Dear New Jersey Italians, Gravy is Only Used On Turkey
Here's an important PSA to remember this Thanksgiving.
This week, you've been busy preparing your Thanksgiving feast. Your shopping cart was probably filled with cranberry sauce, fixings for stuffing, vegetables, a turkey, and gravy.
The only acceptable use of the word gravy is to describe what goes on top of your turkey. But, for some reason New Jersey Italians love to refer to sauce as gravy. How did that become a thing?
Some people believe that when sauce stands alone, it can be called sauce, but when meat is added, it becomes gravy. An article from Matador Network contributes it to immigrants assimilating - they saw people putting actual gravy on turkey and started calling sauce gravy, since it went on top of meat too. That explanation makes a lot of sense.
But, as an Italian speaker, I know that there's literally no such thing as gravy in Italy. In fact, sauce in Italian is "salsa." But, you wouldn't order chips and sauce in a Mexican restaurant, and you wouldn't put salsa on your pasta either. I think the same applies to gravy. Gravy is for meat, and sauce is for pasta.
At the end of the day, of course it doesn't really matter what word you use for sauce. As long as you're enjoying it with friends and family in good health, that's all that matters.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with lots of delicious food - including the gravy you put on your turkey, and the word you use for sauce.