Channing Sargent
February 23, 2017 4:46 am

Of all the things you’d think the world does not need, Mayonnaise Cafes may top the list. But Japan feels differently: Kewpie Mayonnaise is opening some limited-edition mayonnaise cafes in Nagoya and Tokyo. They’ve done this before, and it was a hit. So why not give it another go?

Here’s the thing, though: Japanese mayo is not American mayo. Some say it’s better.

If you’ve ever eaten Japanese street or soul food, you may be aware of the complexity of its flavor, with spices and flavors like olive, wasabi, basil and tomato, that help it surpass stateside mayo.

“The unique taste of tenderness,” goes the Kewpie Mayonnaise slogan.

The Kewpie brand launched its made-in-Japan mayo in 1925.

Founded by Toichiro Nakashima, he discovered our strange, white condiment while he studied food production in the U.S. At the same time, he came across the Kewpie cartoon characters created by Rose O’Neill. He whipped up his own mayo recipe, bottled it and slapped a Kewpie doll on the label, and henceforth the world experience with mayonnaise was improved.

Though the Kewpie Mayonnaise history is compelling, when it comes to a whole cafe dedicated to the sauce, our immediate response is still #why?

But that might be because we’ve never been to one.

Maybe the Kewpie doll decor makes it.

Or the mayo bottles hanging from the ceiling.

Or the fact that you can put it on or in literally everything, if that’s your style.

(Or maybe it’s nostalgia for our second-grade crush/arch nemesis, Joey Maio, whom we’d always make sure, whenever he was within ear’s range, could hear us say, “Please pass the Maio.” 😉)

The mayonnaise cafes will only be open from March 1 to March 31 in Tokyo, and from April 3 to April 30 in Nagoya. Go. Satisfy your Maio mayo craving.

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