National Ranch Day (March 10th)

Well, well. It appears that March has National Ranch Day – who knew? My question, and it may be silly, but what kind of ranch?

This kind?

Or this kind? (The actual Hidden Valley Ranch!)

Call me crazy, but I have never been a big fan of the Ranch Dressing and seasoning craze that has taken over the U.S. Some of my friends even use it on their chicken nuggets! This concept just seems foreign to me. But I do love to watch YouTube cooking videos and I see a ton of people like Jessica O’Donohue (one of my favorites – along with Mandy In The Making), who absolutely love the stuff and will even add it to things that don’t call for ranch!! I suppose some may consider me crazy because I do the same with hot sauce (well, sometimes). But I do enjoy their crazy videos and their even crazier relationships with their husbands, “Bunkey” and Steven, respectively.

The O’Donohue’s with Daisy Mae

Mandy & Steven

If you do like ranch, just take a quick journey down Google Lane and you won’t be disappointed; dressings, seasoning packets and recipes galore! Or better yet, go to the King of Ranch, the Hidden Valley website, where not only can you find recipes – you can share them, too.

Ranch dressing has been the best selling salad dressing in the United States sine 1992 – when it beat out Italian.

The salad dressing was invented in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s by a man named Steven Hensen while he was working in the Alaskan bush as a plumbing contractor. He wanted to keep his workers happy so he invented the dressing. But it wasn’t until 1956/1957 that it really took off – being produced at his personal ranch; Hidden Valley Ranch in San Marcos Pass, California. Hensen would make the dressing for friends at functions and it was always well received. But it wasn’t until he put a batch together for his friend and owner of the Cold Spring Tavern, Audrey Ovington, that he hit it big and she became his first commercial account.

Hensen stayed with the operation until 1972 when it was bought by Clorox (of all companies!) for $8 million. Since then the name and production has changed hands numerous times as well as being cloned by entities like Kroger, Ken’sKraft, Litehouse, Marie’s, Newman’s Own, and Wish-Bone.

If you’re interested in a more in-depth history of Hidden Valley Ranch, check out Wikipedia and the Hidden Valley website.


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