What Is The Difference Between Mayo And Mayonnaise?

What Is The Difference Between Mayo And Mayonnaise?

The Difference Between Mayo and Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise and mayo are two popular condiments that are often used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. While they share similar ingredients and flavors, there are some key differences between the two.


Mayonnaise is a thick, creamy sauce that is made from oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice. It is typically seasoned with salt, sugar, and mustard. The traditional method of making mayonnaise involves slowly whisking the oil into the egg yolks and vinegar or lemon juice until a smooth and emulsified mixture is formed.

  • Ingredients: oil, egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, salt, sugar, mustard
  • Texture: thick and creamy
  • Flavor: rich and tangy


Mayo is a shortened, informal term for mayonnaise. It refers to the same condiment but is often used in a more casual or colloquial context. While mayo is technically the same as mayonnaise, it is commonly associated with store-bought or pre-packaged versions of the condiment.

  • Ingredients: same as mayonnaise
  • Texture: same as mayonnaise
  • Flavor: same as mayonnaise

Key Differences

The main difference between mayo and mayonnaise lies in their usage and perception. Mayonnaise is often made from scratch at home or used in higher-end culinary settings, while mayo is more commonly found in commercial products and fast-food establishments.

Additionally, the term “mayo” is often used in the context of specific types of mayonnaise-based condiments, such as “chipotle mayo” or “garlic mayo,” which may contain additional flavorings or seasonings.


While mayo and mayonnaise are technically the same condiment, the terms are often used in different contexts and carry different connotations. Whether you prefer to make your own mayonnaise from scratch or reach for a jar of mayo from the store, both options offer the same creamy, tangy goodness that can elevate any dish.

Next time you’re at the grocery store or whipping up a homemade sandwich spread, keep in mind the subtle yet significant differences between mayo and mayonnaise.

Want to learn more about the differences between mayo and mayonnaise? Join the discussion in the Ingredients Spotlight forum and share your thoughts!
What is the origin of mayonnaise and mayo?
Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahón in Menorca, Spain, while mayo is a shortened form of mayonnaise and is commonly used in the United States.
Are there any differences in ingredients between mayo and mayonnaise?
Both mayo and mayonnaise are made with the same basic ingredients, including oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice. However, commercial mayo may contain additional ingredients such as preservatives and stabilizers.
Is there a difference in taste between mayo and mayonnaise?
Mayo and mayonnaise have a similar taste, as they are both creamy and tangy. However, some people may notice a slight difference in flavor due to the specific ingredients used in each product.
Can mayo and mayonnaise be used interchangeably in recipes?
Yes, mayo and mayonnaise can generally be used interchangeably in recipes. However, the slight differences in flavor and texture may be noticeable in some dishes.
Are there any regional preferences for mayo or mayonnaise?
In the United States, “mayo” is commonly used to refer to mayonnaise, while in other countries, the term “mayonnaise” is more widely used. Regional preferences for specific brands or homemade versions also exist.

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