Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Great Mayonnaise War

So, I'm standing in the kitchen this morning making up a batch of deviled eggs for a dear friend who is in the hospital and is sick of the swill they serve and desperate for "real food". To me, not much is "realler" than the pure comfort of a deviled egg made simply with the yolk, salt and pepper, a dash of yellow mustard and mayonnaise. But it has to be the RIGHT mayonnaise or the whole concoction becomes a vile mess tasting neither of love, summer and the South, but rather of some vague unidentified chemical that I'm quite sure was manufactered above the Mason Dixon line, and is therefore, as unwelcome on a Southern table as the historical interlopers known collectively as Carpet Baggers.

I am unabashedly a Dukes Mayonnaise devotee.

Now you friends who are not "from around these parts" may not understand the ferocity of the debate that rages during the summer at every social gathering where Brothers and Sisters of the South collect over which is the best, dare I say it, ONLY, mayonnaise fit to consume. There are two camps. They are armed. They are usually likkered up. And when armed, likkered up Southerners get to squabbling, well, things can get ugly. Someone may insult your Mother. Someone may accuse you of having a Yankee relative buried deep in the wood pile. Someone may suggest that you can not recite your entire family tree right on down to 7th cousins twice removed. God help you if you can't!

No my friends, this is war. Full out. No retreat. No surrender. You either use Dukes or you use that bastardized, heathen, probably made by Lutherans or worse...Presbyterians, pretend Mayonnaise known as Hellman's!. Gasp!

In a cuisine dominated by every composed salad known to mankind, from pea to potato, from carrot raisin to seven layer, Mayonnaise is a food group unto itself, and with the arrival of the season where deviled eggs turn up at every event, and where eating summer "mater" sammiches, the mater still warm from the garden, the bread super white and soft as a butterfly kiss, the pinkish seedy juice so great a threat to your clothes that you have to down the whole thing bent over the kitchen sink, is a rite of passage. Well the lore and legend of Mayonnaise develops cultlike status.

Because its important to know your clan, your tribe, your kinsmen. Because it is important to know the enemy lurking in your midst. Hiding wolf like, in sheeps clothing, waiting to trick you into eating their condimentized treachery, I put it to you. Dukes? or Hellmans? And if you are from the South and you even consider saying Miracle Whip, I shall notify the UDC and you and all your generations will be blasted from the annals of history!