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Aug 21, 2009 01:08 PM

Mason-Dixon line of Mayo

I was raised in Northern NJ, lived in Baltimore, and now reside in Coastal South Carolina. I went to a NY style deli the other day and ordered an Italian sub. Now, I should have known better but I didn't even think to ask if the sub came with mayo. Sure enough after 1 bite, I came away with a mouthful of mayo. (It's an Italian sub - it should not be hot and should not have mayo but that is another post.) I was thoroughly disgusted that my lunch had been ruined.
What did happen was that I started thinking about where this magical line lies that divides the land where mayo is a sometimes condiment and the land where it becomes not only a prerequisite but a main ingredient. Everything on this certain Deli's menu had mayo, even the egg sandwiches. I'd say that the line lies somewhere in southern Maryland. I guess that makes Maryland a mayo border state. Is it the further South that you go the more prevalent mayo usage becomes? So if I go to Miami will I just get a mayo on rye? How about travelling west? Anyway, thought that you chowhounds might have some input

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  1. South of the Mason Dixon line, anything's taste is generally improved by slathering on DUKE'S mayo. See also some threads along this line

    7 Replies
    1. re: steakman55

      I'm familiar with Duke's mayo and am a fan. I'm not saying that it doesn't have its place, but there is a mysterious point where it's just a given that things come slathered in the stuff and not things like tuna salad, we're talking egg sanwiches and bagels.

      1. re: ReggieL.

        being from the far far far west, im not at all clear what you mean by "egg sandwiches" certainly egg salad sandwiches have mayo (don't they?)...ummm... what other kind of egg sandwiches are there? Or am i a total bumpkin?

        Oh yeah, people in Hawaii LOVE mayo. Roast their thanksgiving turkeys slathered in it, mix it into chili (yes, really, they do.) And there is a strong preference for mayonnaise, not those 'other' dressings (well, we are SURROUNDED by salt water after all.)

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          I think we're talking fried egg sandwiches. White bread, toasted. Mayo. Perfectly fried egg. Salt & pepper.

          1. re: evewitch

            yeah. sorry. fried or scrambled egg on any kind of bread. often served with some kind of breakfast meat and cheese also on the same pieces of bread.

            1. re: evewitch

              Heaven. My dad used to make those for my brother and I as midnight snacks on Friday and Saturday nights. Just an extra shiv to the heart every weekend.

              1. re: evewitch

                hehe of course. so obvious, but not being fond of fried eggs..... so mayo would be a bad thing huh?

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  The whole thing was that the mayo would get warm, the white bread sticks to your mouth, salt and pepper...amazing. The egg was just bonus.

        2. No, in Maine on a sub, ya get 30 weight motor oil, wrapped in tar paper and left on the dash board to cure and call it an Eye-talian. Wicked good! (Gag.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Passadumkeg

            So is there another line where the further North you go, the olive oil turns into vegetable oil and then motor oil?

            1. re: ReggieL.

              Jeesum crow, bub, you betcha. Now mayo comes on a lobstah roll. Not buttah like them southerners in Connecticut! They eat red chowdah too. Imagine!

          2. I'm not exactly sure where the line is, but it must be pretty close to where you have to start asking if the place has Unsweetened Iced Tea.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cavandre

              I'd say the MD/Va state line is about right for both mayo and sweet tea. As an Alabama native who long lived on Maryland's eastern shore, only twenty miles from state line, and now lives in Richmond, VA, I can verify a much higher usage of both here in Richmond than in southern Maryland.

            2. I'd like to add a side vent -

              How in the world did Mayonnaise start getting confused with sugary gloppy MIracle Whip, and other assorted sugar laden "Salad Dressings" in restaurants these days?

              Mayonnaise is NOT SWEET! Don't ask me if I want mayo, and glop some sugary garbage on my sammich. It is wrong and unnatural!

              3 Replies
              1. re: gordeaux

                Specify what it is - mayo or "salad dressing" and then how much of it will be on my sandwich. Let me decide if I want to supersize my serving of mayo. It's a condiment not a main ingredient! I seriously got 4 or 5 ounces on a 6 inch sub. Anyway.

                1. re: gordeaux

                  To quote cookbook author Camille Glenn: "To put sugar in mayonnaise is an abomination!"

                  1. re: gordeaux

                    Kewpie mayonnaise is a bit sweet.

                  2. I roomed with a couple from SC a few years back, and I'm still repulsed by the fact that they ate mayo on their french fries. Apparently a lot of people in SC do.
                    Don't forget that there's also that east-west line - I think everyone west of it puts ranch dressing on everything. That line, I believe, lies between Louisiana and Texas.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: cycloneillini

                      Most of Europe and South America dip ff in mayo. Not a n/s line.

                      1. re: cycloneillini

                        LOVE mayo on fries. Did you miss that thread? We are proud and we are MANY!

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          I don't even mind the funny looks I get from waitresses in rural Mine when I ask for mayo for my Frenchies.

                        2. re: cycloneillini

                          The latitudinal demarcation of mayo application is spurious.

                          If one doesn'tt want much mayo, simply ask for it "on the side". Even in the deepest South, they will provide you with an extra knife or spoon (maybe a wooden one like used for ice cream in the olden days) for a more prudent and perfect application of the dreaded white slather.

                          Cycloneilinni may have, in releasing an eponymous "little gust of twirling wind", incited a totaly emulsified and unified reaction from us rascals who eat mayo on our fries.

                          Remember Charlton Heston's defiant raising of the flintlock rifle at the NRA rally years back?... "From my cold dead hands..." ...

                          Thusly with my patate frites and my mayo.

                          1. re: FoodFuser

                            HA HA, right there with you, my brother!