munchies.vice.com – If you want to start an argument with a stranger, you can loudly quote a statistic that you heard on Fox News, explain why The Last Jedi was either the best or the worst thing to happen to the Star Wars universe, or share your opinion about whether ranch dressing is good on pizza. There might not be a more polarizing pizza topping, except maybe pineapple and that pea-and-mayo monstrosity that briefly paralyzed the internet.
A decade ago, Calabrian cousins Vincenzo Quarto and Francesco Fragale flat-out banned ranch dressing at Romano’s, their Houston pizzeria. Ed Levine, the food writer and creator of Serious Eats, called it “a crime against nature.” And, more recently, the owner of a Dallas pizzeria sort-of jokingly charged $1,000 for a side of ranch before sort-of seriously telling people to stop bringing their own bottles into his restaurant.
But on the pro-ranch side of the debate, there’s Ranch PDX, which serves its near-universally loved Sicilian-style slices (“Some of the best deep-dish in town,”Willamette Week gushed) with a side of its own homemade ranch. Ranch started as a delivery-only joint, but its popularity—and, presumably its ranch—have made owners Richard Corey and Eric Wood lock down a permanent home for their pies.
We spoke to Corey to talk about ranch dressing, Ranch PDX and why the uninitiated should give it a try.
MUNCHIES: Hi, Corey. First of all, why should we be putting ranch dressing on pizza?
Richard Corey: The one argument for ranch on pizza, and what I tell most people if they’re confused about it, is that it makes each bite really balanced. Most pizzas have a really tangy red sauce: The tomatoes are really acidic, and it has salt and garlic or whatever. If you add ranch to that, the creamy and tangy, salty flavors are polar opposites, but when you combine them, it’s perfect. If you’re every trying to convince somebody, that’s the combo they’re looking for.
Ah, so if I had it and didn’t like it, it could’ve been because of un-tangy pizza sauce.
If you don’t enjoy it, it could be bad pizza sauce, or it could be bad ranch. A lot of bad ranch is really sour, which it shouldn’t be. The perfect ranch should be rich and creamy.
So what’s the story? Why dedicate an entire restaurant to putting ranch on pizza?
What’s the story? We love ranch dressing on pizza. That’s the basic answer. We’re definitely a pizza place, but our name is an homage to ranch, we love it and we try to make really good ranch. Our main thing is pizza, but people still expect really good ranch from us. It’s kind of a fun joke thing as well: people can buy a gallon of ranch from us on Indiegogo—and they’re buying it. I wasn’t sure if anybody would want that.
Look I’m not here to trash your taste buds because I am a pretty picky eater myself, but how dare people put ranch on a pizza as a topping. You could offer me a free slice with some ranch dressing on it and I would deposit that shit into the closest trash receptacle. Ain’t nobody got time for that bullshit.
Now look I may have experienced putting ranch on my slices back when I went to military school (s/o VFMA) but that’s only because the food was so trash that anything was game to make it better. But what do kids do the most? They make mistakes. What makes boys into men? Learning from your mistakes and not making them again. So I stand before you, soul exposed and completely vulnerable imploring you to not put ranch on your pizza. If not for me, do it for your friends and your family. Do it for Jesus. But most importantly do it for yourself.
And please don’t get me started with ranch and wings. That’s a whole other blog for another day.