In the wide world of culinary creativity, there a few recipes that have stood the test of time. A number of classical sauces from the French tradition, for instance, remain every bit as important today as they have been for centuries. For some, the longstanding status that such dishes achieve comes to mean that altering them would be unthinkable. At times, though, that historically motivated inflexibility reveals itself to be more than a little shortsighted.
An interesting development of that sort has been occurring recently in the unlikely sphere of prepared, mass-produced foods. For many years, consumers looking for a shelf-stocked sandwich spread could choose between the classic mayonnaise and a number of ersatz substitutes designed to mimic it. While those of the latter class have had their fans for decades now, they were never considered particularly convincing imitations by most. Settling for a spread of that sort typically meant recognizing that the basic flavor of mayonnaise would not be a priority and emphasizing other things instead.
An ambitious young company recently upset this longtime status quo with a particularly interesting product. Founded by a devoted vegan, the concern staked its fortunes on the launch of a brand new mayonnaise without eggs. Doing away with the one animal-derived ingredient traditionally found in one of the world’s most recognizable condiments, the company aimed at giving vegans something to enjoy on their own terms.
While the new product made the news for a number of different reasons, one interesting thing about it has probably received less attention than it deserves: Far from only attracting vegans the condiment was initially designed to target, the new egg-free concoction ended up with many fans of other sorts entirely. Even in blind testing, in fact, traditional mayonnaise has often since been defeated by this newcomer sans eggs, something that probably not even the company’s most optimistic leaders would have hoped for.
In fact, the new product has since gone on to secure shelf space right alongside the traditional options, a true measure of success if there ever was one. Even in the most conservative reaches of the culinary world, then, there are often ways of breaking truly new ground.