Mayonnaise

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Mayonnaise, abbreviated as mayo[1], is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice[2], with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Lecithin in the egg yolk is the emulsifier.[3] It is often cream in color, and may range in texture from that of light running cream to thick. In countries influenced by France, mustard is also a common ingredient, whereas in Spain it is made using the same ingredients, but specifically olive oil as the oil, and never with mustard. Numerous other sauces can be created from it with addition of various herbs, spices, and finely chopped pickles. Where mustard is used, it is also an emulsifier.[4][5]

Contents

Origin

The most probable origin of mayonnaise is that the recipe was brought back to France from the town of Mahón in Menorca (Spain), after Armand de Vignerot du Plessis's victory over the British at the city's port in 1756. According to this version, the sauce was originally known as "salsa mahonesa" in Spanish and "maonesa" in Catalan (as it is still known in Menorca), later becoming mayonnaise as it was popularized by the French.[6]

The French Larousse Gastronomique 1961 suggests: "Mayonnaise, in our view, is a popular corruption of moyeunaise, derived from the very old French word moyeu, which means yolk of egg."[7] The sauce may have been christened mayennaise after Charles de Lorraine, duke of Mayenne, because he took the time to finish his meal of chicken with cold sauce before being defeated in the Battle of Arques[citation needed].

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