's!

Duke's is the besy mayo I've ever had (excluding homemade) but it doesn't seem very well known? Why is that?

Along the same lines, what makes mayo good?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm *pretty* sure that Duke's isn't available nationally. I'm a Hellman's person myself - I like the tang. Miracle Whip isn't actually mayo.

    1. I see Duke's all over the South, but didn't see it once when I was living on the West Coast. And yes, Miracle Whip is nasty.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mojoeater

        I love Spectrum canola oil mayonnaise. Yes, it's all natural and not startlingly white, but the taste is amazing. It is creamy without being heavy and has a light lemony flavor akin to Miracle Whip but is derived from.... real lemon! It comes in organic and non-organic. Even my husband, a lifelong tub of hellman's a week addict has been converted.

        1. re: alex8alot

          I like the Spectrum one, as well as the Whole Food brand of canola oil mayonnaise.

      2. Whole Foods carries a wasabi mayo that we've become completely addicted to. I usually add 1 Tbsp to regular (usually Hellman's) for tuna/egg/chicken/whatever salads.

        1. Having lived in SC for 39 years (from Greenville, where Duke's was invented and still made), Duke's was the only mayo that we ever had. I move to Northern Virginia, but its more difficult to locate here as I beleive that C. F. Sauer is a regional company. Can usually find it in the small jars, but then it becomes very expenive.

          I usually just pick some up when I am making calls in Richmond. If I run out, I usually purchase Hellman's or Kraft to tide me over until I can get my next Duke's fix.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Moonpie

            Moonpie, I know what you mean about "getting the next Duke's fix". I too am out of their merchandising geographic range. Great stuff, isn't it? If desperate and not traveling back into the warm enfolding arms of the Carolinas, you can satisfy the cravings at Duke's online site: http://orders.cfsauer.com/showitemlis...

            Schoenick (OP), you asked "what makes mayo good". Here's a neat article that may answer a few questions regarding the variability and range of salad dressings and mayo:


            Duke's, compared to Hellman's, is firmer, has less water, sharper (no sugar), and has oleoresin paprika.

            1. re: FoodFuser

              I wanted to reply to this earlier but was having trouble logging in. I'm a Kraft girl through and through. I HATE Miracle Whip as I find it too sweet and can always tell when something has been made using it. I'm not a big fan of Hellman's either. David's Natural Market makes a good canola oil mayo that I like. I don't use alot of mayo though so when I do use it I usually go for the Kraft.

              1. re: FoodFuser

                You might like Mexican McCormick mayo.

              2. re: Moonpie

                I've lived in Greenville slightly longer than THAT , even!

                I wouldn't consider any mayo other than Duke's. (OK, I went through a rebellious period right after I moved away from home and ate some Miricle Whip, but I soon realized it was nasty.)

                I use the "light". I can't tell much difference. Possibly a little inferiour in body and mouthfeel, but tastes JUST FINE. It's one of those things I obsessively keep a back up and a triple-back up for in the overflow pantry. One cannot make a tomato sandwich or chicken salad without Duke's.

                Elvis knew mayonaise.

              3. Dukes all the way baby! My local Food Lion stopped carrying it for a while and thank goodness, hooray it's back!
                I also like the Hellmans with the "sabor latino" it has a hint of lemon.
                I think it is a "Southern" brand.

                4 Replies
                1. re: bolivianita

                  Yes, I had Hellmans made in Canada for export to Mexico. Liked the hint of lime, also it had a richer taste with a higher proportion of eggs on the ingredient list.

                  A friend gave me some Duke's, which is very good indeed. Also, don't forget about Kewpie from Japan.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I tried Kewpie recently and was underwhelmed. It was way too sweet for me. Funny, it was one of those things I wanted to like... but no. Seemed like a sister version of Miracle Whip.

                    1. re: bryan

                      Miracle whip is certainly not mayoniase in the real sense of the word. The reason it tastes so sweet is that it's ladened with sugar. Here's the ingredient list from the website:
                      Mayonaise is eggs and oil and perhaps a splash of lemon. The best commercial product, in my opinon, is Hellman's (or Best Foods depending on where you are in the country - they are the same). That opinion comes from the fac that it's the only brand available to us. If you have a resource that makes mayonaise, that is terrific! Otherwise, mayoniase is really a simple thing to make yourself as long as you're in an area that doesn't have to worry about using raw eggs (somanella).

                      1. re: Yodeler

                        So you are saying that mayonnaise is just oil emulsified with eggs, plus a few seasonings. And Miracle Whip is a sweet-sour sauce thickened with starch. It is quite common to pair something sour like vinegar with something sweet. A typical Japanese dressing uses these plus salt.

                        While I have never bought Miracle Whip (that I can recall), I can't think of anything that is objectively inferior about it.


                2. I'm a die-hard Duke's fan, and I also wonder why it's not mentioned more often. I discovered it in the ingredient list for pimiento cheese in the Saveur 100 one year, and I've been hooked ever since.

                  Our grocery stopped carrying it for a while, so any time someone I knew traveled south, I had them bring some back. Fortunately it's back at my neighborhood store.

                  Has anyone tried the light version? Is it decent?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mamaciita

                    Being from the Northeast, I had never heard of Duke's outside of this post, but it's fervent fan base piqued my interest. After a quick Google, I discovered that is is available for online purchase at what seems to be pretty reasonable prices (20 bucks for 4 32oz. bottles) It's something I'm considering checking out and might be a solution for mis/dis-placed Southerners who no longer have it avaiable to them.

                      1. re: Food4Thought

                        I 2nd that. I am also from the northeast, and eat much more mayo now that I have access to Duke's (down in NC). You should get some just in time for tomato season - toasted bread with a heavy coating of duke's mayo, sliced fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper.
                        i literally lived on that the first summer here.

                    1. at home i make my own. at work i use hellman's. the only issue i have with the family i married into is that they prefer miracle whip! WTF-- they average IQ of 160, so i don't get it. to each her own. what is this duke's stuff-- they don't sell it nationally? --SK

                      1. I'm a Best Foods girl all-the-way, but I'm married to a man from New Orleans and everyone there seems to like Blue Plate. It seems more like Miracle Whip to me, which I can't stand. I could bathe in Best Foods, though...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: srr

                          As I said above I love Best Foods, but I tried Kewpie for the first time recently. WOW! I know it's the msg that makes it taste so good, but it is really savory with just enough tang. Delicious.

                          1. re: srr

                            srr, would you be kind enough to transcribe and post the ingredients, in label order, from Kewpie? I enjoyed it while in Japan, but it was quite simply the only mayo available at the local groceries there at the time.

                            I agree about the MSG... in fact, I use a pinch of those lovely glassine crystals in my homemade mayo. It's in most every restaurant in Japan in a table shaker, next to the pouring vial of Kikkoman. Japan's life-expectancy actuarial tables put my glutamic phobias to rest.

                            Hope you'll post the ingredients. Thanks.

                            1. re: FoodFuser

                              The ingredients are not printed on the bottle, only on the plastic bag it comes in. I threw that out. Maybe someone has an unopened bottle at home?

                        2. Duke's when I can get it at my local store; otherwise I go with Hellmans.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: debbiel

                            What is different between Duke's and Hellmans?

                            1. re: paulj

                              Duke's is stiffer/firmer, sharper (no sugar), and has not compromised its recipe for 90 or so years, unlike Best/Hellman's.

                              Compare ingredient sequence:


                              Duke's::soybean oil, eggs, water, vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, and natural flavors.

                              Note the more water in Hellmans, and the preservative EDTA ( which may account for larger natioanl distribution).

                              The only way to experience it is to taste the two side by side. In Seattle (outside the SE US distribution), If you want to spend 20 bucks for four jars ( thus an 8 or so dollar taste test vs 3 bucks/jar Hellman's)), see the link for purchase we've presented: http://www.dukesmayo.com/

                              If ya' order, and join the Duke's circle of emulsified ecstasy, be sure to give us a holler with your assessment.

                          2. Best Foods, all the way (although it is still an imported "delicacy" here and uber expensive). I find it's the only mayo (apart from home made) that retains its integrity when other flavours are added. A big glurp of Best foods, a big squeeze of wasabi paste and I am a happy hound!!

                            (my secret indulgence is Best Foods on hot chips... orgasmicbliss baby!)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: purple goddess

                              Here is the ingredients list from Cains Mayo- its the real stuf alright!!!!
                              Ingredients: Soybean Oil, Distilled Vinegar, Egg Yolks, Corn Syrup, Cider Vinegar, Salt, Spice And Water

                            2. I think Duke's must be like Cains Mayo- only available in certain areas. I could not live without my Cains Mayo. I am not a brand loyalist to anything but my Cains Mayo... I could not live anywhere but the Boston area because there would not be Cains Mayo (and Cape Cod Beaches!)