“Aïoli” from Maille

I don’t know what caught my attention first: the diaeresis or the weird spelling. And then… basil? pepper? 🤔

If this is supposed to be allioli, it looked like whoever designed this had never had actual allioli, and had just been vaguely told about it by someone who had heard from someone else about a story a friend told them about the time they had this when they attended a barbecue in their holidays in Barcelona.

UPDATE: I have been told that “the English borrowed the French word” (here’s a whole lot of spellings and explanations about them).

So what is the problem with this? Allioli literally means “garlic and oil” in Catalan. (All = garlic, i = and, oli = oil). I have never seen anyone ever use anything other than olive oil to make this, and that is what you would think you’d find in this jar. But this is what you will find instead:

Rapeseed Oil (63%), Spirit Vinegar, Free Range egg Yolk (5.4%), Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Water, Garlic (2.2%), Salt, Dijon Mustard (1.5%) (Water, Brown Mustard Seeds, Spirit Vinegar, Salt, Preservative (Potassium Metabisulphite), Acid (Citric Acid)), Garlic Powder, Modified Maize Starch, Acids (Citric Acid, Lactic Acid), Black Pepper (0.3%), Maize Starch, Flavourings, Thickeners (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum), Basil (0.05%), Colour (Carotenes)

I want to point out that rapeseed (!) oil is 63% of this, and Garlic a mere 2.2%. There’s more egg than garlic. There’s almost as much mustard as there’s garlic. By those parameters, this should be called eggoli!

In their defense (and I’m being extremely forgiving), binding garlic with oil is incredibly difficult. There are all sorts of esoteric advice and superstitions that people swear will result in that most priced of outcomes: a thick allioli that won’t fall if you tip the mortar upside down.

For example: using just a mortar and pestle (NO blender), or adding the oil without looking at the mortar (needs two people for this). So if you want to package this and get it to have some shelf life, evidently something has to be added. But… all of that? Gross.

Let’s try another line of defense: maybe they’re a French maker and they’re doing this the French way, but I refuse to accept the French would accept this grossness. NOPE.

  • Grossness level: 7/10. If you serve this to me, I will probably not talk to you in a long time.
  • Offense amount: I’d say I feel more repulsed than offended.
  • Would I give it a go? No way.