I Worked in Fine Dining for Decades, and This Is the Only Mayo I'll Buy

What’s behind the allure of this 2023 Allrecipes Community Awards winner? One of its biggest fans tells us why.

Jars of mayonnaise with Hellmann's in the center
Photo: Fred Hardy, Katherine Tucker, Ana Kelly

What makes a food product worthy of full-out love? We asked some of our Allrecipes Allstars to explain their passion for our 2023 Allrecipes Community Choice Awards winners, from Chobani yogurt and Hellmann's mayonnaise to Cheerios and Frank's RedHot sauce. (See all the winners of this year's awards here.)

Quintessential. Superlative. Glorious. These are the words that come to mind when I think about Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise.

To me, mayonnaise and Hellmann's (which is branded as Best Foods west of the Rockies) are synonymous: the litmus test by which I judge all other mayos. Yes, I spent decades in fine dining and I love me a good homemade aioli, but I've never tasted one that is superior to my beloved first brand.

Growing up, Best Foods mayonnaise was a staple in our kitchen. It was what my mom used to convince us kids to eat our veggies (try broccoli, artichokes, or asparagus dipped in it and you'll understand why!) Forget drawn butter; this mayo is where it's at.

When I moved east, I learned that Hellmann's, which is owned by the same company that owns Best Foods, is a nearly identical recipe. Even the blue label with its reassuring sweet ribbon on it is the same. My love easily transferred and has never, ever left. And here is why.

Why Hellmann's Is the Best Mayonnaise, Period

The texture is light and creamy with just the right amount of oil, and the flavor is bright with a delicate sweetness that is irresistible. It's equally delicious as a spread on sandwiches as it is a dip for French fries. In fact…

1. You Can Use Hellmann's for Just About Everything

One of my favorite quick snacks is dipping leftover chicken, steak, or deli meat in my beloved mayonnaise. In fact, I often joke that the moment I knew my husband Joe was "the one" was when he surprised me in the kitchen: I was literally elbow-deep in my Costco-sized bucket of Hellmann's, and instead of running for the hills, he simply said, "That looks like a good idea!" and joined me. How could I not love that man? (Don't worry — nowadays I use the Hellmann's squeeze bottle to be a little more dainty about my habits.

2. It Works as an Egg and Dairy Replacement

Ever craved a Caesar salad but didn't want the hassle of dealing with raw eggs? Hellmann's is the way to go. Mash up some canned anchovies, mince some garlic (or in my case, a lot of garlic), add some mustard powder, a few glugs of Worcestershire, and a few tablespoons of Hellmann's and you're there.

Hellmann's was also first to discover — and promote — that mayo is an egg-cellent baking partner. If you're dairy-free or just trying to avoid a run to the store for eggs and butter, their OG Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is incredibly moist and delicious.

Same goes for their super quick & easy 5-ingredient biscuits. (Which, by the way, you can make 3-ingredient biscuits by swapping in self-rising flour for the AP, salt, and baking powder.)

It should come as no surprise, then, that Hellmann's is a must-have addition to my scrambled eggs. It is hands down the easiest way to achieve a soft scramble with super delicate curds. Here's what to do: Whip in a tablespoon of Hellmann's per egg you beat, then season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Scramble over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they're just barely set. They're *chef's kiss* fantastic.

Hellmann's also works as a dairy replacement in quick breads, cookies, mashed potatoes, and for applying standard breading on fish, meats, and tofu. Hellmann's even has a pretty delicious vegan mayonnaise option for all you plant-based buddies out there!

3. It Helps Make Perfectly Golden Grilled Cheese and Rotisserie Chicken

Want to get that perfect, golden, crisp exterior on a diner-style grilled cheese? Swipe the outsides of your bread with a thin layer of Hellmann's before putting it in your heated pan. Or if you want that enviable rotisserie chicken skin at home? Hellmann's helps with that, too.

4. Even Hellmann's Bottles Are the Best

I now live in a 1950s ranch house with the original cabinetry and a woefully small refrigerator, which made it nearly impossible to fit in my beloved jar of Hellmann's. But then I discovered that Hellmann's also comes in a genius* squeeze bottle that not only fits in my Lilliputian fridge, but also is a stellar vessel for doling out pancake batter (after it's empty, of course). I've washed mine in the top rack of my dishwasher multiple times and it's still kicking.

*Genius isn't an overstatement — it won them a literal design award in 2015!

So, what I guess I'm trying to say is: Thank you, Hellmann's, for making my life so much tastier.

"Bring out the Hellmann's and bring out the best!" I still sing the jingle in my head to this day, because it's true!. Try some. You'll see.

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