What Makes a Great Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

A high quality buttermilk ranch dressing, designed for food service usage, should coat the lettuce and maintain its flavor intensity when used in application with lettuce.

The aroma and taste profiles should include a combination of buttermilk, onion, garlic, herb, mayonnaise, some vinegar and black pepper notes. No one note should dominate the entire profile.

The taste profile should be led with sourness and saltiness, followed by sweetness. There may also be some bitterness and umami.

The texture of the dressing should be rich, smooth – with some mouth weight. While smoothness is expected to give the dressing a creamy texture overall, there may be some minimal graininess present from the herbs/black pepper. There will also be some expected level of astringency.

The appearance of the buttermilk ranch dressing should have some visible thickness and will also likely have some visible specks.

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Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • appearance

    The visual quality of a food. Used to organize attributes such as color and consistency of size, it is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate food. The other dimensions are aroma, texture, flavor and taste. Example: The appearance of green olives includes attributes such as color (pale to dark) and consistency of size (inconsistent to consistent).

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.