Why oh why is Ranch Dressing everywhere?
Bar food, broccoli, cauliflower – any crudités, wings, etc. etc. etc.
It’s the king of dressings in most places. And of the two types of dressing in Western Culture – it rules the shelves at stores, restaurants, and pantries.
That’s right, in Western Culture, we have two main dressing types: vinaigrette and creamy.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Ranch is in the creamy family.
So, why is ranch dressing every where? I asked myself this over the weekend while “dining” at Texas Roadhouse. We ordered fried pickles, and our choices were Ranch or Cajun Horseradish sauce.
I chose both.
In reality, ranch is so very, very unimaginative, but it’s the best selling dressing in the US of A, and has held that spot since 1992 when it booted Italian Dressing off the podium.
In the early 1950s, Steve Henson became bored with the dressing choices while working as a plumbing contractor in a remote part of Alaska.
I’m sure the dressing choices weren’t the only thing he was bored with. A childhood friend who taught school in Alaska as an adult, once said, “…there’s nothing to do, and no one to do it with…”.
In 1954, after tiring of the frozen north, he, along with his wife, Gayle, opened a dude ranch near Santa Barbara, California.
They named it The Hidden Valley Ranch!
Steve brought his dressing concoction from Alaska to Cali, and served it to his guests. They were thrilled, it was a hit, and he started packaging it to take home when the guests left.
He sold it as a finished product, or as a mix – just add the mayo and buttermilk when you get home, and viola! Dressing.
Mr. and Mrs. H Incorporated Hidden Valley Ranch Food Products, Inc and opened a factory to produce the dressing as its popularity was ever increasing.
In October of 1972, they sold the Hidden Valley Ranch brand to Clorox.
They were instantly $8 million richer.
But, with or without the Hensons, Ranch Dressing – Hidden Valley or not – quickly became America’s favorite, right UP there with baseball, apple pie, Chevrolet, and ketchup. As a matter of fact, outside America, where ranch dressing is not that popular, it’s generally called American Flavored Dressing.
I still don’t know why it’s so popular, it had to be marketing, ‘cause the stuff really isn’t that great.
And there are so many more from which we could choose.
I mean if you have to have creamy dressing, there’s always bleu cheese, Caesar, French, Dijon, Louis, Russian, and that old 1970s standby, 1,000 Island!
Why oh why, are we stuck at the ranch?
Are we that dull?
Or am I the only one who’s bored to death at the ranch.
* This post
is a complete and total rip-off of was inspired by Nancy Lowell’s recent post about her lack of love for ketchup.