The wonders of MSG-laden Kewpie mayonnaise are a fairly recent discovery for a lot of chefs in North America, who have embraced its strangely adorable packaging and intense umami by putting it in everything from late-night mortadella sandwiches to softshell crab sliders to ranch dressing.
But the undisputed king of mayo goes back almost a century in Japan, where, far from relenting, Kewpiemania is only ramping up. Today is officially National Mayonnaise Day in Japan, and in keeping with a recent tradition of mayo-based pop-ups, Kewpie is flexing its umami muscle and will be setting up shop in two separate storefronts to offer a mayo-centric menu.
According to Kewpie's website, "Kewpie Mayo Cafés" will be opening in Tokyo's bustling Shibuya district as well as in Nagoya, in March and April, respectively. The menus for both cafes features pastas, salads, seafood dishes, and even custard desserts designed to showcase the Japanese mayo in all of its glory.
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Kewpie already has a bit of a cult following on social media, but, in this day and age, a restaurant pop-up is a true testament to the popularity of any product.
And for those mayo obsessives who won't be able to make it to these cafes during their one-month lifespan, there's always the "Mayonnaise Dome," a wooden replica of a Kewpie squeeze bottle at the heart of one of many Mayo Terrace "learning centers" and museums sprinkled (or should we say spread?) across Japan.