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How can I duplicate Hellman's mayo?

gfr1111 Oct 20, 2008 02:44 PM

How can I duplicate the flavor of Hellman's mayo? I have made all sorts of sauces in my life, but have always relied on Hellman's/Best Foods' mayonnaise. I recently began making homemade mayonnaise (hand beaten with a wire whisk) and found it very easy and quite fun. I used a recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. The mayonnaise was fine, but bland. I've since looked at an assortment of other cookbooks.

I've tried upping the flavor of the mayonnaise in various ways, creating some truly weird-tasting stuff along the way. Nothing comes close to the flavor I associate with Hellman's/Best Foods' mayonnaise. Theoretically, using fresh ingredients, I ought to be able to make something that tastes better than Hellman's/Best Foods' mayo, but I can't make anything that tastes anywhere near as good.

I've tried soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, etc. and did not see that they made much difference. It's the added ingredients, I think, that are where the real flavor differences occur, but I am mystified by what Hellman's is doing that I am not. Any suggestions?

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  1. todao RE: gfr1111 Oct 20, 2008 07:39 PM

    I've never tried to duplicate it. When it's on sale, which is about three times a year, I buy three or four jars and replace them when the next sale is announced. However, if I were to make the attempt, I'd start with:

    For one cup of mayonaisse:

    1 cup of soybean oil
    1 egg
    1 egg yolk
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 Tbsp vinegar
    A pinch of salt
    A pinch of sugar
    Water to thin

    If you've made mayonnaise you already know the drill so I won't outline the process.
    I believe the "secret" in Hellmans/Best Foods is in the "natural flavors" listed in their ingredients which are not, in and of themselves, identified.

    1. n
      nemo RE: gfr1111 Oct 20, 2008 09:04 PM

      In addition to Todao's recipe, you might want to add a pinch of Coleman's powdered mustard.

      1. j
        jpc8015 RE: gfr1111 Oct 21, 2008 06:44 AM

        Hellman's mayo is something I don't hink you are ever goin to be able to duplicate at home. You can make some great mayonnaise at home but Hellman's is a whole nother creature.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jpc8015
          pondrat RE: jpc8015 Oct 21, 2008 08:47 AM

          I agree with jpc.... it's like trying to re-engineer your italian grandma's pasta sauce...you may get close but just simply won't be the same. For example, who know's what brands of ingredients they use to creat the brand we know as Hellmans....Not to mention the 100 gallon vats they're doing it in.

        2. versificatrix RE: gfr1111 Oct 21, 2008 07:42 AM

          It can be bland - I like my homemade mayo with a bit of mustard, and using really good olive oil. It doesn't have that light, sweet taste of Hellman's (which I'm pretty sure probably adds quite a bit of sugar), but is tangy and tasty on it's own:


          Also, using really really good egg yolks makes a world of difference both in flavor and texture. For zing, paprika always does the trick.

          1 Reply
          1. re: versificatrix
            weezycom RE: versificatrix Oct 21, 2008 12:31 PM

            I don't think Hellman's adds sugar. It's one of the reasons I like it -- the tang w/out sweetness -- and can't stand Miracle Whip. I

            'd add a lot more lemon juice or maybe some grated lemon to the basic mayo recipe, b/c the lemon tang is the taste quality I most notice about Hellman's.

          2. b
            Buckethead RE: gfr1111 Oct 21, 2008 09:20 AM

            What are you adding to your mayo now? I usually use a little mustard, a little anchovy paste, salt, and pepper. Of course, I'm not trying to reproduce Hellman's.

            1. b
              bw2082 RE: gfr1111 Oct 21, 2008 03:11 PM

              I know this is sacrilegious in these parts but have you tried bottled lemon juice concentrate? They cannot be using freshly squeezed lemon juice at the Hellman's plant making so much volume.

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