Here, Eat This

Seriously, Why All the Hate for Mayonnaise?

Some of you really, really hated I even suggested this sandwich for best in Houston...because mayonnaise.
Some of you really, really hated I even suggested this sandwich for best in Houston...because mayonnaise. Photo by Jeff Balke
For more than a year, I've been writing about sandwiches. It's a labor of love, I can assure you. There are plenty of additions to sandwiches that are debated. I'm not a big fan of tomatoes and I think bacon, if used in the wrong situation, can be overwhelming. Some people don't care for pickles. My wife is not a fan of ham. It's all about personal taste.

But, is there anything that inspires more hatred than mayonnaise? And, to be honest, I'm not sure why.

One of the first sandwiches I wrote about was the legendary egg salad at Nielsen's Delicatessen. In the story, I said, "It was like being at a family reunion where my aunt actually washes all the plasticware afterward for the environment (true story, God bless her dedication). This felt like food from my grandparents." Essentially, a very Anglo family gathering.

Truthfully, I was not expecting some of the response. One gentleman delivered a stunning rebuke suggesting my parents were derelict in their responsibilities when I was a child. The culprit: mayo.

I've always liked it. It's creamy and tangy and helps make an otherwise dry sandwich much more bearable. Like Belgians, I'm completely down for mayo with my french fries, something some people consider sacrilege. And I do understand if that isn't everyone's taste, but the level of dislike for mayo and mayo lovers borders on insane.

And I truly enjoy other condiments as well. Mustard? Yes, please. Ketchup? Damn straight. In fact, I'll take both and mayonnaise on my hot dog, thank you very much. And, no I'm not crazy or some kind of sicko.

Let's just say you enjoy your sandwich your way and I'll enjoy it my way, with extra mayo please.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke