Now that we have seen some of the very best and some of the most bizarre, it is time to see some of the absolute worst Mayos that unscrupulous money-makers have manufactured. Two shocking examples of toxic sauce force themselves upon our gastronomic conscience and summon us loudly to forewarn our readers of taste and sophistication against their consumption.
E12. Uncle William. Cordoba, May 1993. Pesetas 160 for 375 ml.
The pits! The bottom! The Absolute Zero! A lower life form than the common jellyfish! In designing this... this... chemical waste, the manufacturer must have been inspired by the stuff that spiders use to spin a web. It sticks to the knife and will not let go! It has the texture of cheap Jell-O. It seems to emit light, yet is not truly transparent. After 6 months in the fridge (why, yes, even for the honest junky some jars are simply anathema!) the contours cut into the surface of the paste were still identical to the last time a fork stirred it! And on top of all that, it was completely tasteless (well, on second thoughts, perhaps that was its only virtue)! But what can one expect from... from - matter, let us say, that comes cheaper per kilo than waste paper?
To add ugliness to injury, the bottle was adorned with this PLASTIC label (for crying out loud!) which demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that the rogue who brought it forth and sold it was aware of his crime against gastronomy. Why else would he try to pass of his merchandise as an English product, in a country that still detests the Limeys for Gibraltar, the Invincible Armada, and its unselfish help during the Peninsular War?
F13. Heinrich Hamker. France, August 2001. 500 ml for FF 3,50 (!!!)
But is that perchance a standard trick of these unscrupulous grease-mongers? A stealthy strategy of the whole food fraud cartel? One would certainly think so on discovering the most suspicious similarities with this here brand!
What you see here, dear reader, is not a Mayonnaise but a public scandal. Produced by a German Lebensmittelwerke (roughly: a food-refinery) from the Ruhr and sold anonymously on a save, foreign market, where people can never claim damages (what innocent Frenchman knows the word for ‘reparation’ in German I ask?), this stuff, this liquid, this goo… this… this… JUNK was mixed from LINSEED OIL, whose main application is for paints and varnish, tied up and held together by some many E-numbers that the Financial Times’ stock-market report looks like child’s play in comparison with its list of ingredients!
We shall waste no time, breath, ink or pixels on a description of its taste, except to say that it is a pity Dante did not know it when he wrote Inferno. We shall not comment on its quality and the obvious attempts of Heinrich Hamker Kraftwerke to win WWI 80 years after its conclusion by means of culinary warfare. And we will not say anything against the European Union for allowing such horrors unsanctioned onto the free market of our continent, except to repeat our earlier contention that it is high time Mayonnaise, like Champagne, Bordeaux Grand Cru and Roquefort Cheese, ought to be declared an Appellation Controlée as soon as humanly possible!
According to the upper right-hand corner of the label, Heinrich Hamker’s Lebensmittelwerke are based on the town of Bad Essen, the latter word of which means ‘to eat’ in a civilised tongue. Ah, Nomen Est Omen indeed! Bad Food this is! Do not swallow it except in case of attempted suicide!