You’re a grown-ass woman. Let’s talk about dips.

You’ll have to forgive the lack of a segue, but in talking about dips as with literally any dip, it’s important to dive right in. It’s 3 in the morning and I have just woken myself up with a real conviction that this women’s guide to dips NEEDS to be written, so please give me a minute to collect my thoughts. You see, dips are a subject near and dear to my heart. If a collection of dips were a man, I would marry that man and become Mrs. Dips. As it stands, my current human, non-dip partner won me over by ordering pizza (a great start) and then sensually arranging a veritable buffet of dips and sauces on his kitchen table while we waited for the ‘za to arrive. Sorry ladies, he’s taken… until sauce becomes sentient, then someone will need to be there to pick up the pieces because I will be BUSY. Now, onto the important stuff:

Choosing your vessel
Foodie Fact: Most non-dip foods exist primarily as things to be dipped. In their a priori state they may be chips, vegetables, chips, pita, chips, edible bread bowls, or chips, but ultimately they are empty canvasses, crying out for a rich layer of spinach-y, mayonnaise-y paint. There is no hierarchy of textures here–soft, crunchy, gush-y (cherry tomatoes, you feel me?), whatever. Where no dipping options are available and no other humans are present, a quick swirl of a finger will do. All are welcome at the table of the dip.

Dip-to-chip ratio, The Golden Rule
You don’t want to overwhelm the dipped object, but you do want to mostly overwhelm it. I like a full-coverage dip, with the thumb/forefinger pinch area as the only bit not experiencing some level of immersion. Cream- or mayonnaise-based dips are really the only place moderation is necessary, as it can be unpleasant to just spoon a large amount of, say, Pizza Pizza garlic dipping sauce directly into the mouth (for some people) (for amateurs). With fresher, veggie-based dips, more is more is mmmmmm.

A note on Double Dipping
This is kind of a controversial topic, but mostly people need to chill out about the ol’ DD. As a general rule, if you would hug everyone in the group you are with, double dip away. Work functions, public food (ie buffets, samples, etc.), and larger events where you don’t know all attendees are not double dip territory. For instance, you do not double dip at a work colleague’s funeral. I repeat: do NOT double dip at a work colleague’s funeral, no matter how good their Aunt Hester’s feta-and-olive spread might be.

Haters to the left
In a woman’s life, there’s a lot of shaming that happens: slut-shaming, fat-shaming, body-shaming, shame-shaming (when someone shames you for trying to shame them, sort of an I-am-paper-you-are-glue scenario but with shame). Another important–though often overlooked–one is dip-shaming. If you’re going hard on some zesty bruschetta and a Nosy Neil wants to shriek “WOAH, HEAVY DIPPING THERE, MAN,” simply Dip Hard 2: A Good Day to Dip Hard and then go about your business. Haters directly to the left. Surround yourself with good friends who understand what’s important in life: trust, honesty, a sense of humour, and detailed knowledge as to when Costco puts its giant dip tubs on sale. You are welcome to join my friend group. We literally call ourselves ‘The Big Dippers.’ I want to get us jackets.

The Best Dips, In Order
In the lower ranks you have things like ranch (sorry, get out of here, what are you, American?), weird bad oily mistakes from the lower-quality pizza joints, and anything you’ve ever tried to whip together from low-fat stuff in your fridge. Dips are not a time for low-fat substitutes, unless that substitute is Greek yogurt, and even then. Moving up through the lesser salsas and French Onion offerings we come to the top five dips of all time, starting in at number five with the oft-overlooked olive oil/vinegar combo, a true classic. The fourth best dip in the world, scientifically, is tapenade. An odd choice, some may say, but some are goons, tapenade forever. Third place honours fall on the humble-yet-fresh tzatziki.There is an eight-way tie for second place, which goes to: seven-layer bean dip, garlic aioli, sriracha, salsa-that’s-been-in-the-fridge, Helluva Good Dip, Tesco’s caramelized onion hummus, sweet chili sauce, and, of course, guacamole. First place is full-fat sour cream, end of discussion. 

There you have it my friends. Dip freely, dip often, dip well.

Follow Monica on twitter: @monicaheisey