Who Knew Ranch Dressing Was So Divisive?

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Long a controversial condiment — there are those who love it, and those who very vocally do not — the creamy topping, used by its numerous fans on everything from salad to pizza, is in foodie focus after Ben Adler, a staff writer covering environmental politics and policy at Grist, wrote a scathing takedown of it that was published in The Washington Post.

In the story, which appeared under the headline “Ranch dressing is what’s wrong with America,” Adler contended that the buttermilk-based dressing — born in California and beloved in the Midwest — is “the kind of topping serious chefs correctly disdained for decades as extravagant and trashy.” Yet, he wrote, along with other lowbrow foods (think bacon, doughnuts, mayonnaise), it has lately become “animated by a kind of faddish philistinism” and turned into a quasi-ironic It food.

(Remember that ranch-dressing-dedicated restaurant we told you about last year? Yeah, case in point.)

Adler pulls no punches, throwing around epithets like “disgusting” and “halfway rotten,” and blaming ranch for destroying both our health and our planet.

Almost immediately, ranch found its defenders in the blogosphere. “Ranch is actually quite chill,” wrote Rohan Nadkarni on GQ.com. “As a condiment, it’s American as mixing together mayo and ketchup and calling that a sauce.”

And there was plenty of ranch love spilling forth like thick white dressing from a bottle on social media as well. “If ranch is wrong, I don’t want to be right,” wrote one Twitter user.

Such heartfelt dedication. So inspiring. Here’s a recipe for ranch dressing so you can make your own and enjoy it right now. The only question is … what will you put it on?

Or maybe the question is … what won’t you?

Photo: iStock