Why was mayonnaise so different in France?

I was musing on my past experiences the other day, and remembered how much I disliked the mayonnaise I had during my high-school exchange to France. It was darker (more yellow, specifically) than anything I’ve ever had since. It tasted like it had gone bad–an unpleasant smell and the normal taste of mayonnaise combined with something I found wholly unpalatable. At first, I just assumed it had turned a little, but freshly-bought mayonnaise had the same taste.

This was only one brand of mayo, so it could have just been a recipe I didn’t like. Regardless, is there anything usually different about European/French mayonnaise that would mark it as so distinct from the Canadian stuff?

Mayonnaise is oil, vinegar, seasoning, and eggs, usually made fresh; yellow and runny.

French Mayo in jars is closer to the real stuff, whereas the stuff that you get in jars the US (and most of what we get in the UK) has evolved into this white, sterilized goo, sometimes sweet, and is as close to real mayonnaise as chalk is to cheese.

Doesn’t French mayo use olive oil? That would account for an unfamiliar flavor, as well as a darker color than American/Canadian mayo, which uses lighter vegetable oil (soybean oil, canola or sunflower)

I’m with jjimm. The stuff in jars labeled mayo is not mayonnaise. If you’re used to Miracle Whip, then it’s REALLY not mayonnaise.

Real mayo is quite a bit different. IMO, much better. But if you were expecting Miracle Whip and you got real mayo, then yeah, you’d be very surprised.

Miracle Whip doesn’t claim to be mayonnaise. It’s “salad dressing.”

French mayo always has a touch of Dijon-style mustard in the mix. I used to make my own, taken from a French recipe book, and that was the secret.

They don’t use olive oil for regular mayo, though it is used to make a garlic-flavoured dressing mayo called ailloli.

Here’s a sample ‘real’ mayonnaise recipe from a British TV chef:

That’s how it’s meant to be made anyway, though Johnny Frenchie usually uses a regular whisk, rather than a food processor.

Oil and eggs blended together until thick and creamy. How can anyone eat the stuff, American, British, French or otherwise? The very thought of it makes me gag. Mayo is one of the few substances I can’t even look at.

Completely irrelevant. I know I’m not the only person who grew up thinking Miracle Whip was mayonnaise. Do a search; there’s more than one thread on this topic.

I’m English and therefore have not been exposed to Miracle Whip. Is it similar to salad cream?

Close enough; same general idea.

My point is simply that a more appropriate comparison would be between actual mayonnaise in a jar and actual mayonnaise as prepared in France, as the OP asked.

Salad cream or mayo? I think the final word has already been spoken:

[Fawlty Towers]
“The chef made this fresh today, sonny.”
“'That’s puke, that is.”
“Well at least it’s fresh puke.”
[/Fawlty Towers]

IMO Miracle Whip is about 1,000 times nicer than salad cream - which makes it only about 1,000 times less nice than mayo. Miracle whip is thick and jelly-like, sweet and quite tangy; salad cream is sugar-sweet, runny, green and made from Satan’s phlegm.

I need to do that search you suggested because Miracle Whip is nothing like Mayo and I am totally surprised that there are people that couldn’t tell the difference between the two. I mean I could see putting the dressing on a sandwich but you wouldn’t mix it with tuna, chicken or egg salad would you?

However, I think the subject was North American’s mayo vs Europe’s mayo of which Miracle Whip is neither. I actually had Mayo in Ireland that I thought was very good and I believe it did have some mustard in it as well.

I made it with olive oil, egg yolks, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor. It was good.

And my point was that a lot of people don’t know that Miracle Whip is not mayonnaise, and if the OP was one of those people, then I can see how he’d be incredibly surprised at tasting real mayonnaise.

I grew up with nothing but Miracle Whip in the house; my mother used it in every recipe that called for mayonnaise. So yes, it was used in tuna, chicken, and egg salad.

I never had “real” mayonnaise - ie, from a jar, not Miracle Whip - until I was old enough to buy it myself.

Judging from previous threads on this matter, my experience was far from abnormal.

Sure I would. Why not? I like Miracle Whip. I’m not too fond of mayo at all, fresh or packaged.

And real mayo is something entirely different again. It’s so easy, even I can make it.

I completely agree. Makes you wonder why the jarred stuff even exists.