What Does Mayonnaise Taste Like? How Can It Be Used? 

image of mayonnaise taste sour

Creamy, smooth, and oh-so-delicious, mayonnaise is a delicious condiment that is popular all over the world.

But if you have somehow avoided mayonnaise for all years, you may be asking yourself, what does mayonnaise taste like?

Short Answer:

Mayonnaise has a very subtle flavor that is a little sour with a hint of sweetness.

Once you discover the flavor and usefulness of mayonnaise, you will be using it on a regular basis; we can guarantee that!

In this article, we are going to fully describe what mayonnaise tastes like and how you can use it in many different dishes.

Read on to find out more.

How Is Mayo Made?

To find out what mayonnaise tastes like, we need to know how it is made and what the ingredients are responsible for.

Just to keep it simple, mayonnaise is an emulsion created between oil and egg yolks. This emulsion alone has little flavor, so other ingredients are added to create its distinctive flavor.

Here is a short breakdown of how mayonnaise is made [*]:

  1. Egg yolks are combined with mustard and whisked to combine and loosen them up. The mustard adds a little heat to the mayonnaise’s flavor.
  1. Slowly drizzle in blended seed oil and light olive oil, whisking constantly. This must be a neutral oil, or it could add a bitter taste to your mayonnaise. 

If you taste it at this point, the mayonnaise will have hardly any flavor, but the texture will be thick and creamy.

  1. Halfway through drizzling the oil, add a little vinegar and whisk in. The vinegar helps preserve the mayonnaise and adds the distinctive sour flavor of mayonnaise.

The mix will loosen slightly at this stage but not too much.

  1. Once the mayo is thick and pale, and all the oil has been added, add the lemon juice. This is a key element in bringing flavor to the mayonnaise.
  1. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. This will bring out the citrus flavors and give the mayonnaise its addictive quality.

What Does Mayonnaise Taste Like?

Mayonnaise has a subtle sour flavor with a smooth texture and a little sweetness.

This condiment is so popular because it has a simple but delicious flavor that goes with so many things.

The main bulk of the mayonnaise is made up of oil, so the primary source of flavor is vinegar and lemon juice.

Mayonnaise should have a subtle flavor with hardly any trace of the egg. If your mayonnaise tastes eggy, it has likely gone bad.

It is so tasty that you can dip your fries in it plain for a delicious snack with no extra ingredients needed.

What is Mayonnaise Used For?

image mayo taste so good

There are so many wonderful ways that you can use mayonnaise. [*]

Its neutral flavor is useful for many sauces because it can be easily paired with many other flavors.

1. Condiment

Mayonnaise can be used plain as a condiment on its own for many different dishes. It has a delicious zingy flavor that goes well with many other ingredients

You can use mayonnaise as a dip on its own, spread on sandwiches and burgers, or mixed in with fillings like canned tuna or shredded chicken.

2. Dressing

A good dressing is the best way to add extra flavor to a simple salad. If you are a fan of creamy dressings, then mayonnaise is a great place to start.

Mayonnaise on its own is far too thick for this job, so it is thinned out using white wine vinegar and flavored with extra seasonings and mustard.

However, you can use mayonnaise as a dressing as it is if you are making pasta or rice salads. It will add a delicious base flavor and provide moisture to the salad.

3. Base to Other Sauces

Many popular sauces will use mayonnaise as a base.

This includes popular sauces like 1000 island, which is a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup.

Mayonnaise also serves as the base for tartar sauce, where it is mixed with gherkins, capers, mustard, lemon juice, onions, and Tabasco sauce.

It is also very easy to flavor mayonnaise with additional ingredients to create a special version of mayonnaise.

The ingredients often mixed with mayo are:

  • Honey and mustard
  • Sriracha
  • Miso paste
  • Garlic
  • Chili paste
  • Dried herbs
  • Horseradish
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • BBQ sauce

4. Crumb Coating

This may seem unusual, but some recipes call for you to dip an ingredient in mayonnaise before you crumb it.

This is common in vegan recipes where you can’t use eggs to stick on the crumbs. That is why vegan mayo is usually used for this job.

The mayonnaise is effectively sticky and adds a citrusy flavor to the final fried product.



After this metaphorical dive into mayonnaise, what have we learned?

  • What does mayonnaise taste like? Mayonnaise has a sour flavor with a hint of sweetness.
  • What does mayonnaise taste good with? It is a great condiment that can be used for many dishes.
  • Mayonnaise is the base of many great sauces.

We hope this has encouraged you to finally give mayonnaise a try and put it to good use in your kitchen.

Up Next:

About The Author

Scroll to Top