Creamy mayonnaise on Belgian fries
The unrivalled Belgian fry is rightly praised time and again. This praise includes the cold, very pale yellow sauce known as mayonnaise. The name is as fluid as the sauce itself.
We Belgians mainly combine this slightly acidic substance with fries or mix it into salads. We don't really like the sweeter variety. Make no mistake: home-made mayonnaise is superior in quality to industrial mayonnaise. However, it is important to know that it does not keep as long. To make fresh mayonnaise, you need egg yolks, natural vinegar, warm water, strong mustard, peanut oil or other oil, salt and pepper and possibly lemon juice.
Its official composition has been a serious topic for almost 70 years. In 1955, our law stipulated that the famous sauce must contain, among other things, at least 80% fat and 7.5% egg yolk. In 2015, this proportion was reduced to 70% and 5% respectively, using technically pure hen's egg yolk, which may contain a maximum of 20% protein.
The origin of the name "mayonnaise" has several explanations. The most common takes us back to the Balearic island of Menorca in the middle of the 18th century, more specifically to the town of Mahón (Maó in Catalan). The French had just driven the English out. With the few remaining ingredients, the French chef prepared a victory sauce, 'mahonaise', which later became 'mayonnaise' in French.
A French fry is eaten from a paper cone with a two-pronged wooden stick. That's the tradition - and it's also good for the environment.
A Schaerbeekois was invented for the Milan World Expo (2015); it is a light cone that keeps the fries crisp and, as the icing on the cake, or rather the mayonnaise on the fries, has an integrated sauce compartment for greater convenience.