It's a classic for good reason.
Julia Child loved homemade, French-style mayonnaise so much that she dedicated an entire episode of her show “The French Chef” to it. Between her prolific cookbook and television show recipes, there are dozens for homemade mayonnaise of every kind—even one set with gelatin! Julia was such a devoted French mayonnaise maker that it might seem she never touched the store-bought stuff.
It turns out, Julia did use store-bought mayonnaise and not just on rare occasions. She was regularly whipping up tuna and potato salads as well as her salad niçoise with jarred mayo, especially in the later years of her life.
When she wasn’t whipping up mayonnaise by hand, she reached for Hellmann’s mayo. Most famously, food writer Dorie Greenspan shared this insight in a New York Times story. According to Dorie, Julia regularly prepared tuna salad served on toasted English muffins for a workday lunch while they worked on the cookbook, “Baking With Julia.”
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How Is Hellman’s Different From French-Style Mayo?
Hellmann’s mayo is much different from Julia’s classic French versions. American-style mayo, like Hellman's, uses whole eggs, lemon juice, and oil and is seasoned with salt and sometimes a bit of sugar. French-style mayonnaise uses egg yolks as well as mustard in addition to lemon juice and oil and is seasoned simply with salt. These differences give Hellman’s mayo a lighter texture and less tangy flavor which would pair well with Julia’s favorite packed-in-oil tuna fish.
Hellmann’s mayo was created and marketed by a German immigrant and deli owner in New York City in the 1920s. After many mergers between food brands, Hellmann’s and Best Foods mayo were streamlined to a single recipe, but the label stuck to Hellman's, long the favorite east of the Rocky Mountains, like in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Julia lived from 1961 to 2001.
As Julia did so well in her work as a food personality and cookbook author, her love for Hellmann's affirms that the best home cooks can honor classical cooking and reach for modern convenience too.
Read the original article on Simply Recipes.