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Origin of aioli
Words nearby aioli
What does aioli mean?
Aioli is a sauce made by mashing garlic and olive oil into a paste, sometimes with the addition of egg.
Traditionally, Spanish-style aioli is a thick paste made only from garlic and olive oil, while French-style aioli often includes egg. Sometimes aioli is used as a fancier word for mayonnaise, especially when it has garlic in it. In all of its forms, aioli is an emulsion, meaning its ingredients are specially blended into smooth consistency.
Example: The menu says aioli, but I’m pretty sure this is just mayo.
Where does aioli come from?
Is aioli the same as mayonnaise? To find out, let’s look at the ingredients. Aioli comes from French, from a combination of the words ai (meaning “garlic”) and oli (meaning “oil”)—making both the word and the food itself literally a mashup of garlic and oil. Those two ingredients are staples of the Mediterranean region, so it’s no wonder the people there have been combining them for thousands of years—even the Ancient Romans made something like aioli.
The word aioli is a more recent addition to English, with the first records of its use from around the late 1800s. Aioli is a staple in the Provence region of France, where it’s traditional to add egg to the mixture to help emulsify it (bond it into a paste so the oil doesn’t separate from the rest). Farther down the Mediterranean coast, in Spain, it’s traditional to make it by mashing garlic (and a little bit of salt) into a paste with a mortar and pestle and slowly adding oil until it comes together.
Mayonnaise is traditionally made with egg yolks, lemon juice, and oil, making it pretty close to French-style aioli, especially if it’s seasoned with garlic.
In the Mediterranean region, aioli is often used to top seafood and vegetables. In the United States and other places where the term is used more loosely, aioli often shows up on menus as a fancier way of saying mayo, especially when served as a dip or as a condiment for burgers and other sandwiches.
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How is aioli used in real life?
It depends where you are. Aioli can mean different things in different places, but it’s always a creamy condiment and usually involves garlic.
Here’s a video of a chef making aioli with just garlic and olive oil:
My annual New Year's tradition. Scotch Eggs with a simple aioli on a bed of microgreens. pic.twitter.com/CWZTMVGpie
— Jason (@jasonthinks) January 1, 2020
Jamburgesa – First, we start with 1/lb beef patty cooked the way you like it, then it gets cheddar melted on top. We slather it up with a house-made bacon-jelly and top that with blue cheese crumble. Finished with garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on a toasted bun. pic.twitter.com/nRX46OilRu
— Heathen's Feral Pub (@HeathenFeralPub) January 2, 2020
The difference between French and Spanish aioli is that French aioli is typically made with which of the following ingredients?
C. egg yolk
How to use aioli in a sentence
Still, I continue to delight in the many versions I’ve sampled, including the one here, in which creamy lemon-kissed aioli and crisp fried panko carpet the ruddy chopped beef.Glover Park Grill woos its neighborhood with all-American cooking|Tom Sietsema|March 12, 2021|Washington Post
The tartare is spread into a round and dappled with an aioli, yellow and spicy with Dijon mustard.
It features prominently in Mediterranean sauces such as aioli, allioli, pesto, skordalia, persillade and gremolata.There’s a science to food pairing, and you can learn it here|Peter Coucquyt, Bernard Lahousse, and Johan Langenbick|October 22, 2020|Popular Science
Kristen Carzodo of Albany, California, says she makes what looks like steamed artichokes with aioli, but the sauce is just store-bought mayonnaise and vinaigrette mixed together.
Carzodo says she’d serve her artichokes and dipping sauce to the friends in high school, but for an adult dinner party she’d feel the need to make actual aioli.
Aioli is a Mediterranean mayonnaise and “the dressing,” the French say, “is the soul of the salad.”