Biscuits and gravy is a popular breakfast dish in the United States, especially in the South. The dish consists of soft dough biscuits covered in either sawmill or meat gravy, made from the drippings of cooked pork sausage, white flour, milk, and often (but not always) bits of sausage, bacon, ground beef, or other meat. The gravy is often flavored with black pepper.
American English and British English use the word "biscuit" to refer to two distinctly different modern foods. Early hard biscuits (North American: cookies) were derived from a twice-baked bread, whereas the North American biscuit is similar to a savoury European scone.
Early European settlers in the United States brought with them a simpler and easy style of cooking, most often based on meat, ground wheat and gravy. After the first pigs were carried from England to Jamestown, Virginia in 1608, they became popular as a home-grown edible animal.
The meal emerged as a distinct regional dish after the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), when stocks of foodstuffs were in short supply. Breakfast was necessarily the most substantial meal of the day in the South, for a person facing a day of work on the plantations. In addition, the lack of supplies and money meant it had to be cheap.
Restaurant chains specializing in biscuits and gravy are found in North Carolina, which has Biscuitville, and West Virginia, which has Tudor's Biscuit World. Starting in 2015 McDonald's offered an all-day breakfast menu which served their traditional muffins in most of the United States, but limited biscuits mostly to the southeastern United States.
While biscuits and gravy generally refers to sausage gravy, it can also refer to egg gravy, made in one of two ways:
- by scrambling eggs in bacon grease (dripping), then adding flour and milk to make gravy, and adding crumbled bacon back to the mixture
- by making a basic roux, creating a brown gravy base, then whisking beaten eggs into the boiling gravy
In New Orleans, some neighborhood restaurants refer to a tomato sauce or Marinara style Italian sauce as Red Gravy.
- Chipped beef on toast
- Creamed eggs on toast
- List of bread dishes
- List of regional dishes of the United States
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- Why is the All Day Breakfast Menu different in some locations?
- Do You Live in a Biscuit/McGriddles or McMuffin Area?
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- "A gravy with a questionable past". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- Media related to Biscuits and gravy at Wikimedia Commons