Ranch is king of condiments

By Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer

Looking for a condiment to dip your fries in? Ranch. Want something to drizzle on top of your salad? Ranch. Having wings, pizza, vegetables or sandwiches? Ranch. The list goes on and on, and I think you’re seeing what I’m getting at: Ranch is the best condiment known to mankind.

I used to be a ketchup gal, but then my sister turned me to the world of ranch, and from that point on, I have never looked back. There are many reasons why I love ranch, and by the end of this article, maybe you will too.

My first reason is its versatility. Ranch goes with a variety of foods and comes in different forms. There’s ranch dressing, ranch seasoning, creamy jalapeño ranch and ranch-flavored chips, but the best form of ranch is its natural state. I especially love this condiment on my french fries because of the tangy, creamy qualities of the ranch against the salty crunch of the potato. I also enjoy it on pizza, even though that’s frowned upon by my peers.

When I talk about ranch, I don’t mean the sham that is Hidden Valley. I mean restaurant ranch: the thin, tangy, flavor-packed kind like you get at Wingstop. I think most people visualize gross bottled ranch when they think of this condiment, which is a fair assumption; I felt the same way.

But I’ll save you the trip to Wingstop, because I have found a bottled ranch that replicates restaurant ranch very well. It’s H-E-B’s Made Fresh in Store Ranch Dressing.

All of my dreams were coming true right in front of me: a bottled ranch that actually looked appealing. I bought the bottle and ran this brand through the wringer. I tried it with pizza rolls, chicken and potatoes, and they all passed with flying colors. Every time I go to the store, this bottle of ranch has a special place in my basket. This brand is a bit more expensive at $4.10, but the quality is worth it. If you don’t frequent H-E-B but you still enjoy restaurant-style ranch, I also like Marie’s Creamy Ranch.

My favorite restaurant ranches are Shorty’s Pizza Shack, George’s and Schmaltz. These are top tier; they’re consistent and full of flavor. At Shorty’s, the ranch is wonderful with their pizza and calzones. George’s ranch goes perfectly with their fried pickles, and I love the ranch on my Schmaltz sandwich.

If I could sum up my love for these ranches, it would be the same level of how most college women and moms crave Diet Coke. Just like the Diet Coke analogy, I live for this condiment. I’m the annoying girl who asks for extra ranch and then proceeds to take more of it home.

I know I can’t convince the masses ranch is the ultimate condiment, but I urge you to at least try it. Take baby steps: Start with a house salad and then branch out to other foods. People can change, and so can your tastebuds.