A is for Aioli

Food writer Otehlia Cassidy writes a love...
A is for Aioli

Dearest Aioli,

Let me just start by saying that I know there are some skeptics out there. People who say you are just a poser, mayonnaise made fancy. Or they know you, but think you might not be worth the effort. Or perhaps the simplicity that makes you so desirable seems too good to be true. I’ve been there, waiting perhaps for you to be more than you already are. Or less. I keep finding myself cloaked in your smooth embrace. Your name, which simply means “garlic oil,” hints at your unassuming foundation. First, the garlic is lovingly pounded in a mortar, then whisked slowly with olive oil and sea salt. After a laborious and slow pounding and mixing of the garlic and olive oil, you emerge effusive. Sometimes egg yolk or bread is added to help the emulsification. Mayonnaise has its place; the more subtle flavor is often just right for a sandwich. But you, aioli, you can go places mayonnaise can’t. And wherever that is, I’m going with you.

Love, Otehlia

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