Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mayonnaise, or the Lack Thereof

Mayonnaise is damned hard to find in Hsinchu. I mean real mayonnaise, not that low fat or fat free crap. Neither do I mean that Japanese or Taiwanese crap. All the Asian mayonnaise that I've tried is really sweet--it is more like frosting than mayonnaise. In fact, it is sometimes used that way.

There is one dish (which I actually like) made of blanched asparagus slathered in sweet mayonnaise and topped with candy sprinkles.


There are only two or three stores that even carry Western-style mayonnaise (by which I mean Kraft or Best Foods). Usually they are sold out of the regular and only have the low fat. One store only had Miracle whip. What a load of shite! I mean, let's be honest; mayonnaise is fat! It is supposed to be fat. If you don't want fat, don't eat mayonnaise!

Another funny thing about mayonnaise is that in Mandarin, the word for "not have" or "there isn't" sounds the same as "mayo." The word for breasts is "nay nay." So one day I was in Carrefour with my girlfriend and she noticed I was looking for something. "What do you want?" she asked. "Mayonnaise," I responded, overpronouncing each syllable--a habit I've gotten into when speaking to non-native English speakers. She was confused. "You don't want boobs?" she asked (probably feeling a bit rejected). Now it was my turn to be confused. "Huh?" She explained and we had a bit of a chuckle.

Anyway, I'm getting really impatient with the lack of mayo around here. I don't even eat it very often, but when I want to make a sandwich or something, I have to have mayonnaise. I know I could make my own, but that isn't the point. I don't want to make my own! I want to open the fridge, grab that fat jar of white stuff, scoop out what I need, and gobble down my sandwich. Why is it so difficult?

This is the stuff I want!

I even went to the new Jason's at the FE21 department store today. Jason's is all the rage. There is one in Taipei 101, and all the foreigners who can't deal with Taiwanese food just rave about how great it is. Frankly, I think it is insanely overpriced. Seven US dollars for a bag of Ruffles? I'll pass. Anyway, I went there today to see if they had any decent mayo, and all they had was fat free Kraft and one product made of soybeans that was almost $300NT. There is hope, however. There were two little "temporarily out of stock" signs where they normally have both Kraft and Best Foods real mayonnaise.

I'll tell you this much, when I do find the real thing, I'm buying out the whole stock.

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