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Mayonnaise mania

"Mayogarita", is one of several cocktails served at the "Mayonnaise Kitchen" restaurant in Tokyo , which features mayonnaise on everything from toast, spaghetti to fondue.

by: Yoko Nishikawa | 13 Aug 2007

Despite its Western heritage, mayonnaise has become the condiment of choice for many young Japanese, who add it to everything from sushi, noodles and tempura.

While older Japanese might gag at the thought of mayonnaise on rice or savoury pancakes, the young are slathering it on. They even have a name for mayo fanatics: "mayolers".

"People keep discovering various ways to cook food with mayonnaise," owner Koji Nakamura said.
"If you put it on raw tuna fish with red flesh, it tastes like medium-fatty tuna fish. That kind of unpredictability makes it interesting and popular."

Nakamura's tiny restaurant, with fewer than a dozen tables and decorated with cut-outs shaped like mayonnaise bottles, also offers "Mayoty Dog", which tastes like the vodka-based cocktail Salty Dog but is served in a glass with mayonnaise on its rim instead of salt.

Patrons of the seven-year-old restaurant can buy their own bottle of mayonnaise for 300 yen, similar to bars that keep regular customers' bottles of whisky or sake.

"Mayoler mania"
Japanese mayonnaise, first produced in 1925, is creamier and tangier than its Western counterpart, and includes only egg yolks, not whites, with varying amounts of oil and vinegar to alter the taste.

Health-conscious Japanese are, however, starting to eat less of the dressing, prompting manufacturers to introduce low-calorie versions, including one that says it reduces cholesterol levels.

You know what they say, “Too much of a good thing can be bad for you”.

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