is mayonnaise considered dairy

Is Mayonnaise Considered Dairy? The Ingredients in Mayo

Mayonnaise is a popular condiment used around the world. Many people use it by itself as a spread or topping on a dish. It also works as a part of a variety of dressings and dishes to add a unique flavor and texture. Mayonnaise is recognized for its tangy taste, thick, creamy texture, and white coloring.

The texture and coloring of mayonnaise often confuse people as to what goes into making this condiment. It leads many to ask, “Is mayonnaise considered dairy?” Keep reading to find out more about this condiment and if it is considered a dairy product.

All About Mayonnaise


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Mayonnaise is a cold thick sauce with a creamy texture. It’s often white or pale yellow in color. It can be used by itself as a dipping sauce, but it is also often used as a base for other sauces or foods such as different salad dressings and sauce remoulade.

Mayonnaise has a long and old history. It first appeared as a condiment on record in the early 1800s in France but is thought to have originated in Spain even earlier than that.

One theory was that the creation of mayonnaise was in 1756 in Menorca, Spain by a French chef. Sauces were traditionally made by combining cream and eggs, but the chef couldn’t find any cream. In a rush, he decided to substitute the cream with olive oil.

Of course, the roots of mayonnaise started even before. The start of this condiment, a mix of eggs and olive oil, has been found even in Egypt and Rome. They used it as a supplement when food wasn’t plentiful.

As for the US, Americans started to get a taste of the condiment in 1912, when a deli in New York City started creating salads with a mayonnaise binder. The binder soon grew more popular than the salads, and people demanded the mayo sold separately. Thus, Hellman’s was born.

What Is Mayo Made Of?

Mayo Made Of

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Mayonnaise is usually a combination of egg or egg yolks and oil with some sort of acidity and salt often added to intensify the flavors. It is easy to make and swapping out ingredients to make a variety or imitation of the condiment is common.

The key to making mayonnaise is the emulsion, or combining of two substances that usually don’t mix well. The two substances in this case are the oil and egg yolk. The emulsion turns the liquid oil into a solid, making the condiment the thick creamy texture it is known for.

Many cultures enjoy using mayonnaise and each group has its own spin on how to make this condiment. While the base is the same, there are slight variations throughout the world.

For example, most mayonnaise uses regular olive oil, but in Japan, it has rice vinegar instead. Another difference is that some American mayonnaise uses whole eggs, while Japan only uses the yolks of the egg. To save on money, some big mayonnaise brands will also use a different, cheaper oil.

In Russia, it is often made with sunflower oil or soybean oil instead of olive oil. Mayonnaise is unique around the world, but always holds its general base of a type of oil or vinegar and egg yolks. There are even vegan mayonnaises or ones for people allergic to eggs that replace the egg with soy milk.

Is Mayonnaise a Dairy Product?

Mayonnaise Dairy Product

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Most people are unsure as to what is in mayonnaise or how it is made. Due to its creamy texture and white color, many people assume it has dairy in it. In fact, the color and texture do not come from a dairy product at all, but the emulsion of the egg yolk and oil.

In general, most mayonnaise does not and should not contain dairy. However, you should be sure to check the label on the mayonnaise you are about to consume to be safe. Some mayonnaise can contain dairy although it is uncommon.

Most mayonnaise brands also aren’t made in the same factory as dairy, so if you have an allergy, you should be fine. Again, it’s always best to double-check the label before using your favorite brand, just in case.

The most common example you will see of mayonnaise with dairy is egg-free substitutes of the condiment which often use condensed milk to achieve the correct texture. Another example you may see of dairy mayonnaise is what is called milk mayonnaise, often used in Portuguese dishes.

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