National Ranch Dressing DayMarch 10, 2017 by John Detloff
Yes, there really is a place called Hidden Valley Ranch. In the early 1950s, Steve Henson, a plumbing contractor, developed what we now know as Ranch Dressing. In 1954, he and his wife opened Hidden Valley Ranch, a dude ranch near Santa Barbara, California, where they served the dressing to their guests.
The dressing became so popular that they begin selling packages of it for guests of the ranch. As demand grew, they incorporated Hidden Valley Ranch Products, and opened a manufacturing plant to distribute to grocery stores in the Southwest. In 1972, the company was bought by Clorox for $8 million.
Today, ranch is the most popular dressing sold in the United States. It overtook the top spot from Italian dressing in 1992. Many companies since then have tried to copy the original with labeling it simply “Ranch.” Ranch dressing is used in the culinary world for a variety of things such as dips, chicken wings, potatoes, tacos and even pizza. Although it’s the most popular dressing in the United States, in other countries, ranch dressing is virtually unknown.
Grab a bottle, and experiment with your favorite food with some ranch dressing.