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Taste

Holy Cow, People Do Weird Stuff With Mayo In Other Countries

In some parts of the world, mayonnaise shows up dolloped on SOUP.

Our nation is divided into mayo haters and mayo appreciators. Those who hate mayo sometimes feel like they’re being assaulted with this jiggly white condiment. It shows up in salads and sauces and sandwiches.

But there’s mayo beyond the borders of our nation. Some countries love mayo so much, they put it on practically everything (we’re looking at you, Russia). Some even put it on their pizza.

Most unofficial rankings of the top 10 countries that eat the most mayo don’t even include the United States.

We’re going to take it a little easy on you with our first example: the Netherlands. They love mayo so much dip their fries right into liberal helpings of the stuff.

A cone of fries topped with mayonnaise.
A cone of fries topped with mayonnaise.

Mayo, not ketchup, is the star player in their French fry game.

Then, there’s unsuspecting Japan. Japan didn’t even grow up with the stuff. No, it was introduced in 1925 by Toichiro Nakashima. He founded Kewpie mayonnaise, now a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Locals are such fans of this condiment that they add it to everything from pancakes to pizza.

Exhibit A:

Okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake.
Okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake.

Domino’s in Japan even came out with a mayo-topped pie called MayoQ.

Exhibit B:

Puerto Rico is similarly obsessed, only they mix their mayo with ketchup and dunk everything fried in it. It’s called mayoketchup and it’s a source of national pride.

Then there’s Russia. No one loves mayonnaise like the Russians (and its neighboring countries). The average Russian consumes 5.5 pounds of mayo per year. And we’re talking about the store-bought kind, not from-scratch, homemade stuff.

The country’s love of this condiment has ties to the Soviet era and food shortages. Mayonnaise was a creative way to make foods feel more filling, and so it was mixed in with everything.

Like this fur-coat herring dish:

Fur-coat herring, a traditional dish layered with salted herring, cooked vegetables, and a coat of grated beets and mayo.
Fur-coat herring, a traditional dish layered with salted herring, cooked vegetables, and a coat of grated beets and mayo.

Or this Olivier salad:

A vegetable salad made with a heavy hand of mayonnaise.
A vegetable salad made with a heavy hand of mayonnaise.

And while Russians are also fans of sour cream, adding it liberally to soups and dumplings, sometimes mayonnaise takes its place. In soup. No joke.

Ahem.

Think about that next time you crumble some crackers into your soup.

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