Friday, August 05, 2005

Is ranch dressing the universal hillbilly condiment?

In Ranch Dressing - Why do Americans love it so much? reviews the rise of ranch dressing as America's number one salad dressing. However, the article also notes several other uses for ranch, including as a dip for french fries and buffalo wings, and as a topping for hamburgers.

One of my college roomates experimented extensively with ranch dressing in the 1990s, applying it to a host of different foods. He called it the "universal hilbilly condiment," because of its versatility and popularity at family picnics. The Slate article confirms his theory that hillbillies love ranch: "And numerous Pizza Hut franchises in the South began offering cups of ranch alongside their pies, after a few franchisees discovered that teenagers were dipping their slices in the dressing."

One of the oddest uses of ranch I saw was on spaghetti. We were running low on Ragu, so he poured what was left of the red sauce on his spaghetti, mixed it up as best he could, then poured on two or three tablespoons of ranch. He swore it was delicious and ate his spaghetti that way from then on. When mixed up, it had an odd pink color, so I refused to try it. Then, about a year ago, I was out of spaghetti sauce at home and I tried it. He was right. It's actually very good.


B O B said...

You just got to appreciate the uses of Ranch dressing. Being a hillbilly myself, I prefer bluecheese dressing as my universal sauce, it adds to the proper twang of my accent. If you haven't tried it, give it a shot. You will be talking like a hillbilly in no time.

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elaine said...

So are we to put ranch dressing ON these Real Singles? or would it be better to dip them in it? Sheesh

Anonymous said...

hmm.... don't think some of them real singles really need any more creamy white sauce added to them. :| .....eww.... bad mental image.

smidirini said...


i also prefer blue cheese desssing on a lot of things.

for years i have put ranch on my spaghetti, as a type of alfredo sauce. economics forced the exprimentation when i could not afford cheese (or other things) and used the ranch dressing in the 'frig'. i kept doing it even after i had a few extra semolians.

there is a popular "pink" sauce made in the restaurants here made qith cream, tomatoes, vodka and condimetns.
ranch can make a good pink sauce.
vodka or tequilla can be added.
not bad in a pinch.

Jimmy Pissed said...

Don't forget the universal hillbilly ingredient:

Sohan said...

Garlic & Basil red pasta sauce + creamy ranch sauce = awesome spaghetti sauce. I tried this in college the first time, and I have been making spaghetti this way ever since.