If You Don’t Have Margarine, Use…

Posted Thursday, March 21st, 2013
By Marc Gottlieb

Mayonnaise.

That’s right, you read it correctly. And I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve read it, either. And the thought of it has probably made you go ‘”blech.” But this is me saying it, so let’s break it down logically, and you’ll see that the idea isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

And while this post addresses the fact that there is no non-kitniyot margarine available here in Israel, it is applicable throughout the year.

Trust me.

The Science of Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is fundamentally a cold, stable emulsion of oil and water, bound with lecithin found in the yolks. That’s it.

Margarine is fundamentally a cold, stable emulsion of oil and water, bound with lecithin as is found in egg yolks. That’s it.

Wait, what?

So what’s the real difference? Margarine uses vegetable oils that have had hydrogen added to them (hydrogenated) to make them melt at higher temperatures, or in other words, to make them not melt (i.e. solid) at room temperature. This also turns some of the fats into trans fats, which as we know are bad for you.

You can make mayonnaise with 100% olive oil (not extra virgin, which would make it a weird green color and bitter), which is not as bad for you as other fats. And olive oil is kosher for Passover. And is not palm oil *shudder*.

So now that we know there’s really no difference between the two, let’s learn how to use one in place of the other.

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11 Responses to “If You Don’t Have Margarine, Use…”

  1. Rochelle Pudlowski Eissenstat says:

    If the mayo does break, just add another yolk & process again until the emulsion forms again. Then quit!

  2. Finally getting back to reading after not feeling so great over Pesach. Sorry I missed this then — but it's just as useful and just as much a pleasure to read now.

  3. Arielle Kwestel says:

    what about the vinegary flavor of mayo?

  4. What about the issue of raw eggs when making mayo? What is your take on this one?

    • Good Marc Gottlieb question. Marc?

    • I have never had an issue with eating raw eggs in foods, including mousse, meringue, and mayonnaise. And if you're putting the mayonnaise into a cake, the baking will kill any bacteria after 140F.

      Regarding salmonella, adults are less susceptible than children, stomach acid kills them, and you have to drink practically an entire beaker of the stuff to actually get food poisoning. Egg farms are typically under a vet's care.

      I'm not advocating being stupid or irresponsible. I'm saying that it's not as big a fear as we're been led to believe.

      If you do ever get sick, you'll be better in a week. And my chocolate mousse is worth it.

  5. Eva Fried says:

    We use mayo instead of butter for grilled cheese sandwiches – gives it a perfect light crispy crunch. Sooo good!

  6. Eva Fried says:

    We use mayo instead of butter for grilled cheese sandwiches – gives it a perfect light crispy crunch. Sooo good!

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