Ranch Dressing

Get into the American taste with ranch dressing.

  • Ranch dressing is a condiment popularly used as flavouring for a variety of foods.
  • Typically, ranch dressing is made of buttermilk, mayonnaise, herbs and onion, with the occasional spice, however, many different versions are available, that come in a variety of flavours.
  • Ranch dressing was invented in the early 1950s by American Steve Henson, and was served to the guests of his tourist accommodation known as Hidden Valley Ranch.
  • The ranch dressing served to tourists was well received, leading to the sauce being made so that it could be sent home with the guests, and later began being manufactured commercially.
  • Hidden Valley Ranch Food Products Inc were the original producers of ranch dressing, and it was sold to The Clorox Company in 1972 for eight million dollars.
Ranch Dressing, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Food, Condiment, Sauce, White, American,
Ranch Dressing
Image courtesy of Brad.K/Flickr
  • Ranch dressing is commonly used to flavour salads, and it is also used as a dip and as a sauce, for both vegetables and meat.
  • Ranch dressing took the status of the United State’s most commercially popular dressing as of 1992, a title previously held by Italian dressing, and held that spot for at least 20 years.
  • Ranch dressing was originally difficult to store, due to the quantity of dairy in the recipe, however, in 1983, the recipe was developed so that a shelf stable product could be sold in supermarkets, where it could be obtained in a bottle without the need of refrigeration.
  • The popularity of ranch dressing saw a sharp increase during the 1980s, as restaurants began to offer the dressing as part of their menu, and its ready availability in supermarkets also contributed to its prominence.
  • Depending on the recipe, ranch dressing may be high in vitamin K, and it has significant quantities of fat, and sodium.
Jones A, History of Ranch Dressing, 2015, eHow, http://www.ehow.com/about_5065787_history-ranch-dressing.html
Koerner J, Ranch Dressing, 2015, Slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/number_1/2005/08/ranch_dressing.html
Ranch Dressing, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranch_dressing



Do you do a jig or does your mouth water when you hear of salsa?

  • Salsa is a condiment popularly used as a dip or flavouring in a variety of dishes, and it often has a spicy flavour.
  • ‘Salsa’ can be translated from Spanish as ‘sauce’ and the term originates from the same word in Latin, meaning ‘salt’.
  • Tomato and chili pepper are the typical primary ingredients of salsa, although the tomato can be substituted with ingredients like mango and pineapple, while onion, spices, avocado and corn are common additions.
  • Traditionally, salsa ingredients are crushed together using a mortar and pestle type tool, although many modern recipes use a blender, or are simply chopped instead.
  • Salsa can range from being a somewhat smooth and runny sauce, to quite a chunky mixture, and it is generally served cold or at room temperature.

Salsa, Sauce, Nacho Chips, Red, Dish, Bowl, Condiment, Food, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Invention

  • Salsa originated from at least as early as the 1500s by native people from regions in Central and South America.
  • Commercialised salsa was only first produced in the United States in 1916, by Charles Erath, from New Orleans, despite being so close in distance, to the fresh product’s origins centuries prior.
  • Salsa is most popularly used in Mexican dishes; and it is often served with meat and seafood; as a side; or with corn chips.
  • Salsa is sometimes cooked and packaged in containers made of glass, giving it a long shelf life, and it is readily available in supermarkets, while fresh salsa can often be found in shops in plastic containers.
  • Some salsa ingredients may be cooked prior to chopping or crushing, and sometimes the ingredients are cooked all together, prior to serving, while other recipes have all of the ingredients served raw.
History of Salsa Sauce, 2015, Food Editorial, http://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/snacks/dips_and_sauces/history_of_salsa_sauce_the_mexican_connection.html
The Origin of Salsa, 2013, Thornhill Capital, http://thornhillcapital.info/north-america/the-origin-of-salsa
Salsa (Sauce), 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salsa_(sauce)
Santos-Neves C, The Art of Making Delicious Salsa, 2015, Epicurious, http://www.epicurious.com/archive/holidays/cincodemayo/mexican-salsa


Stock Flavour

Add just the right amount of stock to your dish.

  • Stock is typically a liquid that is used for flavouring savoury food.
  • Stock is generally made by extracting flavour from meat, herbs, spices, bones and/or vegetables, via simmering or cooking in water, or sometimes wine.
  • Broth and stock are similar, although the latter generally lacks solids and is used as a flavouring, while the former usually contains solids and is eaten like soup.
  • Sauces like gravy, and soups use stock most often, which is their main ingredient, while it is also used in other main dishes to increase their flavour.
  • To prevent waste, stock can be stored in a freezer, or in the refrigerator for a few days, which can then be boiled every three or four days until used.

Stock Flavour, Chicken, Powder, Crumb, Liquid, Ten Random Facts, Culinary, Food

  • Ready-made stock powder or cubes, that only require the addition of water, can be found sold commercially in supermarkets, and these are quick and easy to use and give instant flavour, although ready-made liquid stock is also available.
  • Stock ranges from brown to white in colour, depending on the ingredients and process of cooking; and these are named fond blanc and fond brun respectively.
  • Common types of stock include fish, chicken, vegetable, lamb and veal.
  • Recipes for mushroom-based and beef-based stocks surfaced around the mid 1600s, and many recipes have developed over time.
  • Although nutritional value is dependent on the type of stock, common nutrients of significance include protein, riboflavin and niacin, as well as sodium, and many other vitamins and minerals are also present.
Olver L, Soups, 2015, FoodTimeline, http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodsoups.html#stock
Stock (food), 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_(food)



Apple Sauce

Add an abundance of flavour with apple sauce.

  • Apple sauce is a culinary sauce that uses apples as its primary ingredient, and it is usually a dull yellow colour that can have a slight green or red tinge, especially if the skin of the apples is used.
  • The words ‘apple sauce’ can be combined as one word ‘applesauce’, and the substance is also known as ‘apple compôte’, which is taken from the French term.
  • Liquids, such as water; spices, such as cinnamon; and/or flavours, such as honey or sugar, are all typical ingredients in apple sauce.
  • Apple sauce is commonly served with meat dishes, notably pork, as well as vegetables, and sometimes it accompanies sweet dishes, like pancakes.
  • Apple sauce requires the cooking of chopped apples in a liquid, and it can easily be made at home, or found in jars, tubs or tins, sold commercially in supermarkets.

Apple Sauce, Yellow, Condiment, Flavour, Applesauce, Ten Random Facts, Culinary

  • In some countries, apple sauce is served as a dessert, and it can be used as an ingredient in other foods, like cake, as a flavouring or sweetener.
  • Although apple sauce can be highly chunky, the sauce is often finely puréed; while the higher the apple’s acidity, the finer the purée will be.
  • Apple sauce has been made for hundreds of years, being cooked in the medieval period in Europe, and it was an efficient process to keep uneaten or unsold apples from rotting during winter months.
  • Apple sauce is a popular homemade baby food, as it is relatively easy to make, and easily digestible by babies.
  • Apple sauce is very high in vitamin C, and it also has significant quantities of fibre, as well as pectin, that has traditionally been used to treat diarrhoea.
Apple sauce, 2015, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_sauce
Food history: applesauce, 2014, Erinnudi.com, http://www.erinnudi.com/2014/09/05/food-history-applesauce/
Jensen S, A brief history of Applesauce, 2012, Info Barrel, http://www.infobarrel.com/A_Brief_History_of_Applesauce



Let your foods burst with flavour, with pesto!

  • Pesto is a condiment or paste used for culinary purposes, and it is primarily for used for flavouring dishes.
  • Pesto is typically made of olive oil; parmesan cheese; garlic; nuts, such as pine nuts; and herbs – usually basil.
  • ‘Pesto’ comes from the word ‘pestâ’ or ‘pestare’, meaning ‘to pound’ or ‘crush’, that originates from the Genoese language in Italy.
  • Italy’s Liguria in Europe is the original home of pesto, although Ancient Romans made a similar condiment with different herbs, named ‘moretum’.
  • Pesto is made by crushing the ingredients; and when made at home, the tool historically used is a mortar and pestle, although modern appliances, like blenders, are sometimes used.
Pesto, Green, Sauce, Condiment, Spoon, Culinary, Ten Random Facts, Flickr
Image courtesy of bloggyboulga/Flickr
  • Foods that can be flavoured with pesto include beans, pasta, potatoes and bread, and while it can be prepared at home, it is commonly available in supermarkets, often in small jars.
  • A modern style recipe for pesto was first published in 1863, by Giovanni Battista Ratto, in his book.
  • Pesto can be fairly smooth to quite chunky in texture, and is often a vivid green colour, due to the crushed basil.
  • Pesto ingredients can vary, and can include sundried tomatoes and capsicum, or different nuts and herbs, and this will alter the taste, and sometimes the colour, which can be red due to the inclusion of tomatoes or capsicum.
  • Pesto is often a good source of iron, and vitamins A and C, and sometimes the sodium content can be very high.
A Marvel of Simplicity: Pesto alla Genovese,
2015, Delallo, http://www.delallo.com/articles/marvel-simplicity-pesto-alla-genovese
Pesto, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesto
Pesto, 2015, Dr. Gourmet, http://www.drgourmet.com/ingredients/pesto.shtml


Cranberry Sauce

Always have cranberry sauce with your turkey.

  • Cranberry sauce is a culinary condiment or sauce used to flavour other food dishes.
  • ‘Cranberry sauce’ is also known as ‘cranberry jelly’, and it is bought in cans or jars from supermarkets, or made at home.
  • The primary ingredients of cranberry sauce are sugar, cranberries and water, and sometimes other ingredients and flavourings are added.
  • Cranberry sauce is typically made by mixing together and boiling the ingredients, as in jam making, causing the elements to combine and thicken and the cranberries to burst.
  • Cranberry sauce can be a semi-liquid or a jelly-solid, and it is usually served scooped out of a jar with a spoon, or sliced.

Cranberry Sauce, Red, Traditional, Liquid, Plate, Ten Random Facts, Condiment

  • Cranberry sauce is traditionally eaten on either Thanksgiving or Christmas, often accompanying a turkey dish, and it is also sometimes served with other meats.
  • The general taste of cranberry sauce varies from country to country; American versions are generally sweet, while European versions tend to be a bit sour.
  • The earliest known recorded mention of cranberry sauce was in 1663, in a cookbook; more than 40 years after the first Thanksgiving dinner in the United States.
  • Commercialised cranberry sauce became available in cans in 1912 and were popularised in the 1930s with the introduction of Ocean Spray’s version.
  • Cranberry sauce is high in vitamin E, fibre and manganese, and it also contains significant quantities of sugar.
Cranberry Sauce, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranberry_sauce
Hallowell B, The History Behind 5 Thanksgiving Traditions Americans Love, 2013, The Blaze, http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/28/5-thanksgiving-traditions-americans-love-a-brief-history-of-turkey-wishbones-football-and-more/
Why Canned Cranberry Jelly Became a Thanksgiving Icon, 2014, The Kitchen, http://www.thekitchn.com/why-canned-cranberry-jelly-became-a-thanksgiving-icon-food-history-213299


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