Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mayonnaise Fraîche - In France all Mayonnaise is Fresh Mayonnaise.

Behind the French Menu.
Bryan Newman
Updated March 2018
Fresh mayonnaise.
Try, Mayonnaise Fraîche, fresh mayonnaise, just once.

You will never want the store-bought stuff again.
Mayonnaise, in France with few exceptions, means fresh mayonnaise.  After one trip to France, where nearly all restaurants serve fresh mayonnaise, you will agree that no bottled mayonnaise compares 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.
Herb Mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise on French Menus:
Homard Bleu à la Mayonnaise -  The European two-clawed lobster, served cold with fresh mayonnaise.   Caveat Emptor: French two-clawed lobsters are terribly expensive, and most are on menus listings in very small sizes.  Do not expect any USA 3lb lobsters; you will be lucky if your whole fresh French lobster weighs 400 grams, 1 lb.
Homard Canadien avec Mayonnaise Fraîche - Imported Canadian lobster, though it may have arrived there from Maine, served with fresh mayonnaise.  The two-clawed North American lobsters are imported from Canada; they are imported in larger sizes than most local catches and cost far less that their cousins, the slightly sweeter European two-clawed lobster.
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.
White asparagus, vendace roe, and Sauce Hollandaise.

Sauce Mayonnaise aux Fines Herbes – Fresh mayonnaise flavored with France's most important herb group Les Fine Herbes.
 Mayonnaise Verte - Green mayonnaise that is often served with fish dishes. The green color is achieved by adding the juices from spinach, watercress, and parsley to fresh mayonnaise, the taste remains unchanged.
Mayonnaise verte.
 Crédit photo : Sirois/ Sucré SaléCréCrédit photo : Sirois/ Sucré Salé
ucré Salé  
La Mayonnaise de Crevettes Grises – Tasty sand shrimps served with fresh mayonnaise.
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.
Cold roast beef served with egg mayonnaise.
Blanc de Poulet, Tomate, Œuf, Mayonnaise – Cold chicken breast served with tomato, hard-boiled egg, and fresh mayonnaise. 

The ingredients in 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.
Now, I am neither a chef nor do I claim to be a particularly adept cook; however, even I can make fresh mayonnaise.
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 you may buy in a supermarket in the USA or UK.
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 mayonnaise.
Since its creation mayonnaise has been important in many cuisines. In Belgium, and in France, you will see the traditional and tasty tradition of fries, chips; 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.
How Mayonnaise got its name.

 In 1756, the French Navy captured the Island of Menorca in the Mediterranean, from the British, who had previously won 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
An 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 the languages of France's neighbors:  
(Catalan - maionesa), (Dutch - mayonaise  ), (German - mayonnaise ), (Italian - maionese ), (Spanish - mayonesa or mahonesa ).
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 ©
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Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu.
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