Why Does Everyone Love Duke's Mayo?
A few weeks ago, we at TT set out on a rather innocent mission: pick up some popular mayo brands at the grocery store, conduct a blind taste test consisting of dipping waffle fries in said mayo and determine our favorites as a group. Rather unanimously we agreed: Sir Kensington's was our winner, zesty Miracle Whip came in surprisingly second and classic Hellmann's picked up the bronze. Little did we know, we were committing a grievous error of judgment before the taste test even began.
Immediately upon sharing the mayo taste test with our readers, we were berated on all sides by angry mayo lovers demanding a recount. Not only were people OUTRAGED over our decision to award Miracle Whip the silver medal (which is an argument for another time), but they were also shocked and appalled to see Duke's Mayonnaise left off the list completely.
To be completely transparent, most of us had never even tried Duke's before, and a quick Google search showed us why. A brand that found its roots in South Carolina in the early 1900s, Duke's hasn't entirely made its way up north. In fact, we had trouble finding a jar of the stuff anywhere in the five boroughs of New York, resorting to ordering Duke's online to get a taste of the famous mayo.
Although it's not necessarily readily available to us Northerners, Duke's has clearly made its mark on the South and beyond, staking a claim as the favorite of home cooks and chefs alike. When asked if he prefers to make his own mayo, Mason Hereford of famed sandwich spot Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans clearly stated, "No fucking way, because we have an allegiance to Duke's."
Further investigation proved that Duke's has actually had a loyal cult following for years. It's a mayonnaise so revered by the people who consume it every day that we can almost understand the kind of passionate anger that resulted from our omission of the product altogether. But still, we had to taste it for ourselves to fully comprehend.
After finally getting our hands on a coveted jar, we have to say: It's good. It's really good. It's incredibly creamy, pleasantly acidic and joyously tangy. With a punch of cider vinegar, it edges out Hellmann's with an extra bit of zest. We can picture ourselves liberally spreading it on sandwiches and dipping endless chicken tenders and fries into it. It's the potato salad or coleslaw binder your summer deserves.
Now, while the experience of discovering Duke's Mayo has ultimately changed us for the better, we can't say that we've been immediately converted to the veritable cult of Duke's. Still, we understand where the love is coming from, and we hear you. We'll never overlook the genius, the history and the taste of Duke's Mayo again.
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