A recent (and rather lengthy) discussion of the use of the words “gravy” and “sauce” got me thinking… Here is the problem with America in a nutshell. Lemme ‘splain … no there is too much, lemme sum up…
Someone called a picture of your traditional meatball and red “sauce” GRAVY. he was harking back to the ole italians in early new york who would call the red meat-based liquid you pour over pasta, “gravy.” some people immediately go “EWWW” and think of the gravy that you put on mashed potatoes and turkey on thanksgiving (which is also a meat-based liquid incidentally).
The point is we have prejudices, and prior assumptions and connotations associated with a word – a mere word – that instantly sparks debate and conflict. It’s minor and frivolous, yes, but on a very small scale, it shows in essence how we fail to communicate and refuse on a very intrinsic level to put our differences aside.
Now far be it from me to belabor the issue (hahaha) I had to go back and consult the end-all be-all of modern knowledge, aka wikipedia. I re-discovered what I thought I knew and after some fact-checking, I felt vindicated. Sauce is a French word and gravy is an Anglican word, and therefore the early New Yorkers of Italian heritage probably DID call it gravy because they weren’t learning french back then. Probably some snobby Frenchmen who thought that only the French know how to cook started calling it sauce in fancy restaurants and all the hoity-toity richies felt more educated and high class to say sauce.
But let’s not forget the obvious… they are WORDS with simple, unbiased meanings. They actually MEAN the SAME EXACT THING… a liquid created to pour over something else to add flavor and juice. The added associations you have are just exactly that – personal associations. You say tomato, I say tomato, and I’ll get to Scotland before ye.
Oh oh! macaroni au jus!
No i mean Mangia!