Biscuits and gravy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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]

It consists of soft dough biscuits covered in either sawmill or sausage 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.[2]

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.[3] After the first pigs were carried from England to Jamestown, Virginia in 1608, they became popular as a home-grown edible animal.[4]

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.[4] In addition, the lack of supplies and money meant it had to be cheap.[4]

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.[5]


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[6]
  • by making a basic roux, creating a brown gravy base, then whisking beaten eggs into the boiling gravy

Tomato gravy is white gravy mixed with crushed or diced tomatoes.[7]

In some areas Biscuits and Gravy is also known as a gravy biscuit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Food Is At The Very Soul Of U.s. Blacks` History Since Days Of". Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  2. ^ Hiskey, Daven. "Where the word "Biscuit Comes From"". Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Terry, Janet Sue (2005-08-01). A Rich, Deliciously Satisfying Collection of Breakfast Recipes. Just My Best Publishing Company. ISBN 9781932586435. 
  4. ^ a b c "Biscuits & Cookies". Food Timeline. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Why is the All Day Breakfast Menu different in some locations?
  6. ^ "My Grandmother's Genius Biscuits & Gravy (Starring Pork Belly, Eggs)". 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  7. ^ "A gravy with a questionable past". Retrieved 2016-09-12.