Frankly, I deserve a James Beard Award after tasting 11 mayonnaise varieties in one sitting.
I’m not mayo-averse by any means, but the condiment is typically only as good as the food it is paired with. And when paired with a spoon (or slice of bread), it’s nothing to write home about … or is it?
There are a few products on this list that really surprised me in consistency and flavor. I mean, I’m never going to eat the creamy white condiment straight out of the jar, but I may just have some new favorites that demand to be spread on a ham and cheese sandwich or mixed with the yolk of a deviled egg.
So without further ado, here is your complete ranking of mainstream mayonnaises. All jars and bottles are readily available on Amazon or mainstream grocery stores, though I did not include vegan varieties for the sake of maintaining classic mayo flavor consistency.
Now BRB as I brush my teeth to remove the white film that is still adhered to my tongue. (The things I do for science. You’re welcome.)
11. Sir Kensington’s Organic Mayonnaise
I had to read the label and see if this jar went beyond its expiration date (it didn’t) because it tasted like straight-up anchovy paste (which, honestly, could be great for the anchovy-obsessed, like my editor). Ursula’s mayonnaise of choice may be organic, keto and certified humane with the use of free-range eggs, but it was so foul that I had to literally cleanse my mouth with a shot of tequila (because even that was more palatable). I’m afraid that Sir Kensington deserves a demotion to Peasant Kensington after this one, but I’m also but a mere peasant who doesn’t make the rules.
10. 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Mayonnaise
I’m not sure if lackluster taste can be attributed to anything organic (at least when it comes to mayonnaise), but this one also missed the mark. And surprisingly so, as Whole Foods’s 365 brand typically excels when it comes to classic condiments (I love its white wine-forward Dijon mustard!). The recipe had a very cardboard-esque after taste, salvaged only by a subtle saltiness and tang that could potentially enhance more complex ingredients. But on its own — yikes! It was almost as if you were eating the paper plate that was served underneath it.
9. Miracle Whip
Miracle Whip is fine if you’re making cupcakes because it flat-out tasted like frosting. The polarizing spread was so sweet that it will likely deter most mayo-lovers from slathering it on a sub or french fries. That said, it has certainly developed a bit of a cult following, hence its longevity and continued popularity, which means a lot of you actually like this stuff. And if that person is you, please don’t cook for me or invite me to your favorite restaurant (kidding … kind of).
8. Spectrum Organic Mayonnaise
If you take 365’s cardboard flavor profile and add a touch of artificial sweetener, you’ve got Spectrum. This wasn’t hand-me-a-barf-bag-immediately levels of gross, but it wasn’t memorable enough to rank in the top 50% of options. I do love the fact that the company opts to not use any preservatives, though. Sodium benzoate? We don’t know her.
7. Duke’s Real Mayonnaise
This mayo was the tangiest of the bunch, so if you like the pucker of apple cider vinegar, this jar will likely be your new favorite. The only reason why it didn’t rank higher is because I prefer my mayo to be a little more well-balanced, unlike what my food pyramid looks like after a long day of meeting deadlines and running errands. Sigh.
6. Blue Plate Real Mayonnaise
I appreciated the richness of Blue Plate’s take on mayo. The silky-smooth mouthfeel and heaviness in texture made it emerge as one of the most decadent of the bunch, but its taste was pretty one-note. This is entirely OK if you simply need a creamy foundation to whatever dish you’re making, but if mayonnaise is the star (like in a macaroni salad), I’d go for something with a bit more complexity and depth (see No. 5) to really wow your guests at a picnic or barbecue.
5. Kewpie Mayonnaise
Let’s be honest: The piping bag-like packaging gave Kewpie extra points since it’s so much fun to use, but the beloved Japanese condiment is also known for its distinct egginess that makes it almost custard-like but without the sweetness — only umaminess. Use this to make aiolis or spicy mayos that taste gourmet (as if you whipped the mayo’s eggs yourself) and not out of a plastic container.
4. Kraft Real Mayo
This one was definitely on the sweeter side, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Kraft’s take on the humble condiment. This is an ideal option for anyone using mayonnaise in a potato salad or coleslaw because its thinner texture will allow for it to spread and coat surfaces evenly. (Want to hear something crazy? You can go full meta and add a teaspoon of the mayo to Kraft Mac & Cheese for an even creamier bite. #noshame).
3. Trader Joe’s Organic Mayonnaise
Leave it to TJ’s to impress my taste buds with yet another product worthy of fanfare. It was sweet, fluffy and not too oily like other organic varieties. I’m still a bit bummed about its real mayonnaise getting discontinued (which tasted even better), but we love when a first alternate is around to eagerly accept the crown if the winner can’t fulfill its duties.
2. Happy Belly Real Mayonnaise
Amazon’s iteration proved to be the most shocking outcome on this list. I would have never guessed that such an unassuming, low-priced jar would yield such a high-quality product. It had a wonderful creaminess that didn’t feel weighed down by its soybean oil and the mix of salt, sugar, and lemon juice worked harmoniously together, much like Destiny’s Child. Needless to say, it’s now my new favorite inexpensive option and a pantry staple.
1. Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, at least according to Hellmann’s, which should really rebrand itself as "Heavenmann’s" because its taste was angelic. Sure, there is a familiarity that helped the jar take top honors, but its flavor, balance of ingredients and signature jiggle make it unrivaled when it comes to mayonnaise and the certifiable king of this creamy condiment court.