This week, food media met in its underground board room lair and agreed to collectively express its indignation over mayonnaise ice cream. This started when a Scottish ice cream maker posted this Instagram photo:
Predictably, our online colleagues went all internety, because outrage provokes clicks and clicks increases page views and with enough page views advertisers give us a fraction of a cent and enough fractions of a cent we won’t have to layoff people working in media. A sampling of mayo ice cream headlines:
“Mayonnaise Ice Cream Is Hear To Tear Apart Your Friendships” —Cosmo
“Tweets About Mayonnaise Ice Cream Have The Internet So Torn” —Delish
“Mayonnaise Ice Cream Exists And The Internet Is In Flames” —The Daily Meal
“Mayo-flavored ice cream is the latest gag-inducing monstrosity” —The New York Post
“Mayonnaise-Flavoured Ice Cream Is The Dairy Product Nobody Asked For” —HuffPost UK
Let me be clear: Don’t let these kneejerk reactions sway your opinions (Except Esquire, which gets it). I would probably eat the shit out of mayo ice cream.
The greater point—if you don’t mind a sprinkle of didacticism—is that we shouldn’t collective judge because horde mentality says it’s fun to shit on something en masse. Some of our greatest enjoyment in food comes from happy experimentation—like sticking French fries in a Frosty.
Of course without tasting it, I can’t say for sure if it’s delicious or rank, but there are a number of reasons why I think mayonnaise ice cream might work.
1. If it’s the egg part you find off-putting, then you should feel the same about frozen custard.
2. If it’s the oil part you find off-putting, there are many ice creams made with olive oil that have proven to be delicious.
3. If it’s the savory part you find off-putting, know that salt is already in almost every ice cream. And flavors with savory elements—like goat cheese, sweet corn, salted pretzels—are rather delicious. (And have you ever sprinkled sea salt on vanilla ice cream?
4. If it’s the cold part you find off-putting, you should feel the same about chicken salad.
5. If it’s the mayo part you find off-putting, then yes, you’d probably find mayo ice cream off-putting. But I like mayo. And by the transitive properties of food, I’d probably like mayo ice cream too.
Ultimately, our feelings about mayo ice cream aligns with our site philosophy: We will avoid knocking it before we try it. Tuna and chocolate, on paper, seemed like a strange pairing. Turns out it was freakin’ delicious.