Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On being nuts and the Condiment That Must Not Be Named

I have an embarrassing confession. I am a lover of condiments but I absolutely, positively loathe mayonnaise (and its Italian cousin, aioli). I have for as long as I can remember. Even writing those words makes me cringe. The sight of it turns my stomach. It also has a way of finding me wherever I go (even south-east Asia). Such is my phobia that my long-suffering partner (husband, now, actually, but more on that later) can attest to the number of times he has asked, when ordering a vegetarian sandwich, burger or salad on my behalf, "does it contain mayonnaise?". This is often met with an obliging "no, but we can put some on it for you" to which he has to reply (with frantic waving of his hands) "no, no—please no, she doesn't eat it/is allergic/cannot stand it—I am just making sure it isn't on it". If the desired meal does contain the offending condiment, asking for it to be removed is a risky business. I would estimate that out of the times I have ordered food without mayonnaise, one out of three of those dishes were found upon closer inspection to contain it anyway. We create what we fear.

However, the thing about sauces in the "M" category is that they do add a new dimension of flavour, creaminess and moisture that can really complete a meal, so alternatives must be sought. The solution lies in nuts and seeds. I have previously posted about my love for Nut Roasters, a local store that is what its name says and so much more. They recently linked from their Facebook page to an excellent article by Claire Claire Adas that: (1) makes me feel less crazy for having a mayonnaise phobia and more importantly, (2) contains several tempting recipes for similar condiments made with nuts. I can't wait to try them!

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