Due to COVID, I mostly just stay home, watch TV, and make Trader Joe’s appetizers in my air fryer. My nicest outfit is a custom-made tie-dye sweatsuit. I barely travel. (Remember traveling?) Nowadays, the closest thing I get to hopping on a plane and visiting a different destination is eating something that takes my mouth to an international city far from L.A.
My transportation treat of choice? French fries dipped in mayonnaise. It reminds me of walking through Amsterdam late at night while snacking on a large paper cup of deep-fried potatoes. It feels like sitting at a cafe near the Seine in Paris feasting on a plate of pomme frites that accompany a croque madame. Fries and mayo are what I reach for when I’m yearning to temporarily forget about my current lifestyle and, instead, feel a little European.
During the pandemic I’ve tried mayos flavored with ingredients from all over the world, opening a world of fry-dipping possibilities. So if you want to take a trip through your tastebuds to a place called mayo-dipped fries, here are the best brands to pick up:
- TRUFF Black Truffle-Infused Mayo
I’m a sucker for truffle. I know some foodies are “over” truffle-flavored things, now deeming them overpowering and trendy. I don’t care! Truffles are great and are the best accompaniment to a french fry. TRUFF’s truffle-infused mayonnaise packs a truffley punch and makes me feel much more sophisticated than I actually am.
- Nando’s PERinaise
For a long time, the limited U.S. number of Nando’s restaurant locations made it difficult to get your hands on the special sauce from this South African-based chicken chain. Lucky for your plate of fries, today you can buy this unique mayonnaise at most grocery stores. Its tangy flavor and subtle spice make it ideal for fry dipping. If, like me, you like heat, get the spicy version. I think it’s exceptionally good on sweet potato fries.
- Kewpie Mayo
Have leftover Kewpie mayo from your Emily Mariko TikTok salmon bowl but not sure what to do with the rest of the bottle? Good thing this Japanese mayonnaise is also sensational on a french fry. Because it’s made with egg yolks instead of whole eggs, it is creamier and richer than other brands of the egg-based condiment. It also has a light sweetness that sets it apart from other mayonnaise.
- Duke’s Mayo
If you’re a fan of simplicity and looking for pure, unadulterated mayonnaise flavor, Duke’s is the only way to go. But that doesn’t mean the flavor is boring. Every bottle lives up to the brand slogan, “It’s Got Twang!” Its zesty kick makes it much more interesting than plainer mayos on the market, which is why it ends up in my shopping cart time and time again.
- Sir Kensington’s Special Sauce Vegan Mayo
Sir Kensington’s makes their spiced mayo, called Special Sauce, in both regular and vegan variations. Considering the fact that mayonnaise is typically 95% egg, I was surprised to discover that I prefer the egg-less rendition. Both are good, don’t get me wrong, but the vegan version felt a smidge less fatty and more complimentary to a fry.
- Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Mayo
Lee Kum Kee has been making Asian sauces for over 100 years. I’m guessing they didn’t design their Sriracha mayo to be used as a french fry dipping sauce, but boy is it perfect for the job. The spicy (but not too spicy) heat cuts through the fatty potato-iness of a fry. Want to up your game? Add kimchi to your fries before dousing them. Yum!