When Escoffier defined his five mother sauces, he did so based on a proud culinary tradition that dated back to Careme and others. These were flexible sauces that stood the test of time. Fortunately, he could not predict how boring the average consumer would become. In most modern chain restaurants the mother sauces would be redefined as marinara, alfredo, ketchup, gravy, and ranch. It is said that if you stand perfectly still above Escoffier’s gravesite, you can actually feel him spinning.
Of these sauces the newest and most commonly used is ranch dressing. It became America’s favorite salad dressing in 1992. It has since only gained popularity as a dipping sauce and suspected beverage (“the lady at table 24 wants another side of ranch, what is she doing, drinking the stuff?”). Ranch’s rise to the top is a modern day success story. The reason behind it will change the way you look at food.
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