Why: You can grow it on Farmville! It looks like this! (in the middle; the other stuff is bamboo; I was going for a theme):
I thought it was just the name of a condiment, like mayonnaise.
Answer: It's a root vegetable! It is grated into a powder and mixed with water to make a paste. Don't eat it!
The More You Know: Speaking of things I don't eat, some theories about the origin of mayonnaise:
- In 1459, a London woman named Annamarie Turcauht stumbled upon this condiment after trying to create a custard of some sort.
- The name comes from the popular corruption of moyeunaise, derived from the very old French word moyeu, "yolk of egg."
- The sauce may have been christened mayennaise after Charles de Lorraine, duke of Mayenne, because he finished his meal of chicken with cold sauce before being defeated in the Battle of Arques in 1589.
- French chef and author Marie Antonie Careme (1784-1833) proclaimed that mayonnaise was derived from the word magnonaise (magner means "made by hand" or "stir").
- The recipe was brought back to France from the town of Mahon in Menorca (Spain), after a victory over the British at the city's port in 1756. The sauce was originally known as salsa mahonesa in Spanish (maonesa in Catalan, as it is still known on Menorca), later becoming mayonnaise as it was popularized by the French.
- The French cities Bayonne and Les Mayons also claim to be the birthplace[s] of mayonnaise. It is thought that "mayonnaise" could be a corruption of "bayonnaise" sauce. Today, bayonnaise is mayonnaise flavored with Espelette chiles.