Every New Yorker Knows: This Is What You Mean When You Say Gravy
Oh boy! Something tells me that even just asking this question aloud, I am opening up a whole can of meatballs. Please, it is just an expression. Basically, I found out another thing "That Every New Yorker Knows" but me, here's a little background.
When I moved to New York State and was working in Westchester County NY, I kept hearing the people I work with talking about making gravy. They talked about it a lot. Like once a week they would make a 'Big Pot of Gravy.' For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what one could do with that much gravy.
Wait? There is a gravy that isn't brown its red? What the heck?
For me the word gravy (I now know differently) meant a brown sauce that you made using beef stock or drippings, flour and butter to thicken it, and it was most commonly poured over beef and mashed potatoes. So good over mashed potatoes. Occasionally, there would be something that resembled a 'stroganoff' and that was beef chunks in the said gravy over egg noodles.
The look of shock on this Italian Grandmothers face when I asked her about her gravy, yowza!
Not realizing that I was about to offend this sweet Italian Nonna, I asked her what she did with all that gravy, she saw the look on my face and said something to the effect of 'you are not from around here or you are not Italian are you?' She told me that it was tomato sauce, red gravy, marinara, or even tomato gravy. That I could pretty much call it any of those, but when I said gravy, that people would (and according to her they should) know that I was talking about the red sauce that people put on pasta or dipped their bread in.
How many names can one type of sauce have?
So, what do you call it? Marinara? Spaghetti Sauce? Tomato Gravy (I think this is more common down south) or Gravy? What would you say to someone who looked at you like I looked at that woman when I thought she was going through a lot of brown beef gravy?
Now, how do you make your gravy? I am looking for a really great recipe, of course, from what I can also tell after speaking with a few people, no one has their recipe written down. To that I say, 'Mama Mia!' Enjoy!