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Jan 1, 2014 07:23 PM
Discussion "Why Is Hellmann’s Mayonnaise So Darn Good?: An investigation into the amazing qualities of a 100-year-old condiment."


Part of the appeal of Hellmann’s is its nonoffensiveness, its lack of off-putting flavors or textural qualities, what Jones calls its “overall approachability.” There is no taste of oxidized oil. It’s not too sweet or sour. But neither is it bland. It has personality, zing, and the inscrutable quality known as “amplitude.” In a 2010 New Yorker piece on ketchup, Malcolm Gladwell wrote that amplitude is “the word sensory experts use to describe flavors that are well blended and balanced, that ‘bloom’ in the mouth. … When something is high in amplitude, all its constituent elements converge into a single gestalt.”

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  1. It's "good" mayonnaise, according to Ina. Which makes it good enough for me!

    2 Replies
    1. re: coney with everything

      IMHO there is no such thing as "good" mayo. I've always hated mayo and I always will!

      1. re: 4X4

        This is like going into a baseball game, getting up during the game and yelling, "I hate baseball!". What's the point?

    2. I can't stand it any more. Very heavy, low quality soybean oil taste. After consulting CHers, made the switch to Trader Joe's organic in a glass jar.

      I can eat some soybean oil mayos and enjoy them, but Hellmans took a turn for the worse, IMO. Same with former favorite Ojai Cook. Both are disgusting to me now.

      Read the comments and weep: motor oil is how it feels to me, as I imagine it to be.

      1. West of the Rockies it is called Best Foods and it is the standard mayonnaise in my home. I tried saving a buck one time by buying a different brand. I will not make that mistake again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jpc8015

          It's Hellmann's all across Canada, AFAIK.

          1. Duke's all the way. Blows Hellman's out of the water.

            7 Replies
              1. re: mcf

                Sadly, no. At least not what I am able to buy here in central Illinois.

                1. re: mcf

                  No, but I don't share many people's paranoia about plastic containers, and I try to reuse the jars for salad dressings or other things.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    This other person thanks you for the "paranoid" label.

                    I like to think of it as reasonable caution and *healthy* suspicion.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Oops. No offense meant. But as someone who's lifestyle in terms of healthiness could be debatable, food stored in plastic is really the least of my worries.

                      We're all gonna die, one way or the other :-)

                        1. re: linguafood

                          No offense taken. I mean, just because we're paranoid doesn't mean *no one's* out to kill us. ;-)

                          I'm not trying not to die, just going for maximum feel goods til I do.