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Ranch Revival: The Food-World’s Most Maligned Condiment Makes a Comeback

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Call your mom’s fridge door from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s: Ranch dressing is back in style at restaurants across the country. Born from nostalgia and backed up with way better ingredients than you’ll find in grocery store-bought bottles, today’s ranch is so much more than an iceberg lettuce topper.

Just Admit You Like It
Before ranch could make a comeback, it had to overcome its bad reputation as an outdated, unhealthy and too-thick processed condiment. As far as chefs were concerned, it tasted good, but it didn’t deserve a place in a serious restaurant kitchen. But, as Todd Ginsberg of Fred’s Meat and Bread and Yalla at Krog Street Market in Atlanta, sees it, that’s the fun of it: “I think that’s kind of the key to its success. We all secretly love it.” All that’s happening now is admitting it. At Fred’s, Ginsberg ramps up the flavor on kicky garlic fries with a homemade ranch dip, and at Yalla, he makes a ranch labneh to accompany the grilled lamb kebab.

The garlic fries with ranch at Fred’s Meat and Bread. Photo: Danielle Oron

Nostalgia Tripping
Chefs are tugging on heartstrings, and hoping that you long for instant ranch dressing packets as much as they do. “As kids, you’d get takeout pepperoni pizza and punk it with hot sauce or ranch dressing. We wanted to go where we had all guilty pleasure-been before,” Damien Repucci of Bruno Pizza in New York says of the inspiration behind the ranch-smothered pepperoni and dill pizza on the new restaurant’s menu.

The idea is to take the common denominator of what everyone had in their fridge growing up and take it somewhere new. Chef Jesse Houston says that at Saltine in Jackson, Mississippi (<a class="colorbox" rel="nofollow" …read more

Source:: Bon Appetit