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This Ain’t Right, Oklahoma: Ranch Dressing

10:15 AM EDT on April 30, 2018

As the weather is getting warmer (and colder) and warmer again, Oklahomans from across the metro are preparing for the upcoming season of cookouts, family reunions, and, in my case, 2nd degree sunburns. That means it is time to start searching pinterest for new recipes that will put your Aunt Carol’s ham and cheese pinwheels to shame. According to a recent survey from Food Genius the most commonly used ingredient in Oklahoma dishes is a tie between broccoli florets and baked salmon.

LOLOL HAHAHA JK. For those of you with a Jitterbug, that’s millennial speak for I’m kidding. According to the survey and 97% of all dishes my mom and grandmas have ever brought to a family cookout, the most commonly used ingredient in Oklahoma recipes is ranch dressing. And frankly, that ain’t right.

Long time fans of The Lost Ogle know that this isn’t the first time we’ve complained about the milky, salty, drizzly substance (insert “that’s what she said” joke here). Back in 2009 Patrick wrote about Oklahomans’ tendency to choose pizza places based on the quality of ranch over the quality of pizza. Though that article was written nearly 9 years ago, our state’s obsession with the dressing hasn’t changed much. What has changed is that Hidden Valley now sells its ranch by the keg and our great state’s obesity rate has increased 3%. I’m sure there’s no relation there.

So why do Oklahomans enjoy the taste of ranch so damn much? I have come up with a few hypotheses:

It is the only way we eat our vegetables

I have seen whole vegetable trays go untouched at parties because someone used the entire bottle of ranch for the cheese tray.


The “oil” our Oil Overlords have stake in is actually Canola

I have always assumed that the petroleum business is what has ruled over our state government. But honestly, I have never actually googled what kind of oil these oil company executives have stake in. Maybe they are really in the business of canola oil, an ingredient in the dressing, and the tendency for metro restaurants to drench every side salad with 5 servings of ranch is really what is fulfilling the interests of big oil in our state.


It is the only way we know how to season things.

I’ve known 40-year-olds with spice cabinets that include only salt, pepper, and Kraft ranch seasoning packets. If your summer recipe doesn’t call for a full bottle of ranch, chances are it's still going to require a packet of the seasoning.

But even my hypotheses can't explain this woman:

I thought Poptarts already defiled the definition of pastry enough with whatever flaky cardboard covered in Willy Wonka snot they sell in the foil packages. Then this chick had to add insult to injury by deciding to dip it in ranch and claiming it's just an Oklahoma thing.  Unless that ranch is meth-based, I doubt there is even another Oklahoman who would touch it.

Now, I won’t deny that I too like the occasional dollop of ranch dressing with my fried pickles. But like said fried pickles, alcohol, or Saturday nights watching Full House reruns in your underwear, some things should just be enjoyed in moderation. And that is not something Oklahomans are good at doing when it comes to ranch.  In fact, Oklahomans regularly rate restaurants solely on their ranch dressing recipes and even name clothing stores after the stuff. I'm not kidding.  Click the hyperlink.  Now, we may not all agree that Oklahomans have a ranch problem.  I think we can all agree the store name is excessive, because 47% of Oklahomans currently have a ranch stain down the front of their shirt as it is.

Hayley already got a hate text from her sister because of this article.  Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek

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