Delicious Mayonnaise Recipe

Real Mayonnaise, or Mahonesa and the history of the Russian salad or Ensaladilla Rusa.

Quite often the paternity or maternity of well known recipes is difficult to establish, particularly when two or more countries claim ownership.

This is the case with one of the most distinguished sauces of all: a perfect emulsion made with oil, egg yolks, a little salt and lemon juice or vinegar and little else. The French called it Mayonnaise and the Spanish Mahonesa.

mayonnaise Recipe

Mayonnaise History

As far as the French are concerned , the sauce was invented in the middle eighteenth century by the chef of the Duke of Richelieu after the successful French siege of Port Mahon, in the island of Minorca. 

Port Mahon had been in British hands since 1708. Apparently mayonnaise was served at the banquet given by the French to celebrate the taking of the Port in 1756.

However the people of Mahon maintain that the recipe had been taken by the French chef from a local preparation. Olive oil emulsions have been recorded in Spain since early Medieval times while they were never mentioned in French cookbooks up until that time in the middle of the eighteenth century

However the people of Mahon maintain that the recipe had been taken by the French chef from a local preparation.

Canalones as a Festive Dish
In the late nineteenth century, a prestigious chef from Aragon, Teodoro Bardají, wrote a convincing booklet in defence of the Spanish provenance of the sauce. Chef Bardají insisted this sauce should be called Mahonesa .

However, whether the French or the Spanish are right, it has now been accepted that similar recipes could well have been born in different places without having been copied. 

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How to prepare an authentic hand made Mahonesa

The right proportion between the egg yolks and the oil is essential to form a perfect emulsion. A metal whisk and a deep bowl should be used.

Ingredients

2 egg yolks

100 g sunflower oil

20 g olive oil

salt

a little lemon juice or vinegar

white pepper (optional)

A few drops of hot water

In a deep bowl whisk the eggs together with the salt working fast, until well blended. 

Add the pepper. 

Using a jug and without stopping start adding, little by little, first the sunflower oil and then the olive oil. 

As it takes quite some time, whisk in both directions and change hands if needed.

When ready, adjust the seasoning adding a few drops of hot water and another of lemon or vinegar to taste, the emulsion will become slightly lighter and more creamy.

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Trace the Food of Spain from Antiquity to the Present Day.
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