Alioli or aïoli (/aɪˈoʊli/ or /eɪˈoʊli/; Provençal Occitan: alhòli [aˈʎɔli] or aiòli [aˈjɔli]; Catalan: allioli
|Aioli of garlic, salt, egg, and olive oil in a mortar|
Aioli is, like mayonnaise, an emulsion or suspension of small globules of oil and oil-soluble compounds in water and water-soluble compounds. Egg yolk can be used as an emulsifier and is generally used in making aioli today. However, mustard and garlic both emulsify oil, and some variants such as Valencia allioli, and Maltese aljoli omit the egg.
Since the late 1980s, it has become fashionable to call all flavored mayonnaises "aioli", with flavorings such as saffron, chili, and so on. But purists insist that "flavored mayonnaise can contain garlic, but true aïoli contains no seasoning but garlic".
Garlic is crushed in a mortar and pestle and emulsified with egg yolks, salt, and olive oil, then lemon juice is added. Today, aioli is often made in a food processor or blender, but traditionalists object that this does not give the same result.
In Occitan cuisine, aioli is typically served with seafood, fish soup, and croutons, in a dish called
|Aioli with olives|
In Provence, aioli or, more formally, le grand aïoli, aioli garni, or aïoli monstre also designates a complete dish consisting of various boiled vegetables (usually carrots, potatoes, artichokes, and green beans), poached fish (normally soaked salt cod), snails, canned tuna, other seafood, and boiled eggs, served with the aioli sauce. Other commonly used vegetables are beets, fennel, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, chick peas, and raw tomato.
This dish is often served during the festivities on the feast days of the patron saint of Provençal villages and towns. It is traditional to serve it with snails for Christmas Eve and with cod on Ash Wednesday.
Aïoli is so strongly associated with Provence that when the poet Frédéric Mistral started a regionalist, Provençal-language, newspaper in 1891, he called it L'Aiòli.