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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Rob R / Flickr</a></p>

While we do live in an age of nostalgia, dear reader, there are some points of our childhoods that are best left untouched. If you’re a grown man and you bring a glove to a baseball game, we need to talk. If you put ketchup on your eggs, perhaps it would be best not to eat eggs in the first place. Most notably, if you dip your pizza into ranch dressing, please go find a hole somewhere on campus — there are plenty with the construction going on — and sit in it until you are ready to recognize the error of your ways.

We get it. There is something quintessentially American about ranch dressing. Moreover, as a salad dressing, it has its place. It’s perfectly reasonable to drown heaps of lettuce in the stuff. It adds a necessary flavor to otherwise tasteless leaves. If you like dipping carrots, tomatoes or celery into ranch dressing, that’s cool, too. As far as we’re concerned, you’re still dipping vegetables. However, unlike Congress, we believe pizza is not, in fact, a vegetable. Therefore, it has no business being dipped in ranch dressing.

We’re willing to wager that most of you defending ranch and most of you attacking it can’t even identify what’s exactly in ranch dressing. Well, we Googled it for you. Ranch dressing is made of buttermilk, garlic, salt, onion and a variety of herbs and spices. That being said, it’s perfectly rational to make bland foods taste less bland by smothering ranch on them. But those of you dipping greasy and salty French fries in what is really just fat are missing the point.

If you’re dipping pizza in ranch, thereby taking a food product that is already rich and flavorful and dipping it in something that masks that, you’ve again missed the point. If you need ranch to make the flavors of a pizza pop, you’re probably eating s--- pizza like Papa John’s.

Think about it: When you order Pizza Hut, Papa John’s or Domino’s, you can pay for sides of ranch dressing to come with your pizza. That’s because those places know they provide utility pizza. But when you go to Leonardo’s, The Italian Gator or Satchel’s, they take for granted that you don’t want ranch. You know why? Because they know they provide that good good you want.

Imagine yourself at a nice steakhouse. The ambiance is spectacular: The candles are burning low, the tablecloth is silky smooth and your significant other looks ravishing. You order, and eventually, your server brings out the most perfect cut of steak imaginable. Would you symbolically s--- on this steak by putting ketchup on it? No, this isn’t a greasy hamburger made by an equally greasy teenager in a dimly lit McDonald’s. This is a quality piece of meat that some master chef spent years perfecting. Hopefully, you wouldn’t do the same thing in terms of pizza.

Ideally, good pizza stands on its own. If you want to put ketchup on that McDonald’s burger and dip your Papa John’s pizza in some ranch, go for it. We can meet you halfway there. But don’t you dare insult the craft of quality pizza-making at places like Big Lou’s by dipping it in a buttermilk-and-salt concoction.

And no, dear reader, this isn’t food snobbery. Don’t reduce this issue to something deceptively simple like “People are allowed to like what they like.” If we start seeing #FreeTheTastebuds crap on Twitter, we’re going to flip. This is a question of respect and recognition. If your pizza tastes like the cardboard it comes in, by all means, drown the sucker in dressing. But please don’t insult masters of their pizza crafts by muting flavors in the riptides of ranch.

Rob R / Flickr

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