Top Pick Of The Week

August 7, 2007
Updated August 2010

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Lemon Mayonnaise

Lemonaise lemon mayonnaise looks like regular mayonnaise, but one taste is an eye-opener. Photo © Robyn Mac | Fotolia.

WHAT IT IS: A line of highly-seasoned gourmet mayonnaises and seafood sauces.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Finally, mayonnaise tastes like it should—vibrant with citrus (lemon juice is an ingredient of homemade mayonnaise), herbs and/or spices. Now, you don’t have to throw everything else into the recipe on top of the mayonnaise, to shake up the flavor.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It makes everything, from the simplest sandwich to a party hors d’oeuvre, taste amazing. We could eat it from the spoon—something we would never wish to do with bland, unctuous supermarket brands.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Call 1.619.222.6690 or visit,, supermarkets and specialty food stores nationwide. See more retailers below.

The Ojai Cook: Lemonaise
Lemon Mayonnaise & Other Delights


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Lemonaise Varieties: A Wealth Of Lemon Mayonnaise

While commercial mayonnaises require emulsifiers and preservatives to keep them shelf-stable, homemade mayonnaise is simply a blend of vegetable oil (French chefs use olive oil), egg yolks and lemon juice (or vinegar) plus seasonings. To enhance the flavor, some people add dry mustard in addition to salt and pepper.

Whatever the recipe, mayonnaise is generally a pallid substance that tastes better than it looks. Redolent of flavor, The Ojai Cook has also given mayonnaise a beauty makeover. It starts with the touch of Creole mustard in the basic Lemonaise recipe, which adds whole-ground mustard seeds to dot the landscape of the Lemonaise, along with the tiniest red flecks of cayenne pepper. In the Garlic-Herb Lemonaise, large pieces of tarragon and basil appear. These seasonings provide color and texture, making the Lemonaises look anything but pallid. The salmon-colored Latin Lemonaise is a fiesta of colors, textures and flavors while the slightly pink Bite Back Tartar Sauce floats flecks of red jalapeño and feathery bits of dill. If other mayos are bland, beige blobs, The Ojai Cook products are tasty pageant queens.

Beyond looking good, your food’s seasonings are already in the mayonnaise, which means that you need use only one ingredient (The Ojai Cook), not three or five. When using products from The Ojai Cook, not even extra salt or pepper is required! The all-natural line is made with canola oil (rapeseed oil), finer than the less nutritious safflower oil with which many commercial mayonnaises are made.

The Original Ojai Mayo: Lemonaise

  • Lemonaise. The original flavor, which became a cult favorite with those “in the know” more than a decade ago, contains lemon juice, Creole mustard, garlic and cayenne. These ingredients elevate mayonnaise from Ojai to a Rocky Mountain high. One taste will show you what deft seasoning can do to a staple that almost everyone just accepts in such a bland state. (Sure, some people don’t like well-seasoned food, and we respect that—but we also feel certain that they are not reading this review.) Use these eye-opening products to replace regular mayonnaise in every situation—except, perhaps, as a  hair moisturizer. See all of the serving suggestions below. Calories per tablespoon: 110.
  • Lemonaise Light. The Light product is surprisingly as fresh and tangy as regular Lemonaise. If you’re cutting back on fat and calories, you’re not missing out on much over the full-test version. The difference, however, is that while Lemonaise has no sugar or sweetener, Lemonaise Light contains evaporated cane juice. (It’s one of those paradoxes of reduced-fat products.) Calories per tablespoon: 60.

Ojai Cook Lemonaise

Lemonaise: Great mayonnaise with a big citrusy
tang. Use it as a spread or dip—we have dozens
of serving suggestions below. Photo by Michael

The “Flavored” Mayos

Basic Lemonaise has enough flavor for any purpose. But as variety is the spice of life, The Ojai Cook cooked up two “flavored” mayos that prove that even if you feel you have reached the heights, there’s still room to climb.

  • Garlic-Herb Lemonaise. This may be our favorite of the Lemonaises. If you love garlic and wonder why no one makes a garlic mayonnaise, here it is—joined by a jolt of tarragon and some basil. This is more than mayonnaise: It’s a trip to France, where the flavor of fresh herbs is so important in cooking. Tasting it from a spoon is startling and satisfying—on a sandwich or in a salad, it simply awakens the taste buds. Contains evaporated cane juice. Calories per tablespoon: 100.
  • Latin Lemonaise. If  you’d prefer to be south of the border, Latin Lemonaise is calling your name. It looks like Thousand Island Dressing, but tastes 180° in the opposite direction. Latin Lemonaise has tang (from lime juice and vinegar), crunch (from minced onion) and spice (from cayenne, cumin, jalapeño and Creole mustard, a hot, spicy mustard with a touch of horseradish). Calories per tablespoon: 100.

The Ojai Cook Latin Lemonaise
Spice up your food with Latin Lemonaise...or take
a French approach with Garlic-Herb Lemonaise. Photo by Michael Steele.

Not enough for you? Take a look at the equally delicious spicy varieties in Chipotle, Fire & Spice and Wasabi.

Serving Suggestions

Most serving suggestions work across favors of Lemonaise. Some people have second thoughts about using mayonnaise. With mayo this good, you can enjoy it guilt-free.

  • Dips: Use straight or as an ingredient with crudités, bread sticks
  • Fish: fried or grilled fish, cold shellfish, poached salmon
  • Hors d’Oeuvre: Canapés (see tip below), deviled eggs
  • Meats: As a dressing for burgers, chicken, pork, veggie burgers
  • Salads: For chicken, macaroni, tuna, potato and other salads
  • Salad Dressings
  • Sandwiches & Wraps: BLT, cheese, chicken, ham, tuna, Reuben, turkey, veggie
  • Sauces: For hot asparagus, grilled or steamed vegetables, steamed artichokes
  Latin Lemonaise
Latin Lemonaise, above, can be used for any purpose on the list of serving suggestions.

Tip: Make easy canapés by topping breads, crackers, potatoes or radish rounds with the spread of your choice, plus any other element(s)—shrimp, sliced beef, marinated vegetables, etc.


Continue To Page 3: Spicy Lemonaise

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