Hellmann’s Mayonnaise


Now we all really like turkey – particularly at Christmas – right? However, we all know that when we buy a turkey we tend to buy one that is just too big even for our large family to finish in one meal.

There are endless “left overs” recipes but my particular favourite way to enjoy a great slice of turkey breast is in a sandwich. In addition to soft – preferably white – bread essential ingredients are a dollop of Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Maille Dijon mustard (see our earlier review).

Why Hellmann’s – known as “Best Foods” in certain Western areas of the USA, Australia and New Zealand? Why – because as the Hellmann’s logo assures us their mayo will “Bring out the best” – a confident but accurate claim when combined in a turkey sandwich!

In 1903 Richard Hellmann left German for New York City, where a year later he met and married Margaret Vossberg, whose parents owned a delicatessen. In 1905 Richard opened his own delicatessen at 490 Columbus Avenue where he developed and constantly improved his mayonnaise to huge acclaim.

By 1913 he had a factory producing his Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise – with a trademark acquired in 1914 – the iconic US brand went from strength to strength with licenses for regional production and factories were opened in Toronto and San Francisco.

By 1927 Hellman was selling around $15m worth of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise with $1 million in profits. Later the same year Possum Foods (later to become Best Foods) a dominant West Coast mayonnaise seller bought the Hellmann’s brand – which was always more dominant on America’s East Coast – effectively dividing the US that continues to this day.

In 1961 Hellmann’s mayonnaise arrived in the United Kingdom and by the late 1980s Hellmann’s had more than half the market share.

In 2000 Best Foods was acquired by Unilever in 2000.

A rather nice quote I was given recently was fromMiriam Clegg’s (the Spanish born wife of UK politician Nick Clegg) who is said to have commented of Samantha Cameron (the wife of ex-Prime Minister, David) that she is “the kind of woman who serves mayonnaise from a Hellman’s Jar”.

Image from Unilever



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I am an English trained and experienced lawyer. I have lived with my wife and family for nearly twenty years in the “California of Europe” - at the tip of Southern Europe. I am a proud European and driven to evangelize about the quality of life to be enjoyed here.

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