Arguments over food are fun because the stakes are usually incredibly low. It’s easy for someone to say, “Only monsters like ketchup” or “Peanut butter cups are the best candy and everything else is trash” or “if you serve me home fries I will throw a plate at your head.” It’s not like the debate goes anywhere. Everyone argues, offers their hard takes, and then all of us go on eating whatever the hell we like. Whereas political debates actually have some bearing on our lives, food debates are just a diversion. They’re play time.
Unless someone messes with ranch. Then it’s on with some ’90s east coast/west coast-level heat. Which is how things are going down today. Here’s the situation: New York Magazine’s food blog, Grub Street, wrote a nice little piece on the resurgence of ranch a few weeks back. It was an ode, pretty light reading. The author laid out how ranch has been maligned, and it’s current resurgence — with chefs across the country finding ways to feature the condiment on their menus. All was good, until…
This morning, when the Washington Post fired back with the Hit ‘Em Up of food rants, titled, “Ranch dressing is what’s wrong with America.” Which we can all probably agree is a little dramatic. It had some doozy lines too. Like this gem:
First, it’s disgusting. It tastes like exactly what it is, which is milk that’s halfway rotten. Why would anyone want to take something that they would throw out if they unexpectedly smelled it in their fridge and put that on their salad?
That paragraph reveals the author’s shaky handle on dairy-foods. Plenty of wonderful foods are based on bacteria cultures. Using this logic, the “halfway rotten” argument might also apply to a whole smattering of cheeses, anything fermented, etc.