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Entry from November 11, 2007
Ranch Dressing (Ranch Salad Dressing; Ranch Dip)

"Ranch dressing” is a 1967-trademarked product of the Hidden Valley Ranch in California. (The trademark has since been sold.) In the 1980s, ranch dressing began to be used on everything, such as hamburgers (“ranch burgers”), sandwiches, pizza, french fries, chicken wings, steakfingers, tortilla chips, and yes, even salads. By the 1990s, ranch dressing became America’s most popular dressing.

In Oklahoma, ranch dressing is sometimes called “redneck ketchup” or “Oklahoma ketchup.” In Lubbock, Texas, ranch dressing been called “sorority sauce” (a World War II-era nickname for ketchup).

Ranch dressing usually consists of buttermilk or sour cream, mayonnaise, chopped green onions, and other spices. By the early 1970s, “ranch dip” became popular. There is still “original ranch,” but there are now barbecue ranch, spicy ranch, cheddar & parmesan ranch, wasabi ranch, chipotle ranch, cucumber ranch, and more.

The exact origins of ranch dressing might not be as simple as Hidden Valley lets on. Three different commercial “ranch dressings” were sold in 1962, 1964, and 1965 (see below, for C.W. Ranch Dressing, Hickory Farms Ranch Dressing, and Carroll’s Ranch Dressing). Unfortunately, it is not known what these “ranch dressings” were composed of.

There are also many historical recipes for “buttermilk dressing” published since the 1920s that essentially are “ranch dressing” in all but the name.

“Ranchify” and “ranchize” are two words that both mean to add ranch dressing to food.

Wikipedia: Ranch dressing
Ranch dressing is an American condiment. The dressing is made of buttermilk or sour cream, mayonnaise, minced green onion, and other seasonings mixed into a sauce. Ranch dressing is one of the top two styles of salad dressing in the United States, together with blue cheese.
In 1954, Steve and Gayle Henson opened a dude ranch near Santa Barbara, California, and named it “Hidden Valley Ranch”. As a side business, they sold to guests a special dressing that Steve had developed in Alaska. The dressing was popular, and they began selling bottles that guests could take home, and later opened a factory to sell packets of ranch seasoning that had to be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk (packets that are still available to this day). In 1972 the brand was bought by Clorox for $8 million.

Clorox reformulated the dressing several times to try to make it more convenient. The first change was to include buttermilk flavoring in the seasoning so that home chefs only had to add milk rather than buttermilk. In 1983, Clorox developed a non-refrigerated bottled formulation, making it even more popular.

Ranch became a common snack food flavor, starting with Cool Ranch Doritos in 1987, and Hidden Valley Ranch Wavy Lay’s in 1994.
In much of America, ranch is a common dipping sauce for things like french fries, chicken wings and other fried foods. This spread to other regions has been attributed to Denny’s offering it as a choice with their meals for over two decades nationwide.

Ranch is also commonly used as a dipping sauce for pizza. Therefore, its presence has become commonplace at numerous pizza places; most major pizza chains such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza offer ranch dressing as a dipping sauce option.[citation needed]

Since Clorox owns the rights to the formula and the brand; makers of ranch-style buttermilk dressing have started using other names (like “House Dressing” and “Buttermilk Dressing") to avoid copyright infringement and litigation.

We’re shaking up some taste buds again with the Peppercorn Ranch Whatachick’n.
A Whatachick’n sandwich, piled high with fresh fixin’s, pepper jack cheese, bacon, and peppercorn ranch dressing.
Texas Ranch Dressing
This dressing is easy to make. We serve it on everything from lettuce to baked potatoes. From one of my favorite cookbooks Texas Home Cooking.
by Miss Annie
5 min 5 min prep
1 1/2 cups

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon minced parsley
2 teaspoons minced onions
1-2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash white vinegar, optional

Combine all the ingredients in a large lidded jar and shake well.
Chill at least 30 minutes.
The dressing keeps, refrigerated, at least 5 days.
VARIATION: Add one or two minced fresh or pickled jalapeños.

Food Down Under
Lone Star Steakhouse’s Texas Ranch Dressing
1 env Hidden Valley ranch dressing
Chili powder to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Make dressing according to package directions. Add the chili powder and pepper, a little at a time, until it’s to your taste.
This recipe yields enough dressing for 4 servings.

13 July 1949, Poughkeepsie (NY) New Yorker, “Let’s Eat” by Gaynor Maddox, pg. 14, col. 5:
Ranch Dressing
(A Popular Westerner)
(Serves 4)

One cup sour cream (commercially processed type), 2 green onions or scallions, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 or 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 ounces (1 foil-wrapped triangle) Roquefort-type cheese, salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste.

Finely cut tops and all of the onions or scallions into sour cream. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Allow to “ripen” for several hours before serving. Serve on wedges of crisp lettuce.

13 May 1955, Oshkosh (WI) Daily Northwestern, pg. 8, col. 7:
Hotel Athearn’s
“Chuck Wagon Supper”
Saturday, May 14th, 1955
“C Lazy U Ranch” menu
Western Tossed Salad with Rising Star Ranch Dressing

10 August 1956, Hayward (CA) , pg. 6, cols. 4-5:
Traditional feature of the benefit, the “County Fair” drew visitors with its various booths displaying such gourmet-palate-tempting delicacies as “Dry Creek Ranch” dressing, jams, jellies, and pastries.

21 February 1957, Denton (TX) Record-Chronicle, section 2, pg. 6, col. 3:
Salad Mayonnaise
Pep up mayonnaise for a salad by adding onion juice, lemon juice, crushed garlic and chili powder.

10 July 1958, Newark (OH) Advocate, “Let’s Eat” by Ida Baily Allen, pg. 25, col. 5:
As their special picnic treat on an all-day trip to their 36-section cattle-grazing ranch, which is an hour’s drive from Safford, Arizona, the Samuel Claridge family prefers skillet beefburgers.
Ranch Salad Dressing: combine 1/2 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise, 1 1/2 tablespoons creamy French dressing and 3/4 cup tomato ketchup.

29 November 1962, Edwardsville (IL) Intelligencer, pg.5 ad:
C. W. Ranch Dressing
8 oz btl 33c

25 April 1964, The Capital (Annapolis, MD), pg. 11, col. 7 ad:
Stop Bathing in HICKORY FARMS Ranch dressing. It’s absolutely tops on a salad, but there is no truth to the rumor that it will make you beautiful. Available at
3 Parole Plaza

28 April 1965, Mason City (Iowa) Globe-Gazette, pg. 23, col. 1 ad:
8 Oz. Bottle...29c

9 February 1966, Mason City (Iowa) Globe-Gazette, pg. 33, col. 1 ad:

17 July 1966, Walla Walla (WA) Union-Bulletin, pg. 6, col. 7 ad:
Ranch Dressing
(Makes 2 Qt. Dressing)
Available at
Import Bazaar
Wallula Rd.  JA9-1100
Proceeds to ZONTA, INT.

25 August 1966, Victoria (TX) Advocate, pg. 18, col. 8:

14 December 1967, Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, MT), pg. 15 ad:

24 January 1968, Walla Walla (WA) Union-Bulletin, pg. 19 ad:
Hidden Valley
Makes 2 Quarts
Pkg. 75c

25 August 1968, Hayward (CA) Daily Review, “Ranch Dressing Adds To Tuna,” by Cecily Brownstone (AP Food Editor), section 2, pg. 4, cols. 5-6:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 cup mayonnaise-type salad dressing
In a small bowl with a fork, beat together the lemon juice and chili powder. Gradually beat in salad dressing.

8 March 1970, Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, pg. 9C, col. 1:
Gypsy Caviar was the most unusual dip, but Tasty Ham Dip and Hidden Valley Ranch Dip recipes outsold other dip recipes.

23 April 1970, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section A, pg. 16 ad:
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
Makes 2 Quarts ... .75
Ranch Dip
Makes 1 Quart ... .39

9 April 1976, Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), pg. 7, col. 2:
Ranch Dip—Blend one cup sour cream with one-half package ranch-style dressing mix. 

14 July 1989, Dallas (TX) Morning News, Snookie’s Bar & Grill review:
Cheese fries ($2.95) were topped with sticky orange cheese and accompanied by ranch dressing dip. 

Google Groups:
From: (E. Lloyd Olson)
Date: 28 Sep 1993 03:38:09 GMT
Local: Mon, Sep 27 1993 10:38 pm
Subject: Re: Stressed?

>I just want to stick up for those of us, the third kind, who think
>that mixing fries with ketchup is an evil activity.

Yeah!  I like mine covered with melted mozerella and mild cheddar cheese, with ranch dressing on the side!  You can feel your arteries clog!  Just like shooting up with pure lard!

Google Groups:
From: tomt@nano (Tom Tomazin)
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 19:16:35 GMT
Local: Mon, May 23 1994 2:16 pm
Subject: Re: So what did you have for dinner ??

Went to a Central/South American Cuisine restaurant called El Rinconcito. Had the Combo Latino which was a salad with chipotle ranch dressing (garnished with jicama, yum), an amberjack fillet with chimichurri (sp?), and large shrimp coated with jalapeno cheese and wrapped in bacon. Outstanding. 

Google Groups: bit.listserv.words-l
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.words-l
From: ()
Date: 2 Nov 1994 09:23:12 GMT
Local: Wed, Nov 2 1994 4:23 am
Subject: Re: Fries and gravy?

>My son loves cheese fries with Ranch salad dreesing.
>Sylvia L. Edwards

When I worked at Jack in the Box I ate a fair number of fries with Ranch Dressing.

4 December 1994, New York (NY) Times, “Flavors of Santa Fe Spice Up East End” by Joanne Starkey, pg. LI33:
An avocado-ranch dip is in attendance. 

Google Groups:
From: (Peach)
Date: 1996/10/31
Subject: Re: Foods that don’t go together

french fries with ranch dressing [everyone i know in NM eats them this way]

Google Groups:
From: (David Griffith)
Date: 1997/02/11
Subject: Re: Favorite pizza creations that ONLY we can enjoy

I haven’t a clue what this one is called.  Use ranch dressing instead of normal pizza sauce.  Put on about half the usual abount of cheese.  Add some cheddar too.  Ham, bacon bits, sliced pepperochinis, then pepperochini juice drizzled over the top. 

From: (BGumm)
Date: 1997/09/19
Subject: Re: Ranch Dressing on Pizza (silliness & food)

OH an Ranch dressing on pizza is actually something that someone made once for a party..........but it didn’t have PIZZA stuff on it........more like cheese, cauliflower......tomatoes.........some yummy was GREAT!

25 June 1998, Fresno (CA) Bee, “What Extreme Food Combination Do You Like?,” pg. E8:
Adrianna Cantu, 17, recent Sanger grad:
‘’I eat pizza with ranch dressing and garlic bread and sour cream.’’

Google Groups: soc.women.lesbian-and-bi
Newsgroups: soc.women.lesbian-and-bi
From: Linda
Date: 1999/04/10
Subject: Re: area info

The “Hula Hut”, off Lake Austin Blvd, has a great view of Lake Austin and some pretty decent Tex-Mex (I recommend the tubular chicken enchilada, and ask for the jalepeno ranch dressing for the tortilla chips).

1 June 1999, Nutrition Action Health Letter, pg. 9:
The cheese fries with ranch dressing at many steak houses are another marvel of modern face-stuffing. 

5 March 2000, New York (NY) Times, “Jekyll & Hyde Club Is an Indoor Playground, pg. CY14:
Appetizers include boneless buffalo wings; spicy shrimp quesadilla; and barbecue chicken won tons with a crispy tortilla salad and salsa-ranch dip.

Google Groups:
From: (Betty E. Kohler)
Date: 2000/05/28
Subject: REQUESTS from Sunday, May 28, 2000

I order Texas Ranch dressing, a spicy ranch dressing, at Lone Star steak house and was wondering if anyone Knows the recipe or something similar. I can make a steak much better and cheaper than they do, so i would like to cook a meal at home, but i like that ranch dressing. Any help is much appreciated. 

21 October 2000, Cincinnati (OH) Post, “From Appetizer to Dessert, Yogurt Works” by Joyce Rozencrans, pg. 3C:
Ranch dip: Add an envelope of dried ranch dressing mix to 2 cups yogurt. Strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth overnight in fridge. Serve with raw vegetables.

2 April 2001, Nation’s Restaurant News, pg. 4:
Meanwhile, Pizza Hut is touting its latest menu creation as a two-in-one product, with crust that can be pulled from the pizza and then eaten as a breadstick. The $10.99 limited-time offer for Twisted Crust includes a large, one-topping pizza along with either a marinara or a ranch dipping sauce for the crust.

1 August 2003, Prepared Foods:
Boneless Shanghai Wings—Crispy breaded chicken breast tossed in ginger citrus sauce and topped with sesame seeds. Served with Wasabi ranch dressing (Chili’s, Dallas, $5.99)

11 March 2004, Austin (TX) American-Statesman “Cypress Grill Adds Spice to Southwest Austin” by Dale Rice, pg. 11:
Crawfish tails, cheddar jack cheese and jalapenos nestled inside the crisp, fried wrappers, with chipotle ranch dressing on the side for dipping—a combo that turned the traditional Asian appetizer into a delightful Cajun starter with zing. 

Hispanic Business News
Pizza Hut Introduces New Buffalo Chicken Pizza
The Tangy Taste of Buffalo Wings is now on a Pizza
Dallas, TX--(HISPANIC PR WIRE - BUSINESS WIRE)—April 23, 2004—Pizza Hut(R) is introducing the new Buffalo Chicken Pizza featuring boneless strips of white meat chicken marinated in buffalo wing sauce atop any of the Pizza Hut delicious medium crusts. For a limited time, the new Buffalo Chicken is available for $4.99 with the purchase of a large pizza at menu price. The Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe will be on the Pizza Hut menu from Sunday, April 25, through Saturday, May 29, 2004.

The Buffalo Chicken Pizza, served with a free cup of ranch dipping sauce, boasts a zesty new sauce with the unmistakably spicy buffalo wing taste.

2 June 2004, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), pg. F1:
Perhaps you’re familiar with the term “pizza bones.” Even if you’re not, you know what they are - the outer, naked edges of the pie’s crust. Often, the bones go uneaten, or they’re salvaged with a dunk in ranch dressing. 

Google Groups: alt.true-crime
Newsgroups: alt.true-crime
From: (Hester888Mofet)
Date: 20 Jun 2004 17:19:57 GMT
Local: Sun, Jun 20 2004 12:19 pm
Subject: Re: more on the Laci’s pizza habits, etc

Pizza Hut recently had a Buffalo Chicken pizza that came with a ranch dressing dip.
Ranch Dressing:
Why do Americans love it so much?
By Brendan I. Koerner
Posted Friday, Aug. 5, 2005, at 7:28 AM ET
Once ranch was available in a bottle, Americans fell in love with its rich-yet-inoffensive taste. It is devoid of potentially objectionable ingredients, such as chili sauce (a key component in Thousand Island) or anchovies (found in Caesar and Green Goddess). And perhaps more important, ranch is fattier than humdrum Italian, which is basically a gussied-up vinaigrette.
In the last few years, restaurateurs—inspired in large part by the rising popularity of Buffalo wings, which are traditionally accompanied by a bowl of blue cheese dressing—have begun to offer ranch as a dipping sauce. Chili’s, for example, created a wasabi-ranch dressing to accompany its boneless Shanghai wings. 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.

Google Groups: alt.religion.kibology
Newsgroups: alt.religion.kibology
From: TomH
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 22:53:44 -0400
Local: Wed, Sep 14 2005 9:53 pm
Subject: Re: Politics Herein

Original Ranch?
Cheddar & Parmesan Ranch?
Buttermilk Ranch?
Spicy Ranch?
BBQ Ranch?

The Obvious Bag favorite: Bacon Ranch? 

25 September 2005, Florida Times-Union (Kacksonville, FL), “Little stuff leads to big irritation in writer’s mostly happy world” by Terry Dickson, pg. B1:
Ranch dressing with Buffalo wings. What are you doing? Bring me some blue cheese and some celery. If you don’t have both, you’re just wrong.

The Texas Cowboy Cookbook
by Robb Walsh
New York, NY: Broadway Books
Pg. 185:
Buttermilk, or clabber, was a lot more common than fruit, so buttermilk fillings were popular. And the buttermilk salad dressing that came to be (Pg. 186—ed.) known as “ranch dressing” has become ubiquitous in West Texas. Residents of that region dip their pizza, biscuits, and french fries in it. 

16 September 2007, Tulsa (OK) World, “Meanwhile, back at the ranch...” by Cary Aspinall, Lifestyle section:
It’s as American as apple pie, and in Oklahoma, we put it on everything. Salad. Hot wings. Potatoes. Cheese fries. Fried cheese. If Oklahoma had a flavor, it would be ranch. It’s just a little patch of green herbs, lots of dairy and a few artificial chemicals to enhance the flavor. It’s not spicy, tart, flashy or fancy—just practical, utilitarian and tasty.
It’s not just an Okie phenomenon, though. Ranch dressing has been the nation’s best-selling salad topper since 1992. Consumers love ranch dressing so much, stores and restaurants sell new “flavors” of ranch. Cucumber. Wasabi. Chipotle. Barbecue.

We gobble bags of ranch-flavored Corn Nuts, chips and popcorn, and dip buffalo wings, pizza and cheese fries in the creamy, herby, tangy goo.
The cheese fries, served with ranch, at Stillwater favorite Eskimo Joe’s have the first) President Bush to thank for much of their fame, owner Stan Clark said. The president name-dropped Joe’s cheese fries with ranch during a 1990 commencement speech (even though he never really ate them—credit clever speech writers for that one).

“He made them famous,” Clark said.

The cheese fries at Joe’s were always served with ranch, Clark said, all the way back to when the college bar added a kitchen in 1984 to survive changes in state liquor laws raising the minimum drinking age to 21 (funny enough, they thought the law change would spell doom for them at the time, Clark said).

Turns out, people eat more than they drink, Clark said. And what they do eat at Joe’s, they want with ranch.

“Our guests like it on everything—it’s Oklahoma ketchup,” he said. “People want ranch dressing to go with their free pickles.”

Chowhound - Regional “food quirks”
In the college town in Texas where I live, tortilla chips and salsa are served at practically every restaurant - but some people (namely, the college set) like to eat tortilla chips with ranch dressing, hence the nickname “sorority sauce” for ranch. And we have ranch on pizza here, too.
RaiderCake Oct 14, 2007 07:15PM

Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 029. US 046. G & S: DRESSING MIX FOR SALADS. FIRST USE: 19670103. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19670110
Design Search Code 02.01.02 - Men, shadows or silhouettes of men; Silhouettes (men)
02.01.07 - Cowboys; Men, cowboys, and westerners; Westerners
02.01.31 - Men, stylized, including men depicted in caricature form
07.11.09 - Brick walls; Fences (including barbed wire and chain link); Garden equipment, fencing; Gates; Walls
Serial Number 72265628
Filing Date February 28, 1967
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0844226
Registration Date February 13, 1968
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19900411
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: Salad Dressing, Salad Dressing Mix and Party Dip. FIRST USE: 19670103. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19670110
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73457445
Filing Date December 16, 1983
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition September 18, 1984
Registration Number 1307312
Registration Date November 27, 1984
Owner (REGISTRANT) HVR Company; The CORPORATION DELAWARE 1221 Broadway Oakland CALIFORNIA 94612
Prior Registrations 0844226;1022765;1256276
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20040916.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20040916
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, November 11, 2007 • Permalink