- The more fat a mayonnaise contains and the higher up egg is on the ingredients list, the more authentic it’s likely to taste.
- Fat-free mayos may be better for your hips, but replacing oil with water and adding sugar doesn’t do the taste or texture any favours. But one reduced-fat version rated higher than others.
Traditional homemade mayonnaise is a luscious blend of oil, egg yolk and vinegar or lemon juice. Supermarket mayo can be a different beast altogether. While some products stay close to the traditional recipe, many skimp on oil and egg and bump up the sugar and additives to compensate, resulting in something that’s more like a runny, sweet glue than the creamy, dense sauce traditionalists would offer up.
CHOICE put 20 popular mayonnaises to the test — six fat-reduced, 14 regular — to see which taste best. Our results indicate that you can work out what to expect from a bought mayonnaise just by reading the label. Ingredients are listed in descending order of proportion by weight, and if oil and egg feature in the first three ingredients, you’ve usually found a mayo that bears the closest resemblance in both texture and taste to homemade.
Please note: this information was current as of October 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
How we test
- We asked 70 ordinary consumers, all CHOICE staff, to taste mayonnaise.
- Samples were presented in a random order in plain containers identified only by code numbers. Trialists described the taste and rated each sample for texture and how much they liked it overall.
- Each mayonnaise was tasted by 21 people.
Did you know?
Mayonnaise is the base for many other chilled sauces and salad dressings.
- Aioli is an olive oil mayonnaise with garlic.
- Dijonnaise is mayonnaise mixed with Dijon mustard.
- Tartare sauce is mayonnaise spiced with pickled cucumbers and onion.
- Thousand Island dressing is tomato sauce, sweet pickle relish and assorted herbs and spices blended into a mayonnaise base.