The Ranchifacation of America

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Cornbread
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2005/11/19 23:26:49 (permalink)

The Ranchifacation of America

Greetings from the Gulf Coast. Brand new here to the forum (and what an awesome one it is).

Anyway, I am an executive chef and work for one of the world's largest contract company and my new assignments is in campus dining and I am just blown away on how much Ranch Dressing we go through in one day and what these students are using it for. I've seen them put it on Steak, our wonderful blackend fish, vegetables and "sigh" in soup.

I've gotten to the point where I've thrown my hands in the air and just want to stop even seasoning anything as these "Ranch Hounds" (what my staff calls them)wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Or maybe I could rig up a 50 gallon drum with hoses coming out of it and just let them do ranch bongs or ranch stances.

The kicker is the other day a lady at the school told me she bought a beautiful piece of salmon and marinated in Ranch!!!!! arghhhhhh the humanity!!!!!!

Can someone please help me understand where everyone's taste buds went to and are they lying in the bottom of an empty gallon jug of Ranch Dressing?

#1

77 Replies Related Threads

    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 00:27:20 (permalink)
    wow! that was sure some kind of welcome, bushie gave ya.
    i am sure you didnt deserve the bashing, but its ineveitable on this forum. in our place, our honey mustard is the first choice. ranch is second. i guess it depends on the region. perhaps, it has to do with the advertising(hidden valley).
    anyway, welcome to the board, cornbread.
    #2
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 06:50:17 (permalink)
    is campus dining the same as collage cafateria?(SP) I have a lady friend who runs the kitchen in a retirement home but she calls herself a cook NOT an EXecutive chef and that gal can throw down some chow. Ranch dressing?? My daughter eats it with everything, personally I can't stand the stuff..
    #3
    mayor al
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 08:36:19 (permalink)
    Setting aside the personality clashes for a minute, I see several very different points being taken on this thread.

    1. Ranch Dressing. Is it the new Catsup (Ketchup) of the X or younger generation? How many of you have either contributed to, or ranted about the use of the red-stuff by those who do the foul deed? One could say the same for Garlic, or other condiments.

    1A. Consider the clientele- Students tend to be like schools of fish...shifting directions in groups,grasping at trends and media-reinforced commercialism. Great targets for the 'Hidden Valley Boys'!If 'Ranch' is good, then cover everything in 'Ranch' and everything will be good! Remember the target groups are eating in a school food-service institution, not Peter Lugar's.

    2. The building of a hierarchy of job titles within the food-service industry. When does a 'Cook' become a 'Chef' or an 'Executive Chef'? I am not making light of our new poster's work. I just recognize that the title goes undefined and therefore can be misunderstood by some.

    3. Perhaps some of the interpersonal conflict is generated by the hour of the day that the posts were made. I make excuses for no-one, but I am amazed at how something may strike me as 'rant-worthy' at 0200 that at noon would not. Just a thought.
    #4
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 12:10:08 (permalink)
    I assume ...

    ... you cook where you are hired to cook

    ... you cook with the resources you have and you present the best possible product

    ... you cook for who you are hired to cook for

    ... that, in the end, there is no explaining people's taste or lack thereof

    I'll bet it is frustrating -- and a valid observation.

    Cornbread ... If you haven't already retreated, based on the above bashing, welcome to RF.

    #5
    Cornbread
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 12:37:41 (permalink)
    Wow thank you for the warm welcome everyone. I think the wonderful thing about a forum like this is after you work a 13 hour day obviously there is something you would like to vent about and who better to vent than to another person that is in the trenches with you..albiet in a different time zone or state.

    Oh i'm not whinning by any means just making an observation about a new sector of our business that is new to me and like all new things it will take me a little while to adapt to my customers eating habits is all.

    And BTW: I have been a CEC for 12 years now by the ACF and have been in culinary management and a culinary instructor for just shy of 30 years but yes at heart I am a cook without a fancy title and initials that still washes pots, buses tables, counts cash, processes payroll, hires and fires and stll has an absolute passion for good food and giving my customers something to remember. Of course their are way better chefs and cooks out there than me. Thank you for judging me right out of the gate and professing to think that I have not done my time and discounting my skills and talents but alas that is what makes this forum great is all the multi-opinions of everyone and I look forward to learning from each and everyone of you.

    Enough of that...I got me a race to watch and I think I may even go get some Cool Ranch Doritos and ice cold PBR to go with it.



    #6
    Rick F.
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 13:17:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    I assume ...

    ... you cook where you are hired to cook

    ... you cook with the resources you have and you present the best possible product

    ... you cook for who you are hired to cook for
    In other words, as my mother often said, "You dance with the one what brung you."
    #7
    mayor al
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 13:26:12 (permalink)

    Sheesch, Cornfed... I was just starting to like you then you go and say you drink 'PBR'....Now, next to chopping up the meat in your BBQ, that's the closest to a character-slur you can do on this forum!!
    #8
    Sundancer7
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 13:49:25 (permalink)
    This thread sorta got unfriendly. It happens but it does not work. As several of you will notice, a few of the posts were deleted to stop the flaming. Regardless, what makes this forum sorta fun is a whole lot of difference of opinions. Let's just try to enjoy the differences without tearing into each other!

    Keep them coming, but please keep in mind the feelings of others when you post. If you intend humor, add a smilely..not everyone understands all forms of 'humor'! Happy Sunday and Happy Thanksgiving.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    &
    Al -The Mayor
    Lanesville, Indiana
    #9
    Hiram Callahan
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 14:11:09 (permalink)
    Slate's "Explainer" feature concludes that we like it so much because, well, it's "devoid of potentially objectionable ingredients [and] is fattier" than other dressings. "Ranch dressing, which arrived at a time when mayo had gained a reputation as a diet-buster, was essentially a socially acceptable form of the gloopy condiment. It quickly became the preferred way to infuse otherwise healthy dishes with a palatable amount of fat."

    The whole piece is here: http://www.slate.com/id/2123991/ .

    Sounds about right to me.

    #10
    berndog
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 14:11:47 (permalink)
    Cornbread, this craving for ranch dressing on almost everything may be a local phenomena at your campus. When I visit my son and eat at the wonderful dining hall at his college, I see very little use of ranch dressing, although it is on the salad bar. In additon to the regular salad bar, there is a caesar area with romaine lettuce, caeser dressing, and big bowls to toss it in before putting in in your salad bowl.

    As Mayor Al mentioned, we have had similar posts about those who must pour ketchup or salt on everything served to them, before they even taste to see if additional salt is needed.

    You're not going to change the culinary habits of the students, but you can make the dressing less available (on the salad bar only, and not in bottles they can easily carry to the table). Also, try offering some interesting alternatives with the proper condiments and see if they go for it. My son's school offers a sushi bar, a stir fry area with oriental offerings, a pizzaria, a grill area for hots and burgers or chicken breast sandwiches, two areas with prepared hot foods, and a sandwich bar with various rolls and breads, cold cuts, and all the toppings you could want.
    #11
    BT
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 14:20:06 (permalink)
    To repeat what I said once already (post deleted, don't know why), I'm a ranchaholic myself. I like it on all sorts of things from potato chips to veggie sticks to chiken tenders: mostly fried foods. Maybe you can blame the fast food joints that first started using it as a "sauce" on their chicken nuggets. But, strangely, the one thing I don't much like it on is salad. On that, I prefer balsamic viniagrette.
    #12
    enginecapt
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 15:04:54 (permalink)
    Welcome to Roadfood Cornbread. Don't be a stranger.

    One of my dearest friends has a wife and 4 kids that put ranch on everything. A few years ago I was visiting and was asked to whip up a batch of my excellent eggplant parm. So I made a batch of sauce and built two big trays of the eggplant for supper. The first thing Leila and the kids did was drown their entree and salad in ranch. Dean noticed my raised eyebrow and just shrugged his shoulders. I bit off a snarky comment and kept my mouth shut.

    I wanted to send them 2 institutional sized jugs of ranch for Christmas, but didn't do that either. I now refer to them as the ranch wife and the ranch kids.

    Personally, I despise the stuff.
    #13
    cornfed
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 16:01:36 (permalink)
    There was someone I really liked, but once they ordered ranch, that was it. Does that make me a snob or does it show a heightened awareness about what the hidden racial secrets that culinary ignorance might portend?
    #14
    nvb
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 18:25:51 (permalink)
    Welcome Cornbread!

    Doesn't make you a snob at all. I don't agree with it all, either. I don't keep ranch dressing available for the taking in my restaurant and no one is shy about asking for it. On sliced beef sandwiches, onion rings, fries and even chicken-fried steak. Yeah, CFS with gravy.
    #15
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 18:29:48 (permalink)
    I think I might be the only human being on the planet who has never tasted Ranch dressing.
    #16
    enginecapt
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 18:36:10 (permalink)
    No you're not Mr Hoffman. The smell is repugnant enough to me to ensure I'll be the other member of your demo.
    #17
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 18:39:37 (permalink)
    I'm afraid I've never smelled it, either. In fact, so far as I know, I've only seen it in bottles on the supermarket shelf.
    #18
    wallhd
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 18:44:45 (permalink)
    My daughter has been almost 9 years out of college and she still is on the ranch dressing "thing". She and her husband (along with my adult son) are volunteers along the the old man (i.e. me) at our local fire/ems dept. We eat at least one "meal" a week there as a group, She is the only one who has ranch dressing with Buffalo wings, pizza, french fries and what not. I don't think I've ever seen her put it on ice cream, but there may be a chance of that in the future! Separating all of the wheat from the chaff in the previous posts in this thread gets to the real point of the original post: what is the big attraction of ranch dressing?

    I'll second the poster who said they couldn't stand the stuff.

    Wally

    Wally
    #19
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 19:53:04 (permalink)
    Our university no longer employs an Executive Chef. We once did, and I am not sure why we no longer do -- though, I would bet it has to do with money. We do employ a Banquet Chef, a Production Chef, and a Sous Chef (or so says their titles according to the school). Despite the fact that some of these meals are prepared for campus dining services, many others are prepared for the President of the school in fund raising efforts, and the food would rival that which you would find at an upscale hotel -- still wouldn't go out of my way to eat there versus someplace extraoridnary, but when the Prez is eating, and someone offers a free meal on a college campus, you could do a lot worse.

    I am now off to go order something with ranch dressing. I don't want this to be the first character trait I share with Michael Hoffman.
    #20
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 20:06:37 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    Haven't had much opportunity to go anywhere nor much time to post lately, but I just had to spew out my zloty's worth.
    The first time I remember eating ranch dressing was when it came dehydrated in packets and you added buttermilk and other stuff to the powder to make it. I thought it was excellent, but since then, most commercial examples seem to have become blase by comparison. Maybe my tastebuds are dead and I should hold a Tong funeral for them.
    The one thing I absolutely have to try is livermush with ranch dressing. (I've already tried it with slaw.)
    Or how about putting ranch dressing inside your favorite omelette? When - or maybe better said as what - will the people at Waffle House(R) and Huddle House(R) think of that one?
    As for me, I'm signin' off, podnuhs, and headin' back for the ranch.
    Dressed To Kill, Ort. Carlton in Yippee-Yay-O Athens, GA.
    P. S. Can anyone still find the stuff in the packets where y'all are at, or is it all pre-made now? And are any brands better than others?
    #21
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 20:59:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by stevekoe

    I am now off to go order something with ranch dressing. I don't want this to be the first character trait I share with Michael Hoffman.

    Are we to understand that you are not good at sharing?
    #22
    Tony Bad
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/20 21:05:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    I think I might be the only human being on the planet who has never tasted Ranch dressing.


    My kids eat these little crackers called "ranch bunnies", which are quite good...but that is the closest I have come to ranch dressing.
    #23
    V960
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/21 10:46:57 (permalink)
    Ranch dressing...I hate the stuff and yet most medium places in piedmont NC serve it w/ french fries. ???????

    Another thing that bugs me about ranch dressing is it is so I don't know...generic that you can't really improve on it by making it in house. Blue cheeese dressing can be greatly improved, as can Italian but ranch is ranch is ranch.

    Titles...whatever. I have name badges that proclaim me as "Grand Imperial Master, please bow as I pass" and "Head Hash Slinger".
    #24
    Tedbear
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/21 11:12:00 (permalink)
    If you want REAL Ranch Dressing, then you have to flavor the commercially supplied dressing properly. According to your own taste preferences, add varying amounts of:

    Small bits of dry-rotted wood
    Tiny shavings of a tin roof
    Hay
    Straw
    Manure (your choice--cow or horse)
    Lint from a well-used blanket
    Dust from dried leather
    Dried Chapparal sticks

    Mix it all together, and you will have a taste truly reminiscent of a ranch!
    #25
    berndog
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/21 11:58:20 (permalink)
    I recently had some chicken salad prepared with low-fat ranch dressing instead of the usual mayonaise. Although I'm not a ranch fan myself and never use it on a tossed salad or as a dressing, the chicken salad actually was very good, and I'm thinking about trying this myself, or to make tuna salad.
    #26
    porkbeaks
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/21 12:25:35 (permalink)
    We usually have a bottle of Ken's or Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing in the fridge and enjoy it on salads, for celery dipping with chicken wings (I detest bleu cheese), and as a dressing for a "red creamer" potato salad that includes bacon, green onion, and cheddar cheese. Then again, we also like Miracle Whip. Different strokes.... pb
    #27
    renfrew
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/21 13:48:16 (permalink)
    Only think I like Ranch on is Outback's Aussie Fries. Dont really know why, they serve a spicy ranch with it and I like it. But I also like dipping my fries in tartar sauce.

    I dont think i have ever seen such varied use of ranch as you describe.

    Bleu Cheese is my personal favorite salad dressing. Not necessarily the heavy mayonaise type either. A little oil and vinergar and bleu cheese crumbles. For creamy dressings I prefer Russian.
    #28
    Theedge
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/21 14:31:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Then again, we also like Miracle Whip.


    #29
    hefried
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    RE: The Ranchifacation of America 2005/11/21 14:51:10 (permalink)
    ranchification is a good word for it. i agree with mr cornbread.it's everywhere~ i think whole generations of kids are being raised on the stuff. even more than ketchup... i've actually seen kids who wont eat veggies eat then once they're dipped in the stuff... chow down!
    i like it, don't love it, but it's ok. it's way better if you make it fresh with real buttermilk... (and real herbs) or even one of those packets....
    #30
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