Who Calls Sauce Gravy?

Ah, the age-old argument between Italian food experts. Is it known as Sauce? Is it known as gravy? Is this a Ragu? Perhaps it’s a sugo.

The answer is indeed. You can spend all day researching this subject and discover that Italian-Americans are associated with “gravy is a slang term for a meat-based sauce. However, Italian chefs will tell you that’s what a ragu is. As a matter of linguistics, “sauce” is perhaps a more appropriate phrase because it derives from the Italian word “salsa,” which means “topping.

Some Italians will say that to you “Their grandmother referred to Sunday sauce, which was what they served at large family gatherings after mass, as “gravy.” Suppose someone said, “Where is the sauce? They were searching for the topping or sauce. Some irrational, Italian-Americans who are several generations removed from their roots will tell you repeatedly that gravy is a brown liquid they put on their meat and potatoes and that if you think it is anything other, you’re a f*****g idiot.

When immigrant families moved into new communities in the United States, the transition from sugo/salsa to sauce/gravy must have taken place. Since then, it has primarily been an Italian-American family/neighborhood tradition.

The argument over the origins of the word “gravy” has likely been greatly influenced by geography. We’ve all heard the term Brooklyn Gravy, which may have been adopted by early immigrants eager to blend in with their American counterparts.

My Own Experience

You need to know that this debate might get hot. I’ve personally written recipes or uploaded videos to YouTube that refer to sauce as “gravy,” and I’ve received comments on them from folks who use profanity and call me an idiot. Of course, they share the same Italian ancestry as I do, so I suppose they are the keyboard pro. I’ve seen a lot of hateful posts on forums over the years from folks trying to persuade others that their side is the right one. People from New Orleans have told me, “Hey, the Quarter here has a long Italian past, and Italians call sauce, gravy at home and in restaurants.

Elodia Rigante, a writer who was born in 1916, has a book that I own. Her mother, an immigrant who established an Italian delicatessen and restaurant in New York and ran them for more than 40 years, gave birth to her here in the United States. She claims she has no idea why her mother referred to sauce as gravy, but the Italians did. I assume a non-English speaking immigrant who has been cooking all of her life is unsure of how to refer to her family’s recipes.

The older residents would urge them to talk to their relatives because they had not heard that use of the dialect in generations. I’ve seen testimonies of people who went to Italy with the “Mozzarel’s” and “Manicot’s” that many criticize them of being foolish with. These are the individuals who refer to gravy. Therefore, I’m going to assume that some of the assimilations that occurred on the East Coast of the United States in the early 1900s were actually the English translation of what the Italian cook may have said. In any case, the Italians would be discussing their own cookery in their native tongue rather than using words like “gravy” or “sauce.” The majority of people today consider a sauce with meat as a Ragu.

What do they call it Italia?

Sugo and salsa are popular in Italy. The term “sugo” refers to pan drippings from frying meat or from a rich meat-based sauce, such as sugo alla Bolognese and thick vegetable sauces. Sugo is derived from succo (juices) (which often go over pasta). Salsa is a raw or cooked sauce that is semi-liquid and served as a condiment. It can be used to season other meals, such as pesto alla Genovese or salsa verde that is served over boiling meats or potatoes, or it can be served over pasta. A sauce may be referred to as salsina if it is particularly delicate. When immigrant families moved into new communities in the United States, the transition from sugo/salsa to sauce/gravy must have taken place. Since then, it has primarily been an Italian-American family/neighborhood tradition.

Actually, this is a case of the Old World blending with the New. Italian for what they put on their pasta may have been translated as gravy by some immigrants, while it may have been translated as sauce by others, and these versions have been passed down through the centuries. It is a fascinating chapter in the history of food, and I have no doubt that the discussion will keep people’s blood pressure up for many years to come.

There is no right or incorrect response in the end. If you call it sauce while living in America, you are just as un-Italian as the guy who calls it gravy.

Where is sauce called gravy?

Why do Italian Americans love sauce and gravy so much? Both names can be found in cookbooks, newspapers, menus, and advertisements for American-style sauces and gravies from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the New-York Daily Tribune in 1902, an Italian woman referred to her tomato sauce as “gravy,” and Chef Boyardee canned his “sauce.”

But when did the conflict get so acrimonious? When the hospitality sector attempted to open upscale Italian restaurants that were comparable to French ones, I believe it was in the 1970s or 1980s. Craig Claiborne, the food editor of the NY Times, stated in 1979 that there was no change, but the word sauce had a different meaning “it has a more upscale ring to it.

Some people believe that only New Yorkers or immigrants from before World War II speak gravy whereas more recent immigrants say sauce. Both sides assert that only “Italians who speak the language do so. But in actuality, there isn’t a defining characteristic. Region, age, or Italian versus American have little bearing.

In Slate, Bill Tonelli claimed that the “The gravy people will vanish. He speaks with academic Simone Cinotto, who claims that between 1900 and 1940 “His sources hardly ever utilized gravy. However, as I note in my book Authentic Italian, the food of Italian Americans is predominantly from Southern Italy, which has an oral heritage.

Scholar Nancy Carnevale questions in the same piece how the Neapolitan word for tomato sauce, rag, transferred to “gravy. She claims, “Unlike the change from salsa to sauce, which is not a significant alteration, gravy is a word that is uniquely English.

However, neither “sauce nor “gravy are English words in this sense. Both are Anglo-French borrowings that first appeared in Middle English in the 14th century “There are other ways to spell gravy, including grave, grauey, and graue. It was called grav in Old French, but graue is a more common spelling. According to the Middle English Compendium of the University of Michigan Library, its definition in Middle English was a “sauce or dressing for fish, foul [sic], or rabbit,” and sauce is “a condiment for meat, fish, fowl, etc., a sauce; also, a pickling liquid, brine.”

I think the term “gravy” and the term “rag” were brought to America by Italian immigrants “gravy.

Where did I get that shocking insight? It all comes down to the origins of the words “gravy” and “rag.”

In fact, there are several ways to spell gravy. (Remember that the Angevins from Anjou, who ruled over Naples in the 14th century, spoke Old French.) Old French “Because graue was a more common spelling than “grave, and because of how the “v is pronounced, I assume this word is Latin in origin. It would be the same as a “u, i.e., oo. In Latin and Neapolitan, a “v is pronounced as a “w, or g-rau-e. Now, add the fact that Neapolitans tend to leave off the last vowel and we get merely “grau.

A rag is frequently written in Neapolitan “rra (like in the Eduardo de Filippo poem). The “The “gu’s g sound is either silent or lengthens the “u sound. In Neapolitan, a single or double “r can indicate that the word originally began with a “g. Grazie in Italian, for instance, is razia in Neapolitan. Grotto, “cave, rotta. In accordance with the Neapolitan Dictionary by Dale Erwin and Tessa Fedele, grattate “In Neapolitan, the word for “grate” is “ratta.” a Grappo “In Neapolitan, the word for “bundle” is “rappo.” Granulo, “Ranulo, hail. Gratiglia, “grill; pasta. Gruongo, “Ruongo el. Gruosso, “large, ruosso So it makes sense that “graue” could also be “rra, or rag.

It is thought that rag originates from ragout, although ragout is not simply a stew; it also derives from the French verb “ragoter, which, based on the circumflexes in the “ragoust Jonathan Swift suggested in A Modest Proposal, likely had a “s after the “u. Since ragout and rag are two distinct culinary techniques, I believe they are also two distinct nouns.

I could write a book about this topic after doing more study, and I’ll publish a longer piece on my blog. But I believe that gravy and sauce are equally accurate. Neither will disappear any time soon, just like the Italian-American population and its culinary traditions.

Dina M. Di Maio is an attorney who holds licenses in Tennessee and New York as well as an MFA in creative writing from NYU. She has contributed articles on a variety of subjects, including food and Italian culture, to publications like Glamour, Family Circle, Time Out New York, and others.

Do the Sopranos refer to it as gravy or sauce?

“My political attitude is to just eat the food and shut the fuck up. Don’t say sauce or gravy.”

The controversy over the correct term for tomato sauce has raged on the internet for years, even earning the moniker “tomato sauce wars.” “The ongoing discussion about Italian Americans. The Sopranos is at the heart of this controversy, not just because the show is associated with Italian cuisine, but also because it has fueled those on both sides “Team Gravy’s usage of the phrase repeatedly.

But since the Sopranos men wouldn’t approve of fighting among the families, I got in touch with a few of them to put a stop to it all and have a sort of virtual sit-down, if you will. But I wasn’t interested in speaking with any random Sopranos cast members. Tony Sirico is someone I genuinely fear, therefore I wouldn’t want to ask him first. And even though it might seem logical to ask John Ventimiglia—who portrayed chef Artie Bucco—the question, the actor isn’t actually a cook. Since there are four Sopranos cast members who have launched their own celebrity sauces, it made sense for me to target them particularly. I did just that, then.

Vincent Pastore, who portrayed Big Pussy, will go first. Pastore introduced Vinny Pastore’s Italian Sauce at SopranosCon last year, and ever since, Team Sauce has been fervently pushing the sauce on Instagram. Even the account description for the sauce claims “#SAUCE. NOT GRAVY AT ALL. Pastore responds to my inquiry as to why he is so adamant about supporting the sauce side of the debate, “Since the manufacturers and many Americans refer to it as sauce, I will use that term as well. Pastore confesses that despite this, “My mother used to refer to it as gravy when I was growing up, but red sauce doesn’t come in jars labeled “gravy” at the grocery store, so I’m going to call it sauce instead of gravy.

Pastore switched from Team Gravy to Team Sauce for obvious marketing reasons. However, Joe Gannascoli, who portrayed Vito Spatafore, is considerably more fervent when we chat about the matter. Gannascoli, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, claims: “In Philadelphia, it’s gravy; in New York, it’s always sauce. They refer to it as gravy since it contains meat, but is it still gravy if there is no meat present? I have no idea. That whole idea is confusing to me. Formerly involved in the sauce industry, Gannascoli left it a few years ago. He now works as a private chef, hosting Sopranos-themed events all around the world in addition to his acting career. However, he refers to it as sauce everywhere he goes, even Philadelphia. “He exclaims, “You don’t call fucking crab gravy, you call it crab sauce.” “It’s not linguini with clam gravy; it’s linguini and clam sauce. stupid asses.

Steve Schirripa, nicknamed Bobby Baccalieri, the next member of the Sopranos sauce lineup, formerly promoted a line of “The sauces of Uncle Steve. Schirripa sadly declined to participate in this interview, but that’s good because he’s busy with his podcast and perhaps, hopefully, his model trains, so I won’t hold it against him (especially since Bobby is one of my favorite Sopranos characters). I’m compelled to assume his involvement in this discussion without his direct input, though: Like Pastore and Gannascoli, his jars were labeled “sauce,” although Schirripa’s business had also occasionally used the name “gravy.” That might imply apathy, but it might have more to do with how the sauce is applied.

Louis Lombardi, who portrayed Agent Skip Lipari on The Sopranos (yes, he was a fed, but don’t hold that against him), will help me explain a little more. He clarifies, “The real custom was to stew all the meats for five hours to make “Sunday Gravy,” which included your ribs, sausages, meatballs, and braciole. Sunday gravy is made with the meats in it, but sauce can be made by opening a can of tomatoes, squeezing the contents with your hands, adding two cloves of garlic, some basil, and olive oil, then simmering it with some parmesan.

Lombardi acknowledges that even that isn’t particularly stringent. Like Pastore, Lombardi was raised in the Bronx and recalls hearing his family mention “gravy” growing up. According to him, “occasionally, even without the meat, folks shouted gravy. However, when the time came to market his own celebrity sauce as a part of his Lombardi’s Foods line, he added “The label has tomato sauce, exactly like the others.

Although Lombardi and Gannascoli are correct to point out that this dispute has a regional component, my own research revealed that there is also a generational element. According to Matador Network, some Italian immigrants in previous generations used the term “gravy as a way of assimilating to the lexicon of the United States. People progressively moved to “sauce as it became more prevalent over time, but some “gravy purists are still working to uphold the custom.

Regarding which one is “right, it appears that there might not be a definite solution. Although every Sopranos cast member put “None of them, not even Gannascoli, felt that the sauce vs. gravy controversy was important enough to start a civil war over. In particular, Lombardi insists that there is room for both Team Sauce and Team Gravy and espouses a message of harmony between them. “Politically right, argues Lombardi. “No, bro, I’m not playing around now. I don’t want a jar of sauce to hit me in the head. My political approach is to simply eat the food and shut up, without adding any sauce or gravy.