What is aioli? Is it just a fancy word for mayo? Or is it just garlic mayo? Well, no - while today a lot of different condiments are being referred to as aioli, originally it had a very specific definition and represented a very specific product. And while a lot of the original characteristics still remain, the meaning of aioli has outgrown its inherent form quite a bit, and today, we’re going to explore it all!
Back when it was first made in the Mediterranean region (mainly in Catalonia, Spain, and Provence, south of France), aioli was simply a lot of garlic ground up in mortar and pestle and emulsified with a generous amount of olive oil - that’s it! No egg, no yolk, no additional seasoning - just garlic and some liquid gold! Needless to say, the final emulsion turns out to be pretty bold and overpowering, but we kinda love it! And so do a lot of people - hence the endless popularity of this condiment! However, aioli was not meant to stay a simple combination of two essential ingredients for much longer! And thus, the many iterations were born!