Hidden Valleys and Wish Bones can have the rest of the country, but when it comes to Italian dressing in Kansas City, there are really only two options: Jasper's and Cascone's. With nearly 100 years of operation between them, both have bottled signature dressings (they're available at Price Chopper). What perfect ammo for a battle to cover the city's salads! I grabbed a bag of mixed greens from the first week of my community supported agriculture membership at Bad Seed Farm, dressed them and got to work.
Cascone's Sweet Italian Dressing.
Cascone's bottle tells me this dressing is "leaning towards perfection." It's a humble dressing, I can tell.
It's sweeter than Jasper's, although I knew that going in -- the red wine vinegar and dehydrated red bell pepper combine with the sugar to give it a sweet punch. It's not cloying, but the sweetness brings out the bitterness in the greens a bit too strongly. Still, it doesn't overpower the salad, which puts it head and shoulders above a majority of bottled dressings.
Although Cascone's was cheaper ($3.67) than Jasper's ($4.99) and held better to the greens, Jasper's was a better fit for a mix of greens and edible flowers. On an iceberg salad with red cabbage and shredded carrots, I might not come to the same conclusion.