Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Just Mayo Prevails - A Story and Product Review

A few weeks ago I posted an article on facebook about a product called Just Mayo by Hampton Creek and the American Egg Board's efforts to take them down. Here's the gist...

Hampton Creek created an egg-free product -- let's call it sandwich topping -- that would compete with traditional mayonnaise. Compete? Well, sort of. "Just Mayo" as the product is called, is marketed to vegans, those with food allergies, and those who need to avoid eggs (for whatever reason). Nary an egg to be found in this product (or any other animal ingredients, for that matter). So the president of the American Egg Board (seriously, do we need to spend taxpayer dollars on promoting eggs?) sent e-mails declaring that Hampton Creek had to be stopped. It was basically an executive version of the Big Bad Wolf's, "We'll huff and we'll puff and we'll blow their house down." The product was declared a "crisis and a major threat," and Egg Board officials tried to get the product pulled from grocery store shelves.

I believe that a key problem the Egg Board Chief didn't acknowledge is that if folks like you and me couldn't find Just Mayo on the grocery store shelves we wouldn't choose traditional mayonnaise.  Instead, we would buy mustard, or make our own, or choose nothing. Okay, end of rant and back to story.

But Hampton Creek not only didn't give up, they went on the offensive by using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the documents and give them to the press, resulting in a wave of support for Hampton Creek. The NPR version of the story can be found here.

There is the nasty lingering problem of the FDA, who (in their infinite wisdom) has defined mayonnaise as needing to contain eggs, and has sent Hampton Creek a letter saying they are in violation of FDA standards. Sigh... once again, our tax dollars at work.

Nevertheless, I am happy to be able to say that I have tried Just Mayo and I love it! Hampton Creek sent me a complementary assortment:

I must admit that I am a bit of a "mayo" snob.  (Am I still allowed to use that word? I'll put it in quotes to denote that I mean it broadly and not strictly defined, will that do?) Since writing my second book I have been making my own egg-free "mayo." In Allergy-Free Pantry I introduced Flaxseed "Mayo" and more recently I have been making "mayo" with aquafaba. I LOVE making homemade "mayo" or sandwich topping.

What I have learned from dozens of experiments and after wasting many gallons of oil is that at its core, "mayo" is an emulsion that must contain protein and fat. All other ingredients are for flavor and to help stabilize and/or preserve. Yes, in traditional mayonnaise that protein component is provided  by the egg white. In flaxseed "mayo" I used flaxseed eggs, in aquafaba "mayo" I used bean brine. Hampton's Creek solution in Just Mayo is to use pea protein. Love it!

Allergy-friendly sabdwich made with Hampton Creek's Sriracha Just Mayo, Yummy!

As promised, I tried sriracha first. It's just spicy enough without being overpowering. I love the creaminess and the ability to squeeze it right out of the jar. It makes a great sandwich and I can't wait to try it on a burger! And, I should mention that it's not only egg-free, it's cholesterol-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and contains no gmo's.

Let me know if you have tried it and what you think!


Nadia said...

We recently found this product and LOVE it! Walmart carries it by us, and it is very affordable as far as these types of products go. Since I work part-time and have two kids with multiple food allergies, there are some convenience products I'm definitely willing to pay for, and this is one of them! My five-year old loves it, and it has reopened some classic sandwiches & meals for us (BLTs, tuna and chicken salad sandwiches, mayo-based pasta salads, etc.). So glad this company is prevailing!

Anonymous said...

I was also annoyed by this whole situation. I really love this product, and feel it's the best vegan mayo I've tasted. I have an egg allergic child, so it really is a necessity. I think it's as "mayo-y" as any mayo I've ever tasted. Also, they call it "Mayo" not mayonnaise.


Kathryn @ Mamacado said...

I have NOT heard this story. How ridiculous! I will definitely support this egg free mayo :) Looking forward to trying it for my Little Guy who is allergic to eggs!

Colette said...

Nadia, I am so glad you found it near you!

Glutenfreemaven, I couldn't agree more.

Kathryn, yes -- so ridiculous. Definitely try it, I think you'll be happy!