Best Foods, Lady’s Choice, Kraft, and More: We Find the Best Brand of MayonnaiseJuly 1, 2018
On the list of highly divisive foods is mayonnaise—the thick, fatty condiment-slash-base ingredient made with oil, eggs (or just egg yolks), acid (often vinegar), and other seasonings, that gets its telltale texture via emulsion magic. Often spread onto sandwiches (on its own, for hardcore lovers) or mixed into sauces, dips, dressings, or even cake batter, mayonnaise adds an unbeatable richness and creamy texture that enriches every bite. When there’s little to no time to make it from scratch, store-bought options come to the rescue—but which of the locally available brands is worth stocking up on?
Note: for consistency we limited our selection to mayonnaise sold on the mainstream local market, excluding those marketed as being “lighter” (e.g., Miracle Whip), being flavored or being a variation of the default variant, or deliberately different in style (e.g., Kewpie Japanese-Style mayo—although as you’ll see, one brand on the lineup closely resembles it).
Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
Best Foods’ mayo is on the thick end, yielding a smooth and creamy feel on the tongue from start to finish. Its full-on texture allows for a gradual progression of flavors, starting slightly sweet and bringing in a whisper of tang before ending on very fatty note. This makes for a good all-purpose option with a balanced taste on its own while being rich enough to stand out when used for other recipes. Its relative neutrality and creaminess also makes it a great choice for adding to your chocolate cake batter.
Jolly Real Mayonnaise
You get a lighter mayonnaise from Jolly with a texture that’s wispier and relatively airier, almost as if it had whipped egg whites folded in. It’s still creamy and ends with a touch of oiliness, but it’s far less fatty than the other brands, with a more savory profile somewhat reminiscent of Kewpie brand Japanese-style mayo (albeit lighter and less umami). With this, Jolly is a great option for the mayo-averse who’s looking for just enough richness sans too much sweetness or fattiness.
Kraft Original Mayonnaise
Kraft’s is the thickest and densest mayonnaise on the list, with members of the team even comparing it to a creamier version of Snack Pack pudding. It’s on the sweet side, which makes it a divisive brand; also present on a second jar we’d purchased more recently (which isn’t up for expiration until December of this year) is a hint of rancidness, but it isn’t too noticeable unless you’re eating the mayo solo. Either way, you get a better hint of vinegar-y acid for balance, before it goes all-out fatty at the finish. Like Best Foods’, the potency and creaminess makes it great for use in other recipes.
Kewpie Mayonnaise (REGULAR)
Don’t get this confused with the more iconic Japanese-style version from the same brand; Kewpie—its Vietnamese charter, to be specific, who also supplies to the Philippines—also offers a non-Japanese style, “regular” version of their mayonnaise. Like the Japanese-style version, it carries a consistency that’s thick but more supple than the other brands, with a full-on silky-smoothness, likely due to its use of just the yolks versus the whole egg (which would include the lightness-contributing egg white) as all the other brands on the list do. Notably whiter and brighter than the Japanese version however, it carries the sweet, tangy profile associated with Western-style mayo and comes up as the most potent of all the brands on these properties (as if it had pickled relish mixed in). In any case, it’s well-balanced with just enough fattiness before concluding with a hint of umami at the end that rounds out the sweetness and keeps it from getting cloying. Though it can be overpowering used in recipes, the intensity of flavors makes it our top pick for straight-up dipping or—dare we say—just eating on its own.
Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise
This mayo brand comes right in between Best Foods’ and Jolly’s in thickness; it dissolves into oil faster than the former as it hits the mouth, but it’s still smooth enough to pass for mayo. You also get great balance flavor-wise, having a touch of sweetness and ample tang, and concluding with a mid-level of fattiness (again in between Best Food’s and Jolly’s) that it’s still bearable when eaten on its own. Lady’s Choice is an especially good option for making macaroni or tuna salads, as it’s just creamy enough while still allowing any other mix-ins to shine through.
The Verdict: Best Foods
With its balanced taste, creamy texture and full-on richness, Best Foods is our top pick—both for standalone spreading or for enriching other recipes. Lady’s Choice comes at a close second, offering a lighter alternative that also gives you great balance of flavor. Kewpie’s highly-seasoned “regular” mayo is a great choice for straight-up dipping, while loyalists of the Japanese-style version will be happy to know to know that a relatively cheaper option exists, in the form of Jolly’s more savory-leaning take.