We Did Not Expect The Worst Take Of 2018 To Be All About Mayonnaise

There's also a subplot about how gender studies turned her daughter into a mayonnaise-hating feminist demon.


Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

According to headlines, millennials are a bloodthirsty generation. Whether it’s home ownership, sex or manners, we can’t seem to stop killing things. Our latest target? Mayonnaise.

At least, according to Philadelphia Magazine senior editor Sandy Hingston, who has come out swinging with one hell of a hot take: “How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise”. And oh boy, there’s a lot to unpack here.

Essentially, Hingston argues that American millennials have carelessly murdered mayo as part of a bigger struggle against traditional (read: white) values. After noticing that her Waldorf and potato salads — recipes passed down from her mum — were going uneaten at family gatherings, Hingston concocted a theory that bypassed Occam’s Razor in favour of a synecdoche for the State Of The Union.

It couldn’t be that her mum’s overwhelmingly creamy salads are a textural, disgusting mess. No, it was globalisation’s fault.

“[Mayonnaise is] too basic for contemporary tastes — pale and insipid and not nearly exotic enough for our era of globalisation,” she writes. “Good ol’ mayo has become the Taylor Swift of condiments.”

Which is true: much like Taylor Swift, mayonnaise has developed a deserved Reputation for blandness. The near 2,500 word piece was originally published in the mag’s August issue, but it caught the eye of Twitter when @sunastreo posted a screenshot of the most incendiary part:

“My son Jake, who’s 25, eats mayo,” she writes. “He’s a practical young man who works in computers and adores macaroni salad. He’s a good son. I also have a daughter. She was a women’s and gender studies major in college. Naturally, she loathes mayonnaise.”

Naturally, Hingston loathes her nameless daughter for being tainted by feminism into a world of Sriracha, kimchi and other “exotic” condiments.

“Ask the young people you know their opinion of mayo, and you’ll be shocked by the depths of their emotion [about mayonnaise],” she continues. “Oh, there’s the occasional outlier, like Jake. But for the most part, today’s youth would sooner get their news from an actual paper newspaper than ingest mayonnaise.”

Ah, yes, that’s always the most dangerous game of ‘would you rather?’ — a Sophie’s choice where nobody wins. Gah! True millennial kryptonite, right?

“Young people like my daughter somehow seem to have extrapolated this masking function from condiment to culture; for them, mayo quite literally whitewashed America’s immigrants into eating dull food,” she writes, presumably after cutting her daughter out of her will.

“And newer generations are refusing to meekly fall in line with a culinary heritage that never was theirs. Instead, they’re gobbling up kefir and ajvar and chimichurri and gochujang again.”

How dare they! This isn’t just a matter of condiments: this is a question of what America is and will be.

“Mayonnaise isn’t bland; it’s artfully blended,” Hingston writes. “It’s an evocation of the era I grew up in, of the homogeneity of that old, dead American dream.”

You can read the full article here — which, if you ignore the tone, is an interesting look at changing food tastes and trends due to immigration and the slow dismantleiung of white cultural supremacy. Yum!

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to remain in the wet white dream of the past, you can make Hingston’s mum’s macaroni salad.