Many of us take mayonnaise for granted. Typically, the big jar sits on a shelf in the refrigerator door, ready when we need to fix a sandwich or whip up potato salad. But have we ever paused to consider which brand is the tastiest? Or do we just buy what’s comforting and familiar, what our mothers—and their mothers—always bought?
To find out which jarred mayonnaise merits a place in the fridge, eleven Fine Cooking staffers took part in a blind tasting of six widely available brands. To our surprise, Hellman’s—everyone’s childhood favorite—was surpassed by Kraft Real Mayonnaise. But both brands reveal our panelists’ clear preferences when it comes to mayo in a jar: clean, mild flavors with a good balance of tartness and salt—and the egg well in the background.
Mayonnaises are numbered in order of preference; prices will vary.
Kraft Real Mayonnaise
$2.99 (32 fluid oz.)
This mayo’s winning cards were a light, mildly tangy flavor, a perfect balance of vinegar and salt with just a touch of egg, and a smooth, creamy texture. Many recognized it as similar to what they usually eat and declared it the perfect blank canvas a jarred mayonnaise should be.
2. Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise
$4.59 (30 fluid oz.)
The runner-up shared many qualities with the winning mayonnaise. It had a mild, clean flavor, a nice tart-salt balance with only slightly stronger hints of mustard, and a pleasant custardy texture. Most tasters recognized this as a familiar flavor as well. But some found that it lacked depth and was a bit “monotone.”