Kitchn Love Letters

Is Duke’s Mayo Actually That Good? Here’s My Honest Review

published Jun 7, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik

One refrigerator shelf is exclusively reserved for condiments, and the spread with a permanent front row spot is mayonnaise. The creamy spread is essential to BLT sandwiches, a must-have for potato salad, and a very important ingredient (VII) in party dips and quick ranch dressings. I can’t imagine going a week without reaching for a jar of mayonnaise. And just to be clear, the one I’m talking about isn’t just any mayonnaise; it’s gotta be Duke’s. 

Most any Southerner (or Southern transplant, like me) knows that Duke’s is the best mayonnaise you can buy. Now that Duke’s mayonnaise is available nationwide and internationally, I’m here to spread the good news about this thick and creamy spread.

Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik

Who Owns Duke’s Mayonnaise?

During World War I, Eugenia Duke began selling sandwiches made with her homemade mayonnaise to soldiers stationed at Camp Sevier in Greenville, South Carolina. The sandwiches were incredibly popular, and within two years she had sold thousands of them, purchased a delivery truck, and even expanded to sell in hotels and at local grocers. By 1923, Duke focused her business on selling the mayonnaise separately. 

That business was so successful that six years later she was able to sell the mayonnaise business to the C.F. Sauer Company, the onetime largest producer of extracts and spices in the U.S., according to the company’s website. This private company owned Duke’s mayonnaise for 132 years until 2019, when North Carolina-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners purchased Sauer.

Where Is Duke’s Mayonnaise Made?

Duke’s mayonnaise is still produced outside the city of its birth, Greenville, in Mauldin, South Carolina.

What’s So Great About Duke’s Mayonnaise?

Duke’s tagline is “It’s Got Twang,” a callback to its Southern roots and to its signature tangy flavor. While other mayos are distinctly gelatinous in texture and bland in flavor, Duke’s tastes more like homemade (and some say even better than homemade). Duke’s mayonnaise uses egg yolks for a distinctly creamy consistency and includes apple cider vinegar in its ingredient list while skipping the sugar to give it its subtle twang. 

Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik

What’s the Best Way to Use Duke’s Mayonnaise?

For the classic Duke’s mayonnaise flavor, you’ll want to pick up the yellow-capped container with the red banner touting the spread’s smooth and creamy consistency. Use it liberally in these savory (and sweet!) classics.

The line of mayo options doesn’t stop there. There’s one light version with no added sugar and half of the fat and calories and a second light variety made with olive oil. You can even buy Duke’s mayonnaise flavored with a hint of lime (perfect for fish tacos with slaw), bacon and tomato, cucumber and dill, and more. The newest mayo in Duke’s lineup is a plant-based variety that has the very same twang of the original.

Buy: Duke’s Mayonnaise, $5.79 for 30 ounces on Instacart

Do you ONLY buy Duke’s? Tell us about it in the comments below.