For the longest time I started to associate mayonnaise with Julia Child – and I still kind of do. Her fascination and obsession with it, as described in My Life in France, was the same as mine when I stumble upon some personal culinary discovery and tweaking it until I’m satisfied with it (or other food-related piece of info). It’s my analytical brain, I’m sure; there are some foods that I have an utter fascination for strictly in the preparation – just the sheer magic of it – but I’m not as crazy about eating it.
In my local edition of Edible, there is an essay about mayonnaise followed by a recipe for preparing it. I have had past attempts at making mayonnaise, although not – in my view – very successful ones, at least not that I consider myself proud. Plus, I took issue with that one full cup of oil – back when I didn’t understand the chemistry of mayonnaise I thought it was too much. I thought it would be too oily.
Like some things, such as mastering meringue without refined sugar or successfully poaching an egg, making mayonnaise and rising triumphant at the end is extremely gratifying. Now with experience under my belt, I feel that same, deep wonder that Julia Child felt.
I only truly understood how mayonnaise is created when I watched it happen, so I made a little video. It’s amazing to watch and even more amazing to watch it happen by your own hand – in other words, making it yourself.