Most dip begins with sour cream, which is then cut with mayo and/or yogurt. Add to this no more than two ingredients and four seasonings (not counting salt), and you have what Alton Brown calls his Unified Dip Theory: "It's almost universal: something chunky being carried by the viscous fat base." I choose bacon and horseradish. It's such a perfect concept, and yet, in store-bought execution, it's heartbreakingly plastic-tasting. Let your flavors mingle overnight in the fridge, but be sure to let the dip soften to room temp before serving. Blending can also aerate and lighten it. "I have been known to froth my dip," says Brown, God's gift to magazine writers looking for suggestive quotes.

• 1 1/2 cup sour cream
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
• 3/4 tsp kosher salt
• 6 slices bacon
• 1/2 cup diced onion
• 2 tbsp jar horseradish

Mix sour cream, mayo, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Fry and mince bacon. Reserve grease and use to sauté onions. Mix bacon and onion into dip. Add horseradish.