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What is Aioli?

Learn how aioli is a great spread for any dish that provides an extra bit of smooth texture.

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What is aioli?

Aioli is most commonly used as condiment or dipping sauce. It is a sauce that is traditionally made with garlic, olive oil, and salt. It is similar to mayonnaise in that it is an emulsion of oil and egg yolks, but it is made with garlic and does not contain any vinegar or mustard, which gives it a different flavor profile.

What does aioli taste like?

Aioli has a rich, creamy texture and a bold, garlicky flavor. The flavor of aioli is quite strong, as it is made with a high proportion of garlic relative to other ingredients. Because aioli is made with egg yolks and olive oil, it has a richness and depth of flavor that is similar to mayonnaise. It pairs well with grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and seafood, and can also be used as a condiment or spread on sandwiches.

What is the history/origin of aioli?

The exact history and origin of aioli is somewhat disputed, as it is a sauce that has likely been made in various forms for centuries in different parts of the world. However, the basic concept of a garlic-flavored emulsion of oil and egg yolks is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region.

One theory is that aioli originated in the Provence region of France, where it is believed to have been made with a combination of garlic, olive oil, and salt. Other sources suggest that aioli has its roots in the Catalan region of Spain, where it is known as "allioli" and is made with crushed garlic and olive oil.

How is aioli served? 

Aioli, like most condiments and dipping sauces, can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for serving aioli:

  • As a condiment — served alongside grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or seafood. It can also be used as a dip for crudité or other finger foods.
  • As a spread — on sandwiches or wraps in place of mayonnaise or other spreads.
  • As a base for other sauces — you can mix aioli with diced avocado to make an avocado aioli, or mix it with sun-dried tomatoes and basil to make a sun-dried tomato aioli.
  • As a topping for pizza — in place of tomato sauce or as a condiment alongside other toppings.

How do you make aioli? 

Here is a recipe for aioli:

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the minced garlic, egg yolks, and a small amount of lemon juice.
  • With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture thickens and emulsifies.
  • Season the aioli with salt to taste.

Aioli can be made by hand by whisking the ingredients together in a bowl, but this method can be more labor-intensive and may not yield as smooth a result. You can also customize the flavor of aioli by adding other ingredients such as herbs, spices, or mustard. Experiment with different flavors and find the combination that works best for you.

Aioli can be seasoned and mixed with other ingredients to taste however one desires. It is a great spread for any dish that provides an extra bit of smooth texture. 

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