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Read This: The glorious history of pizza dipping sauces

Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Here’s the thing about dips: If there is one, and no one is around to judge us, we will dip anything into it. Hey, if it makes bread taste better, it will surely do the same for everything else on your plate, be it veggies, steak, or cake. Is there a food that’s not enhanced by ranch? Or Papa John’s garlic dipping sauce? It’s nearly impossible to eat their pizza without it, which points to the focus of this new piece from Eater, which centers around the distinctly American phenomenon of dipping sauces for not just breadsticks, but pizza slices themselves.

It turns out Papa John’s aforementioned sauce takes the dubious honor of being the first dip “specifically for pizza,” thus “dislodging the dip from its usual place as a breadstick side.”

According to “chief ingredient officer” Sean Muldoon, the brand’s popular garlic dipping sauce is as old as Papa John’s itself, and since Papa John’s founder John Schnatter made it in 1984, it has been included with every pizza ever sold. The tangy dip has a consistency that is a little thicker than melted butter, but not as thick as buttermilk ranch, and it tastes like a mixture of equal parts butter, garlic, and salt.


Another early adopter of dipping sauce’s versatility was Little Caesars, which, in 1985, essentially began packaging its pizza sauce as “Crazy Sauce.” Though intended as a dipping sauce for its “Crazy Bread,” the sauce essentially began extrapolating on the functionality of such dips.

Nowadays, a slew of sauces accompany nearly every pizza order, all of them suited to just about every item about the menu. The same sauces are said to be delicious on breadsticks, garlic knots, pizza, chicken wings, and whatever other dish your heart desires; soon, one might imagine, we’ll be dumping the stuff in our sodas.

Look, we love dipping sauces as much as the next website, but isn’t this haphazard intermingling of ingredients the same thing that wrought the KFC Famous Bowl into existence? Let’s just be careful in how far we take things here.

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