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Watch: This Is Where Ranch Dressing Comes From

Hidden Valley, duh

Think back, if you can, to a time before ranch dressing. Perhaps you don't wish to remember the dark ages before a slathering of the creamy, tangy sauce became de rigueur for everything from carrot sticks to chicken wings, but it wasn't so long ago.

As this video from Great Big Story explains, ranch dressing got its start in the 1950s at — ding ding ding! — a place called Hidden Valley Ranch. Yes, ranch comes from an actual ranch. Proprietor Steve Henson first began whipping up the buttermilk dressing for his crew while working in Alaska, and he later brought it to the ranch where it became popular with guests. Shortly thereafter, he began selling packets of the flavoring — much like the ones you can buy at grocery stores today — via mail order for a mere 75 cents.

And for anyone who's wondered what provides ranch its magical flavor but never bothered to look: It's a combination of buttermilk, sour cream, and mayo seasoned with dried parsley, onion, and garlic. Please stop putting it on your pizza, though — that's just blasphemous.