Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mysteries of History: The Origins of Mayonnaise

Mysteries of History: The Origins of Mayonnaise
Written by Scott M. Cooper

Over the years, historians have bickered back and forth about the origin of the word mayonnaise. Some believed that the word derives from the French verb "manier", meaning to mix or blend. Others believe that the word comes from the old French word "moyeu", meaning egg yolk. Whichever the case may be, the battle will continue until the truth is uncovered.


The first recorded English use of mayonnaise was in an 1841 cookbook and referred to as salad cream. It was used in well-known restaurants and the noble households around Europe for many years. In 1905, Richard Hellman, a native New Yorker, took his wife’s homemade recipe, prepared it, and began to sell it in his Columbus Avenue delicatessen in New York City. The product became so popular in New York City that in 1912, he built a factory to produce it in large quantities. Due to its success, Hellmann closed his delicatessen by 1917 to devote himself full-time to his mayonnaise business.

If this native New Yorker did not take a chance on a product that his wife prided herself on, the world would have missed Hellman’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise.

Richard Hellman

About the Author
Scott M. Cooper, the author of "Mysteries of History," is a Massachusetts native, now living in Florida. Cooper, a freelance writer, is the owner of The Elegant Quill, which offers ghost writing, fiction, non-fiction, editing, and proofreading services. He may be contacted at smcooper5289@gmail.com.

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