That’s right, “is” having a moment. Not “are” having a moment. “Are” would insinuate that the two separate ingredients, spicy, savory pepperoni and creamy, rich ranch dressing, are both rising in popularity simultaneously. But in this case, the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts. And the world is taking notice now, as @Baburoset’s crave-worthy Instagram post shows.
Pepperoni pizza dipped in or drizzled with ranch has been a long-time favorite. Though it’s unclear where the unlikely combination first appeared, its popularity is undeniable. Now, people are just taking out the middleman. So long, crispy crust. Bye, tangy tomato sauce and stretchy melted mozzarella cheese. Hungry snackers are now digging into the ranch dressing with plain pepperoni and lots of abandon.
Some of them, like Tik Tokker @Melissas_healthykitchen still use cheese, but the pepperoni is the star. When cooked, pepperoni caramelizes and gets delightfully crispy on the edges and often folds up into little “cups” — an ideal vehicle for ranch dressing delivery.
Bad Roman, an Italian restaurant in NYC, has become a social media star for capitalizing on this simple and well-loved dish. Their eleven-dollar appetizer “‘roni cups and ranch” comprises crispy pepperoni cups with a small ramekin of ranch dressing…and absolutely nothing else. That’s it. That’s the whole appetizer. It spawned an enthusiastic response, with a TikTok hashtag #badroman with over 4 million views.
Many of them are either devoted to or at least prominently feature these delightful umami flavor bombs, like this post from @mubereats. They have even spawned an admiring “copycat version “#reciperemake” from prominent food influencer @EatingNYC so those who can’t make it to NYC (or those in NYC who aren’t awake at midnight to drop the next set of reservations when they drop – this is one hard ticket to procure!) can enjoy the bites at home.
Alexa of EatingNYC bakes the pepperoni slices for ten minutes, then dips them in ranch. Yes, it’s that simple, and yes, it’s that delicious.
What’s next for these pepperoni cups? A nationwide takeover? Worldwide appetizer domination? Whatever it is, we’ll be there with enough appetite to try each and every iteration.