Kewpie Mayonnaise

Needing no introduction, I present the queen of Japanese mayonnaise: Kewpie!
And yes,
– – – – – – – – – Kewpie is unique.

The legend goes that while Rose (O’Neill) was taking an afternoon nap, she dreamed that tiny cupids visited her, and were, in fact, bouncing around all over her blankets. She awoke and dashed to her drawing board and the illustrations that resulted were the very first Kewpies.
Early Kewpies
In 1909, the first Kewpie illustrations appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal Magazine – a favorite of Edwardian-age women. The fat, roly-poly babies were meant to depict the alter-ego of the Roman myth of cupid. According to O’Neill, cupid is guilty of getting people into trouble. Kewpie, by contrast, exists to help people get out of trouble!
~~ from Doll Kind

Click on the pictures below
to enlarge.
Mayo on okonomiyaki, takoyaki and yakisoba In the U.S. there is Hellman’s Blue Ribbon on the east coast, and Best Foods mayonnaise on the west coast. Both companies have been owned by Unilever since 1932. (Dukes is a brand available only in parts of the Southern US has a loyal following) There is another major competitor: Miracle Whip made by Kraft Foods since 1933. It is not technically mayonnaise (the oil content is too low for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules). Each brand has legions of loyal devotees, blogged about, polled and debated by their respective fans.
In Japan, QP Corp’s Kewpie mayonnaise, a household name since 1925, holds 70% of the market. Ajinomoto has been selling mayonnaise in Japan for more than 30 years and holds a 20% share. Kao Corp has most of the remaining market.

Kewpie’s origins trace back to the years following World War I, with the founding of Nakishamato Corporation by Toichiro Nakashima (alternately spelled as Nakajima) in 1918. Nakashima had served as an intern for Japan’s Department of Agriculture and Commerce, and had been sent to study food production techniques in the United States and Europe. Returning to Japan, Nakashima decided to apply the canning, production, and marketing techniques he had learned to the Japanese market. In 1919, Nakashima founded a food production company, Shokuhin Kogyo Co.
…In the early 1920s, however, Nakashima traveled to the United States, bringing back a jar of mayonnaise. Until then, mayonnaise had been unknown in Japan. Nakashima recognized, however, that he could adapt the spread for the Japanese market–notably by increasing the proportion of egg yolk in the recipe. The company began marketing its mayonnaise in 1925, adopting the name “Kewpie” after the popular doll created by artist and illustrator Rosie O’Neill.
Kewpie began experimenting with packaging in the 1950s, releasing its first squeezable mayonnaise container in 1958.
1982: The company forms the U.S. subsidiary Q&B and begins selling Kewpie mayonnaise in the United States.

~~ from history of The Kewpie Group
with cooked vegetables, or mixed with soy sauce or wasabi for dips
condiment on hiyashi chuka
or on fried eggs
served with fried seafood dishes for dipping
or with fried potatoes
mayonnaise as a pizza toping
mayo on bread (sandwiches)
on pasta or rice
or in onigiri
Kewpie with katsu (Tonkatsu: fried pork or chicken cutlet)
or karaage (fried chicken)
mayonnaise on sushi (maki rolls) or sashimi or on natto
mayo on cheeseburgers
dip dried shredded squid in Kewpie
Mayo margaritas



7 thoughts on “Kewpie Mayonnaise

  1. 1. Miracle Whip is drek. Dukes is better than Hellman’s by a country mile.

    2. Kewpie with shredded dried squid is a beer snack like no other. I always keep both in the house. Tuna fish sandwiches are better with Kewpie. I even have a little plastic holder that keeps the Kewpie bottle in an upside down position, ready to use.

    • Believe it or not, I have seen people buying Miracle Whip!
      Husband doesn’t like mayonnaise, so even a small jar of Hellman’s lasts a long time. This is the first time I knowingly tasted Kewpie. It has good umami.

      • I grew up in a Hellman’s home, even though my Mom was from the Deep South. I didn’t discover Dukes until several years ago and now there is a mayo battle between my wife and I. We have to keep both brands in the house.

        Fortunately, we both like Kewpie. Now if we could only get Japanese white bread in the US.

        • I guess Japanese white bread is something for me to look forward to, never having tasted it.

          Is it at all like Bunny Bread, which we had in the UP? or Wonder Bread? (ducking head, ’cause I ‘spect it is not) :P

  2. Pingback: Seafood Okonomiyaki « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s