There’s Mayo in My Pizza!

August 23, 2007 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

What do you do with a tub of mayonnaise and a table of food? Slather it on everything you see, of course. At least, that’s what you do in Japan. The creamy-white condiment might be a concoction of Europe but the Japanese have made it an obsession, spreading it on dinner rolls, grilled shrimp, even pizza.


Here in the U.S., mayonnaise goes no further than your sandwich. Most people realize just how caloric the mixture of vegetable oil and egg yolks can be and do without it. I’m one of those people always trying to cut calories. Too much of it makes my stomach churn. Call it a mayonnaise malaise. But when I moved to Japan I realized there wasn’t going to be any of that. After all, what can you really do if it’s already baked into the bread?

Take for example Japan’s famous corn and mayo bread. It’s a palm-size roll baked golden and indented on top so that the corn kernels sit comfortably. The mayonnaise acts as the adhesive to keep things together. Cutting it out is simply unimaginable. But we’re not talking bout Miracle Whip here. Ask anyone in Japan and they’ll tell you their mayo of choice is Kewpie, which comes in a clear plastic squeeze-bottle with a red cap. It’s far tastier than their American counterpart; nothing you’d ever want to give up.

A pop idol name Shingo Katori proclaimed his love for the sauce and you’ll see him promoting it in commercials, lovingly licking it up from a steamy corn-on-the cob, even savoring it directly from the source. It’s strange, I know. But if you’re a fan of the guy, eating mayonnaise from the bottle starts to look like a yummy idea.

And now there are reports of a restaurant near Tokyo dedicated to the spread. Imagine a dinner lineup like this: mayo mashed potatoes, scallop mayo soufflé, stir-fry shrimp with hot and sour mayo sauce, and mayo fondue. Wash it down with a chilled mayo-garita.

Has Japan gone too far with their obsession? Will obsession turn to obesity? Mayobe. Mayobe not. (^_^);


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Entry filed under: Japanese Business, Japanese Culture, Japanese Foods.

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August 2007