So Gourmet know tells us that it’s okay to enjoy ranch dressing again. Phew!!
The issue with Ranch Dressing wasn’t that there was so much of it. It’s that what was so much of what was generally available missed the mark on what made the dressing so interesting to begin with. Ranch Dressing is simple: Buttermilk + Mayo + Herbs. Of course the better these ingredients, the better the dressing.
But this isn’t what we’re given by the folks at Hidden Valley. What we get is this:
Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil and/or Soybean Oil), Egg Yolk, Sugar, Salt, Cultured Nonfat Buttermilk, Natural Flavor, Spices, less than 1% of Garlic (Dried), Onion, Vinegar, Phosphoric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Modified Food Starch, Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial Flavors, Disodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium Edta As Preservatives, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate.
I’ll give them a liberal benefit of my doubt on the mayo (represented here by the vegetable oil and egg yolk), but using nonfat buttermilk is like using splenda in a Snickers Chocolate bar. If you’re going to use buttermilk, the fat is one of the things that makes it better. Then, of course, is the typical list of agri-chemical nomenclature found within the ingredient list.
So instead of getting Buttermilk + May + Herbs in our bottles of ranch dressing, what we get is little more than salty and sweet white mayonnaise like-sauce with a bit of spice thrown in. People like me offer little respect to ranch dressing because it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, not because it’s overused. The chefs out there experimenting with it are heading back to the actual recipe, not trying to recreate the travesty of mediocrity that is what we find in the grocery store.