Why The Type Of Mayo Matters In Your Tuna Salad

Do people really hate mayonnaise? Like, really hate mayonnaise. Not really, according to Business Insider. If you like sandwiches at restaurants or enjoy aioli or coleslaw or potato salad or chicken salad, you actually enjoy mayonnaise. Of course, no one is downing spoonfuls of it straight from the jar, but when it's mixed in with other ingredients or serving as the base of a sauce, mayonnaise is a delightful accompaniment. And, let's face it, anyone who has ever ordered tuna salad from a deli or made some at home, likes mayonnaise.

There is perhaps no other protein that's more associated with mayonnaise than tuna. Starkist lists mayonnaise as the second ingredient after tuna in their Classic Tuna Sandwich recipe. Samin Nosrat goes so far as to make her own for what may be the most epic tuna sandwich of all time (via YouTube). The fact is that you simply cannot make tuna salad without mayonnaise. Everyone has their favorite brands, but for the uninitiated, understanding that not all mayonnaise is created equal is very important when making tuna salad.

You want a sturdy mayo

The recipe for mayonnaise is very simple and is said to have originated in either France or Spain (via Slate). The basic ingredients for homemade mayonnaise are egg, some type of oil, vinegar, and water. Sometimes lemon juice is added for some extra kick. These simple ingredients, when whisked together, create an emulsion and give mayonnaise its distinctive texture. It's this texture that's important when choosing a mayo for your tuna salad.

According to food scientist Ali Manning, the percentage of fat contributes to the overall texture of the mayonnaise, as well as its flavor, perĀ HuffPost. The type of mayo you want is one that has a "dense and creamy consistency" in order for it to help bind the various ingredients of your tuna salad together. A wet, goopy tuna salad would be the result of a "viscous or fluid" mayo. No one wants a slippery sandwich. Manning, along with a panel of other chefs, recommended either Hellmann's or Duke's as their preferred mayonnaise, owing to their texture and excellence in flavor.