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Biscuits and gravy

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A serving of biscuits and gravy, accompanied by home fries

Biscuits and gravy is a popular breakfast dish in the United States, especially in the South.[1] The dish consists of soft dough biscuits covered in white gravy (sawmill gravy),[2] made from the drippings of cooked pork sausage, flour, milk, and often (but not always) bits of sausage, bacon, ground beef, or other meat. The gravy is often flavored with black pepper.

A variation of the dish served in the US military is sometimes referred to as "SOS" which means "shit on a shingle", and is prepared with either biscuits or toast, and has been a military comfort food for over 100 years.[3][4][5][6]


Biscuits and gravy with grits

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 for a person facing a day of work on the plantations in the American South.[7] In addition, the lack of supplies and money meant it had to be cheap.[7]

Restaurant chains specializing in biscuits and gravy include Biscuitville, in Virginia and North Carolina, Tudor's Biscuit World, in West Virginia, and Biscuit Belly in Kentucky and Indiana.


Tomato gravy is white gravy mixed with crushed or diced tomatoes.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sullivan, Barbara (February 18, 1988). "Food Is At The Very Soul Of U.S. Blacks' History Since Days Of Slavery". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on May 27, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  2. ^ Edge, John T., ed. (2014). The New Encyclopedia of Southern culture. Volume 7, Foodways. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 168–169. ISBN 9781469616520. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  3. ^ Collier, Sommer (2022-12-29). "Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast". A Spicy Perspective. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  4. ^ "S.O.S. (Shit on a Shingle) – A Reimagined Comfort Food Classic". Uncle Jerry's Kitchen. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  5. ^ Scott, Kim (2021-09-17). "US Army Hamburger Gravy – SOS". Traveling In My Kitchen - exploring the world - one recipe at a time. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  6. ^ "Southern Staples: Biscuits and Gravy". 1885 Grill. 2023-04-11. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  7. ^ a b Olver, Lynne (June 24, 2012). "history notes—cookies, crackers & biscuits". The Food Timeline. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  8. ^ Gallant, Andre (July 29, 2014). "A gravy with a questionable past". Athens Banner-Herald. Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2020.

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