My husband I don’t argue about much, but we do argue about aioli. Yep, aioli. We argue about the degree to which it is similar or different from mayonnaise. I say that aioli is practically sisters with mayonnaise, while he claims that the two condiments might as well be second cousins.
This typically takes place over wine and French fries in our favorite restaurants. We ask our server, “What is aioli?” Somehow his or her answer is always a point for both of us. I know, it’s silly.
If you ask me, aioli is quite similar to mayonnaise. They’re both made of raw eggs emulsified with oil (mayonnaise is made with neutral oil, while aioli is made with olive oil) and a little bit of acid (mayonnaise uses vinegar, while aioli uses lemon juice). Sometimes the French add a little bit of mustard.
Aioli also contains garlic, which we agree must be included. The word aïoli literally means oil and garlic (ail is garlic in French). The most original form of aioli, which I’m hoping to taste in Provence this summer, is made only with garlic and olive oil emulsified in a mortar and pestle.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that there are many opinions about aioli. I’m surely going to upset someone with this quick and dirty version of aioli that tastes just like your favorite restaurant’s. Want to learn how it’s done?