Sometime last year, I agreed to meet a friend of mine  at McDonalds in Ellenville for dinner.  When we arrived it was late and empty.  I went to the counter and decided to order a chicken sandwich and fries.  I hate mayonnaise, so I order the chicken sandwich "without dressing."  At this, the cashier responded, kind of rudely, by saying "What do you mean no dressing?!?!?  Do you mean no Mayo?!?!?"  I said, yes, no Mayo."  Then under my breath, I said to my friend, "Even though Mayo IS a dressing."

I didn't realize, however, that the cashier was in earshot.  She responded  firmly, by saying "NOOO!!!!  Mayo is NOT a dressing.  A dressing is something like, like Big Mac Sauce.  At that I apologized to the woman and said that I didn't realize that.

This cashier really humbled me.  At the time, I thought dressing was any moisture on a sandwich.  Under this assumption, things like ketchup and mustard would be a dressing.  Obviously that assertion is ridiculous.  Well, this McDonald's cashier had a dressing test that was much more sophisticated than mine.  I like to call her test "the salad test."  If you can put it on a salad, it is a dressing.  She mentioned Big Mac Sauce, because that is made of ketchup and thousand island dressing.  You can put thousand island dressing on a salad, hence it is a dressing.

So I guess that would make Mayo a condiment, right????  Well, lets not move so fast.  Another friend of mine had a special test for condiments.  It is called the "Hot Dog Test."  If you can't put it on a hot dog, according to this test, then it is not a condiment.  I don't know many people who would put Mayo on a hot dog, so Mayo fails the hot dog test; therefore  it is not a condiment.

My final conclusion is that the salad test is too constricting.  First it assumes that only green salads are applicable to the salad test, but there are many other types of salads that mayo goes great with.  Pasta salad is one example.  Secondly, I think there is a difference between salad dressings and sandwich dressings.  Most sandwich places (like BG's in Albany and Subway) consider Mayo to be a "sandwich dressing."  And finally, Mayo fails the reliable "Hot Dog test" that my good friend uses.  It's too bad that I didn't have this information when the McDonald's cashier started with me.