Whether you love it, hate it, or smother your pizza in it, ranch dressing has become one of the most ubiquitous toppings in America. And if there's any one brand associated with all that creamy, buttermilk goodness, it's Hidden Valley—and, as it turns out, for pretty good reason. 

Though today Hidden Valley is seen solely as a brand name—like Hellmann's mayonnaise, or Heinz ketchup—it was also the location of a real dude ranch near Santa Barbara, California in the 1950s, and served as the birthplace for the beloved dressing.

According to a new video from Great Big Story, Steve and Gale Henson bought a piece of land called Sweet Water Ranch in 1954. The couple loved the area, but hated the name, and decided to change it to something a bit more rugged, renaming it Hidden Valley. Steve had been making a buttermilk salad dressing for years—even before he and Gale moved to Hidden Valley—but when they opened their ranch to guests, the couple would serve the recipe with greens for dinner. Tangy, yet smooth, the dressing unsurprisingly took off. 

Steve and Gale started selling packets of the spices by mail order for 75 cents, and soon the recipe became so popular that they were able to sell the company for $8 million to Clorox. From there, Hidden Valley Ranch—not to mention a plethora of "cool" ranch flavored snack-foods—was officially born.

"Move up into the '90s and ranch is being named the most popular dressing in America," the video explains. "And there it is: ranch dressing, it came from a ranch. What d'ya know?"

[via Great Big Story]