Why We Love Mayo — and You Should Too

The truth is, your Memorial Day BBQ won't be complete without it.

Starting your Memorial Day barbecue with this creamy, veggie-filled dip would be impossible without mayo.

There are two types of people in this world: those who love mayonnaise and those who (think they) hate it. We don't want to be all "you guys who say you hate mayo are wrong," but ... you are. There's homemade mayo, store-bought mayo, reduced-fat mayo and fat-free mayo, flavored mayo, vegan mayo — the list is seemingly endless. And while mayo varieties abound, there's one thing they all have in common: creamy deliciousness.

How can you hate creamy and delicious?

We have a feeling your Memorial Day cookout guests would argue those two adjectives better be in your vocabulary when you're planning your holiday menu.

Guy Fieri's Artichoke Spinach Dip with Roasted Red Bell Peppers (above) is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and it comes together on the grill, which means it'll keep you outside where the action is and not stuck inside the kitchen. But it wouldn't be the 5-star dish it is without, you guessed it, mayo. Just a touch helps make the starter creamy and worthy of those pita chips.

Red, White and Blueberry Coleslaw

Red, White and Blueberry Coleslaw

Food Network Kitchens Red, White and Blueberyy Coleslaw

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved

We're not sure who throws a kickoff-to-summer barbecue without coleslaw, but leave us off the guest list if you do. This Red, White and Blueberry Coleslaw comes complete with crumbled bacon and chopped pecans, and the sweet blueberries are a fun and festive touch. But the side simply couldn't exist without mayo. Because even though all the ingredients look pretty after you've stirred them together, they don't reach their full potential until the mayo has had time to work its magic in the fridge, coating each strip of cabbage and creating a dish that's the perfect balance of crispy and creamy.

Bobby Flay knows a thing or two about throwing an epic backyard barbecue. He knows how to season and grill burgers, and he especially knows the best way to top 'em: with chipotle mayo. Make it with fiery and smoky jalapenos, fresh lime juice, and smooth mayo, then prepare to wow your guests. No one will be looking for the ketchup when you've got this cool burger pairing on offer.

If fried chicken is more your type when it comes to cookout fare, we get it. Take a page out of Kentucky girl Damaris Phillips' book and turn the crispy-coated meat into hand-held sandwiches. Mayonnaise is a classic chicken salad ingredient and a must in Damaris' recipe. It helps make the dried herbs soft and palatable, and it's the key to holding everything together. What can't this condiment do?



Food Network Kitchen’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake for Food Network One-Offs, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

If by some chance you're still not convinced mayo belongs in your life, just think about this: Chocolate. Cake. Skip the oil and butter and let mayonnaise tenderize the future star of your dessert table. This is one treat that most definitely deserves to be on a pedestal.

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