The One Mayo You Need in Your Life

Just one extra ingredient makes this mayonnaise a spread above the rest.

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Mayonnaise is a condiment that many cherish, and just as many love to dismiss as either bland, strange, or just plain wrong. However, there’s a way to serve mayo that might just have the power to unite either end of that spectrum, a small tweak you can make that will transform this white goop into a tangy, game-changing spread. It’s a squeeze of lime juice, which can be added to either the homemade or store-bought stuff. Are you mad you’ve never thought of this before?

Mayonnaise and lime juice, a perfect pair

In fact, you don’t even have to add the lime juice yourself; it comes packaged this way. I was first introduced to mayonnaise with lime juice as mayonesa con limon, which came in a jar with a red lid that we kept in the refrigerator door. Anytime my grandmother made me a sandwich or a cold pasta salad, this was the jar she reached for.

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In fact, for a large portion of my childhood I had no idea that mayonnaise came without lime in it. Trust me, I don’t feel like I was missing out. If anything, everyone accustomed to eating plain old mayonnaise was missing out on the tasty tang of lime that brightens up any meal.

If you want to make your mayonnaise from scratch or just add lime juice to regular mayonnaise yourself, by all means go for it. However, for those who don’t want to make any extra work for themselves, a few brands already understand the power of mayonesa con limon and sell it premade. Although I’m partial to McCormick’s product, there are others, like Kraft or Duke’s, that also sell a lime juice version of their spreads.

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How to use lime mayo

One of the simplest uses for this mayonnaise is to spread it on a sandwich in place of regular mayonnaise. But if you really want to make the citrus flavor shine, here are a few ways to showcase the condiment:

  • Pasta salad with ham: When I was growing up, my grandma would make a cold pasta salad similar to this recipe that included mayonesa con limon, elbow pasta, cubed ham, corn, and a little sour cream. This dish is the perfect side to any lunchtime sandwich or burger, or you can enjoy it as a main dish. The creamy pasta salad is light and flavorful, and was one of my absolute favorite things to eat as a kid.
  • Elotes and esquites: These two street food dishes combine corn, butter, mayonnaise, and cheese to create a rich and delicious snack. However, if you’re like me and spice isn’t your thing, the chili powder can be a little intense, and you might even make a special request to remove it. Adding some lime juice to the mix can help offset the spiciness of the chili powder, letting you enjoy the full authentic flavor.
  • Other creative mayo variations: With mayonnaise that already has lime in it, you’ve got half the work done for you. From here you can make chipotle lime mayo, cilantro lime mayo, or even a honey lime mayo. Let your taste buds be your guide.
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Whether you like light mayo, heavy mayo, or the vegan stuff, I promise that adding lime juice will forever change the way you think about this divisive condiment. Here’s hoping your next sandwich is as tangy and creamy as the ones I’ve been enjoying for lunch the past couple weeks.