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For National Ranch Day on March 10, you should put Ranch on everything. We mean it. Everything. Because honestly, what dish isn’t made better by Ranch? Fries? Absolutely. Sandwiches? You bet. Ice cream? Okay, maybe. For today only, calories don’t count and the only law of the land is Ranch. Round up some friends for a Ranch taste test to determine the superior Ranch, try your hand at some new Ranch-inclusive recipes, or just use the iconic hashtag #RanchEverything. For some high-quality food-spo and a history of man’s perfect food, read on
History of National Ranch Day
Hidden Valley claims to have created the first Ranch back in 1954, on its dude ranch in the mountains outside of Santa Barbara – pretty idyllic for the birth of the one true dressing. Legend has it that plumber-turned-cowboy Hidden Valley rancher Steve Henson first established the ranch and cooked for his guests, covering his meals with a tantalizing mix of buttermilk and herbs.
Steve began to package his dressing and send it off with guests, but the demand became unmanageable. Eventually, Ranch hit Southwestern supermarkets and then traversed the nation, forcing the production of the heavenly liquid to be moved to a larger facility in Sparks, Nevada. Gone were the days of the home-style seasoning packets handed out to friends and neighbors to be mixed with buttermilk and mayo.
In 1972, Clorox bought Hidden Valley Ranch dressing for $8 million, and Kraft Foods and General Foods were quickly hit with lawsuits for trying to create their own Ranch varieties. While staving off copycats, Clorox was hard at work revamping the recipe to exclude expensive buttermilk and developing a pantry-friendly bottled version that required no refrigeration.
The varieties of Ranch and methods of consumption proliferated into the 1980s. Soon, Ranch lovers were snacking on Cool Ranch Doritos and Hidden Valley Ranch Wavy Lay’s chips, while children were given the option of taco or pizza-flavored Ranch dressings. Even dry Ranch-flavored seasoning was shaken on popcorn nationwide. Many companies, like Ken’s, Kraft, Newman’s Own, and Marie’s, threw their names into the Ranch ring since Hidden Valley originated the condiment, and we’re all the better off for it.
Ranch is one of the most popular and best-selling dressings in the United States and Canada and routinely rises above the salad from whence it came. With increasing levels of creativity, people are constantly innovating Ranch-centric dishes and concoctions – from adding it to fried vegetables to fried cheesecake (we’re not sure about that one). We think Ranch deserves all the credit it’s going to receive on this special day!
National Ranch Day timeline
Ranch sneaks up from behind and overtakes Italian as the best-selling dressing - a place it still holds today.
Clorox, the parent company of Hidden Valley Ranch, develops a non-refrigerated bottled Ranch formula.
Ranch became a popular flavoring for snacks like chips and crackers.
The first Ranch dressing was invented on Hidden Valley Ranch, a dude ranch near Santa Barbara, CA.
National Ranch Day FAQs
Are there any good deals on National Ranch Day?
If you’re in NYC, you’re in luck. Among other promotional stunts, Hidden Valley Ranch will put their famous Ranch on tap at New York City bars on National Ranch Day! There are also often Ranch-themed events in Las Vegas.
Are there other National condiment days?
June 5 is National Ketchup Day, National Mustard Day is the first Saturday in August, National Mayonnaise Day is May 5, and National BBQ Sauce Day is May 16.
Where is National Ranch Day observed?
Throughout the US, but Hidden Valley especially brings National Ranch Day to NYC in the form of fun events and deals.
How to Celebrate National Ranch Day
Try a new Ranch recipe!
Like we said - what DOESN’T Ranch go with? Hidden Valley lists on their website some great starter recipes, like spicy corn Ranch dip, original Ranch scrambled eggs, and cranberry almond spinach salad. Of course, we support every Ranch recipe, but extra points if you somehow work it into a dessert. Legend has it that some people swear by Cinnamon Toast Crunch covered in Ranch. We respect it.
Take to social media
Hidden Valley Ranch has championed some fantastic hashtags for National Ranch Day, including #RanchEverything. Once you’ve concocted your Ranch-related culinary creation, post a pic and blanket Instagram with the hashtag to inspire other Ranch lovers!
Hold a Ranch taste test
We all know no two Ranches are identical. Like snowflakes, each particular brand has a unique profile of spices, consistency, and overall flavor. With a group, blindly dip a fry in a few brands to determine which Ranch will be the Ranch to rule them all.
5 Facts About Ranch That Will Blow Your Mind
In honor of National Ranch Day 2018, Hidden Valley Ranch gave away a $35,000 jewel-encrusted bottle of Ranch.
A Domestic Affair
In the rest of the world besides Canada and the US, Ranch lags in popularity and is even relatively unknown.
Dressing runs through our veins
The average American consumes 15 Ranch-dressed salads per year - out of 38 total on average.
Lester’s Fixins Soda introduced a questionable-smelling Ranch-flavored soda, among other bizarre flavors like peanut butter & jelly and bacon.
In 2017, one survey found that 40% of Americans named Ranch as their favorite dressing.
Why We Love National Ranch Day
It’s the best condiment
We hear you, people who say ketchup can go on anything… but have you tried Ranch? The perfect amount of creamy, tangy, spicy, and absolutely versatile. When ketchup can make celery palatable, we’ll talk. But until then, Ranch reigns supreme.
It can go on nearly everything!
There are countless articles that crop up after the most basic Ranch Google search - from classics like chicken bacon Ranch potato skins to surprising ones like Ranch-based creamy tomatillo dressings, the internet is a whole wide world of Ranch. We recommend bacon Ranch grilled jalapeños, if you can take the heat!
Ranch can be homemade and healthy!
Though a tablespoon of full-fat Ranch can contain upwards of 150 calories (to which we say - enjoy it anyway), there are myriad recipes for Ranch without the health drawbacks. Many recipes substitute in Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream and say it tastes just as good as the classic with far fewer calories.
National Ranch Day dates