“ Brand: Hellman / Type: Mayonnaise „
I am a huge fan of sauces and condiments, and have a fairly (if I do say so myself) impressive assortment in my fridge and cupboard, something to suit just about any meal or taste, so when I saw this new flavoured mayonnaise advertised on TV, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it to try it.
I purchased my 250ml squeezy bottle in Tesco, for £1.79 a couple of weeks ago, but it has since been put on offer and is now available there for £1 for the same pack. The bottle is a fairly standard plastic sauce bottle; it stands on its lid to allow the contents to fall to the opening to be easily retrieved, and is reasonably easy to squeeze and use, even for my 7 year old daughter.
One thing that isn't immediately clear from the packaging (but can be found in the small print on the back of the bottle), is that this is in fact a reduced calorie mayonnaise, with less than half the calories of Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise. I saw this as a bit of a bonus, but my other half was less than impressed, as he isn't typically a fan of "reduced fat/sugar" varieties of products! Having said that, by the time I noticed this, the bottle was home and he couldn't really do a lot about it so he agreed to try it with the rest of us!
When I saw this advertised, my first thought was "that would be nice with fish", so it was with fish it had its first outing! When you squeeze a blob of this onto your plate, it comes out in a lovely smooth, fairly thick consistency, with the typical "creamy" colour of an ordinary mayonnaise, and does look appetising. The one thing I did notice though was that it doesn't really smell very lemony at all, which did disappoint me a bit intitially as I presumed this meant it wouldn't taste very lemony either....boy was I wrong!
To say this has a "zing" of lemon seems a huge understatement to me. The taste is so lemony that it puts me in mind of, well, squashed up lemons with nothing else added, except maybe a pinch of sugar! It has a nice lemony taste, not too tart or too sweet, but in all honesty all I could taste when I put a small dab of this on a mouthful of fish was lemon. Obviously I do like lemons, otherwise I wouldn't have purchased this in the first place, but not only could I not taste the fish, I couldn't detect any particular creaminess of mayonnaise or anything else really, other than lemon! I like my condiments to complement a meal, not completely take it over, as I felt this did.
However, not being one to waste things, I decided to give it another try a couple of days later with some canned tuna to make sandwiches. This time, in an attempt to muffle the lemon a little, I added some "ordinary" unflavoured mayonnaise to the mixture, in about equal parts to the amount of lemon mayonnaise I put in. Now, as we all know, canned tuna is a pretty strong odour and in most cases a pretty strong taste too....not once you add this to it! Once the mixture was made up, weirdly all it smelt of was lemons, despite the fact that when I had initially used it on a plate I could hardly smell lemon in it at all...and all the tuna mixture tasted of was, again, lemons!
A couple of days later we made chicken enchiladas, a spicy Mexican dish, and this time I could feel heat from the chili in this as well as taste lemon, but could only just about detect the flavours of the other spices and the meat under the thick lemon duvet smothering my tastebuds!
Really all Hellmann seem to have done with this product is to invent a way to make lemons look creamy and have a nice smooth and fairly thick mayonnaise-like texture, and pack one heck of a flavour punch! None of my family were able to detect any flavours when we tried this with foods other than the lemon. I will not give up and will keep "watering this down" with other mayonnaise and trying with different foods, but in all honesty this is in an attempt not to have totally wasted my money than out of any desire to do so. I just feel that, as much as I love lemons, the flavour in this is just too strong. It is unpleasant but it totally blankets just about anything else it is paired with.
For this reason, I don't really feel I can recommend it for its intended purpose, as a simple condiment. It probably does have its uses if you can be bothered to experiment to find the level at which it doesn't drown everything else, but I think in future I will just go back to my old fashioned ways and use a bit of real lemon when I want one, to enhance rather than overpower anything it touches!