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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mayonnaise Fraise - In France all Mayonnaise is Fresh Mayonnaise.

from
Behind the French Menu. 
by
Bryan Newman
  
Try, mayonnaise fraise, fresh mayonnaise, just once.
You will never want the store bought bottled stuff again.
      
   
Fresh Mayonnaise.
Photograph courtesy of rakratchada torsap through freedigitalphotos net

 Mayonnaise 
 
 In France, mayonnaise only means fresh mayonnaise.  After one trip to France, where nearly all restaurants serve fresh mayonnaise, you will agree that no bottled mayonnaise can compare with fresh mayonnaise.
    
Fresh mayonnaise will be on French menus with cold or warm asparagus, salads, cold crab dishes, cold chicken, beef, shrimps and many other, mostly cold, dishes. 
  

 Fresh Organic Mayonnaise.
Photograph courtesy of Judie Squires.
     
Homard Bleu à la Mayonnaise -  The European two-clawed lobster, served cold with fresh mayonnaise.   Caveat Emptor:  the French two-clawed lobsters are terribly expensive, and most are served when extremely small.  Do not expect any USA 3lb lobsters; you will be lucky if your whole lobster weighs 500 grams, 1.1lbs.
     
Homard Canadien avec Mayonnaise Fraise, - Imported Canadian lobster, though it may have come from Maine, served with fresh mayonnaise.  The two-clawed North American lobsters are imported from Canada, and they cost far less that their cousins, the slightly sweeter European two-clawed lobster.
    
Langouste à la Mayonnaise -  Cold  rock lobster tail  served with fresh mayonnaise.
   
  
    


Langouste à la Mayonnaise
The Rock Lobster, the owner of the lobster tailed served cold with fresh mayonnaise.
Photograph courtesy of  wEnDaLicious.
  
Fresh mayonnaise is very versatile, it will come in many colors and flavors; it is also the base for many sauces, to mention just a few:  Aïoli, Sauce Andalouse, Sauce Béarnaise, Sauce Hollandaise, Sauce Mousseline, Mousseline Sabayon, Sauce Tartare. 
    
Sauce Mayonnaise aux Fines Herbes - Mayonnaise flavored with the French herb group Fine Herbes.
   
 Mayonnaise Verte- Green mayonnaise; this is often served with fish dishes. The color is achieved by adding the juice from spinach, watercress and parsley; the taste is unchanged.
  
 La Mayonnaise de Crevettes Grises – Tasty sand shrimps served with fresh mayonnaise.
    
  
Cold roast beef served with egg mayonnaise.
Photograph courtesy of Barbara Dieu.
   
 Assiette de Bulots Mayonnaise -  A plate of whelks served with fresh mayonnaise. Outside of high-class restaurants an offering like this will usually be served with a side dish of French fries, chips.
  
 
 Fresh Tarragon Flavored Mayonnaise.
Picture by the courtesy of Fumi Matsubara.
    
Blanc de Poulet, Tomate, Œuf, Mayonnaise –Cold  chicken breast served with tomato, hard boiled egg, and fresh mayonnaise.  I am neither a chef nor do I claim to be a particularly adept cook; however, even I can make fresh mayonnaise. 
  
The recipe for fresh mayonnaise.
  
 The recipe for fresh mayonnaise is simple; vegetable oil and egg yolks, flavored with lemon, a little mustard, a little salt, pepper, and if you wish other herbs, to taste. That is all that is needed to make fresh mayonnaise.  All French cookbooks include instructions  for fresh mayonnaise and the time involved in mixing the ingredients  is less than five minutes.
     

  
All the equipment you need to make fresh mayonnaise.
Photograph courtesy of kimberlykv
    
No self-respecting French family will serve bottled mayonnaise at a family dinner;  though, I admit, I have seen bottled mayonnaise  kept in a cupboard for last minute sandwiches.  However, even French bottled, or tubed, mayonnaise is far better than the stuff I can buy.
  
It is an extremely rare restaurant in France that does not make its own fresh mayonnaise.  Even small French restaurants , at least those that depend on their client’s returning, also make their own mayonnaise.  An unsurprising, exception is MacDonald’s France; they do not make their own fresh mayonnaise.
    
Since its creation mayonnaise has been a significant addition to many cuisines. In Belgium, and now also in France, you will see the traditional and tasty Belgian tradition of Belgian Fries; served in a paper cone with fresh mayonnaise on the side.  The fries and fresh mayonnaise may be eaten  in a restaurant or while walking down the street.
  
  
A Belgian tradition, fries and fresh mayonnaise
Photograph courtesy of EgOn.
  
The Mayonnaise Story.
    In 1756, the French Navy captured the Island of Menorca in the Mediterranean, from the British, who had previously captured it from the Spanish.  The commander of the French force was the Duc de Richelieu (1696 – 1788). It  is Richelieu's chef who is credited with creating mayonnaise.
 

 

Old map of the Island of Menorca.
The capital Mahon is on the left.
Photograph courtesy of Fabián_
  
Following the victory Richelieu’s chef was ordered to prepare a celebratory banquet. The Banquet was held in the island’s capital, the town of Mahon.  For the banquet's highlight, the chef created a new sauce he named Mahonnaise, and since then we have a Sauce Mayonnaise. The particular Richelieu in this story is the Duc de Richelieu;  great-nephew of the even more famous Cardinal Richelieu (1585- 1642).
   
Since 1802, with the treaty of Amiens, Menorca, has been, indisputably, part of the Spanish Balearic Islands.  Despite that treaty, Menorca is now invaded annually by hordes of British, German, Scandinavian and other tourists!
  
Mayonnaise in other languages:
 
(Chinese, (Mandarin) -  蛋黄-  Dànhuáng jiàng), (Hebrew – מיונז – mayonaze), (Hindi -  मेयोनेज़ – mēyōnēza ), (Japanese -マヨネーズ – Mayonēzu), (Korean –마요네즈 – mayonejeu), (Rumanian/Moldovan -  maioneză ), (Russian -   майонез -  mayonez), (Swedish – majonnäs), (Tagalog – mayunesa), (Thai – มายองเนส-  mā yxng nes̄). (Ukrainian – майонез - may̆onez). Many of these translations are with the help of Google Translate ©
  
                                  
Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu.
Copyright 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016.
   
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com