Mayo, ketchup, mustard – they all have their place. Sometimes they can be found in amiable unison, lubricating the innards of a nice juicy burger in fairly equal measures, but the uptake of these condiments shows considerable variation around the globe.
Personally, I’m not overly keen on mayonnaise – give me sour cream instead any day – but it is a popular condiment in Germany, where liberal lashings of it are added to potato salad, for example. Germany is also infamous for ‘Pommes mit Mayo’ (Chips/fries with mayonnaise). It’s at least as popular, if not more so, than the ketchup alternative. You can get Pommes mit Mayo from any burger van, unstylishly served in either a paper cone or a cardboard tray.
As for who eats the most mayonnaise, if anyone had asked me before checking*, I’d have plonked for the Japanese being the highest per capita consumers. I’ve seen them deploy this condiment, seemingly without any scruples, on most types of food, and especially on those that are not traditionally Japanese.
But I was wrong. Japan is 20th down the list! It’s the Russians who are the true kings of mayo, clogging up their arteries with 5.1 kg of the stuff in 2013 per capita. Japan managed a comparatively humble 1.5kg, the UK just a smidgen more with 1.6kg, while Germany is quite a long way down with just 1.0 kg, less than half of Dutch consumption levels.
Across the Atlantic, 1.9kg are set to slide down Canadian and US consumers’ gullets this year. Australians and New Zealanders won’t even hit the 1kg mark.
So, led by Russia, the top ten of mayo loving nations is dominated by Eastern European nations in the following order: Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Chile, Netherlands, Poland.
In case anyone’s wondering, the world’s leading mayo brand is Hellmann’s (by Unilever), followed by Kraft.
In the Ketchup stakes, Canada leads with 3.1kg per head, followed by Finland (3kg), Sweden (2.7kg), the UK (2.4kg), Norway (2.3kg), Austria and the US (both 2.2kg). Russians aren’t nearly as fond of ketchup as they are of mayonnaise, squirting just 1.4kg onto their bangers. And yes, of course Heinz is the world’s leading brand, who else?! Second in line, though, is Kagome, a Japanese brand, which I hadn’t expected. Must be big in the Asia Pacific region.
As for mustard, Slovakia sports the most enthusiastic uptake with 1.6kg per capita in 2013. The Czech Republic is in second place (1.2kg), and France ranks third (1.0 kg). At least Germany features in the top ten. We do love our mustard, and we have tons of different regional varieties. A very sweet type of mustard (as sweet as chutney), for example, is served with several traditional meat products and sausages, including the famous Weisswurst.
Are you more of a mayo, a mustard or a ketchup person? Are there any weird food combos featuring any of these in your country or region? I’d so love to hear about that!
[*For data source, click here]