Mayonnaise Versus Aioli

What’s the difference between mayonnaise and aioli? Traditionally, aioli is made without eggs, says Ali, and absolutely has to have garlic. “Currently, I think any flavored mayo is called aioli, but unless it has garlic, that’d be a misnomer,” says Ali. In Spain, aioli is often made with nothing but garlic, olive oil, and salt, says scubadoo97. The garlic is mashed with the oil and salt in a mortar and pestle, and gradually brought into an emulsion. “I have made it this way and it does work and will build up your forearm,” says scubadoo97. “Most recipes you see will include egg yolks. This will help to quickly bring it together but is not necessary.” Mayonnaise, on the other hand, is just an emulsion of egg yolks, oil, salt, and pepper, says tmso.

tmso also notes that, because of the difficulty getting aioli to emulsify without eggs, it’s often made with boiled potatoes or reconstituted stale bread. And aioli is “sometimes made with egg yolk to do the same job, making it effectively an aioli/mayo cross. This latter one tastes distinctly different,” says tmso.

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