I’m getting ready to write this recipe for you, but suddenly I’m in a panic because I don’t know what makes French Onion Dip French. I get my onions from America and I don’t do anything Frenchy to them. Am I somehow supposed to Frenchify my onions? If so, what does that look like? My once super simple recipe has now become completely stressful.
I therefore decided to do some research on the matter since I have plenty of time to waste, but mostly because I don’t want to steer you wrong with a recipe. The first thing I came across online was a packet of Simple Organics French Onion Dip. Its tagline? “America’s Most Popular Dip.” Well that clears all the questions right up.
I couldn’t let it go, so next I did an online search for “what makes French Onion Dip French?” Because the internet never lets us down, an actual article titled Why Is French Onion Dip called French? came up. It said a few things and some other stuff, but my favorite sentence was this:
“There are now recipes for French onion dip that combine actual caramelized onions with the usual dip ingredients (mayonnaise, sour cream) and other flavorings, but this is not a dip you’d find in France.”
What?? Well, we it appears that in our quest to discover the origin of this dip, we can conclude that this dip is not French at all. The dip has nothing to do with France or French people or French food. French Onion Dip is a made up name, just because it sounded good for marketing purposes. In defense of Lipton, I would concur that French Onion Dip is a better sounding title than White Onion Dip or the obvious, Just Onion Dip. The name French Onion Dip sounds more fun and fancy. Either that or I’ve gotten sucked into the marketing ploy.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, we can move on with life and learn the recipe.
Homemade French Onion Dip
- 2 cups sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Stir the ingredients together.
- Chill for at least two hours before serving (or serve right away because who actually follows that instruction?).
- Serve with fresh veggies or potato chips.
You can’t really mess up this recipe, so don’t worry about measuring exactly. Life’s too short to use (and wash) measuring spoons. Feel free to add a touch of garlic powder or black pepper. And about the potato chips mentioned in the recipe? I find the kind with the fewest ingredients and the healthiest oil (usually safflower) and go with it. Potato chips with this dip make a great party food.
It goes without saying that the next item on my agenda was to see why fries are French, or if in fact they actually are at all. Low and behold, fries originated in the U.S. but were called French because they were “served in the French manner.” Huh.
Are you doing something fun for New Year’s Eve? I’ll probably make this dip. Then we can sit around with our friends and talk about the origin of food and where different foods got their names. I’ll be the life of the party.
Rhonda Nice says
Now you’ve got me thinking. Is French Onion Soup actually French? I always thought that the dip was named after the soup. :-)
Soupe a l’ongion did originate in France. It became popular in the US due to a renewed interest in French cooking in the 1960’s. Though Americanized recipies are often far different feom authentic French recipies. My current favorite recipe is from Julia Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. The cookbook explains how to make classic French recipies in American kitchens with ingredients available in the US.
The recipe I’ve used is similar but instead of salt I add a tsp of beef bouillon and it makes it taste more “french” :) or at least, more like the commercial flavours I’m used to.
Opps, and I guess my spelling of flavor gives away that I’m from Canada, eh?
Jessica G says
While this is super easy, I always just use your onion spice mix added to sour cream. It’s really good!
Betty Sievert says
It’s the end of the year and I would like a short vacation. You know, somewhere amusing. Can I visit your brain?
Melissa M. says
I adore French onion dip. I will have to try this!
For 2016 I would like for you you revisit some of your very old recipe posts, letting us know how you may have tweaked them since then and any variations your family has enjoyed (or others!). Kind of like sifting the older stuff to the top! I also would like to have you revisit the key mixes such as cream soup and spice mixes. I know that you are trying to balance your faith posts with everything else to appeal to a larger audience but I really do enjoy them.
Frites orignated from Belgium most likely, though possibly France. And if you haven’t had the chance to try Belgium Frites, I would highly reccomend them. A local restaurant makes the most amazing Belgium style frites. They are served in a paper cone with aoli for dipping. It is a once a year birthday treat for me!
The name “French” wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the “Frenchs” brand made the dip originally here would it?
I have made French onion dip with carmelized onions. It makes a whole different flavor. It is very good! (When you have time to spare ?) thx for all your wonderful articles and recipes!!
Lisa Bishop says
French, when used as a verb, means to cut in long narrow strips. This helps explain French fries but doesn’t do much for onion dip.