“How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise.”
That’s the bold title of a lengthy first-person piece in Philadelphia Magazine published this past weekend — a headline and column that have garnered much attention from those who read it.
In the piece, writer Sandy Hingston argued that the condiment, which rose to ubiquity in the 20th century, represents a generational attitude of immigrants who, freshly arrived on American soil, tried to assimilate to the local cuisine, and who used mayo to hide the taste of food products that disguised “potatoes past their due date, flabby cabbage, tuna that was less than pristine.”
Now, many young people are pushing to embrace multiculturalism, “gobbling up kefir and ajvar and chimichurri and gochujang again.”
“It’s obvious to me that this condimental divide can be traced to young folks’ rejection of what they sneeringly consider a boring white food,” Hingston wrote. “The only reason for this raging mayophobia is a generation’s gut-level renouncement of the Greatest Generation’s condiment of choice.”
Hingston, who painstakingly researched the rise and fall of the condiment for her piece, even drily used an anecdote from her life, noting that her daughter — a women’s and gender studies major — naturally “loathes” mayo. (Her son, however, “a practical young man who works in computers and adores macaroni salad,” eats mayo. “He’s a good son,” Hingston notes.)
“For the most part, today’s youth would sooner get their news from an actual paper newspaper than ingest mayonnaise,” she wrote.
The piece, of course, elicited strong reactions from those who read it. And some of the quips online were deliciously hilarious:
I hated mayonnaise before it was cool.— sianushka (@sianushka) August 14, 2018
The writer herself took to Twitter to rebut some of the mayo-haters by sharing her mother’s recipe for macaroni salad — which includes up to three cups of mayonnaise — as well as to joke around with readers.
Oh jeez thanks, guys, now I'm on the condiment beat permanently.— Sandy Hingston (@SandyHingston) August 15, 2018
WHO PUT THE HORSE IN HORSERADISH, HUH???— Sandy Hingston (@SandyHingston) August 15, 2018
Coming soon: You say tom-A-to, I say to-MAH-to, but HOW DO YOU SPELL KETCHUP?— Sandy Hingston (@SandyHingston) August 15, 2018
It's a dill.— Sandy Hingston (@SandyHingston) August 15, 2018