Why Making Chocolate Gravy Is a Rite of Southern Passage
This is what your gravy boat's been missing.
Biscuits and gravy is a Southern delicacy. While our gravies vary from kitchen to kitchen and restaurant to restaurant, odds are there’s sure to be one represented on the menu or in a boat on the dinner table no matter where in the South you’re eating. Most all gravies start with a roux, and the varieties are endless: sawmill gravy, cornmeal gravy, redeye gravy, chocolate gravy—wait, chocolate gravy?
That’s right: chocolate gravy. We didn’t misspeak. If you’re one of the uninitiated, the concept of chocolate gravy will seem like a mistake. Two very different things, chocolate and gravy, brought together in a decadent soupy mess—it’s either the best idea or the worst.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: We think it’s the best.
Chocolate gravy is a lesser-known but no-less-beloved gravy that has become an Appalachian specialty. According to food writer and recipe developer Sheri Castle (a self-proclaimed gravy whisperer from Appalachia), “There are two very different approaches, if not philosophies, to making Appalachian chocolate gravy. One starts with the dry ingredients and relies on butter. The other starts with pan drippings from frying bacon.” That’s music to our taste buds—er, ears. Head on over to MyRecipes for more info from Castle, and also check out the recipe and step-by-step video that will make chocolate gravy converts of us all.
A spoonful of chocolate gravy belongs on a hot, freshly baked biscuit, of course, but we have a feeling that resourceful Southerners have thought up a few other serving suggestions for good chocolate gravy. Southerners know gravy, and whipping up a batch of the chocolate version is becoming a rite of Southern passage passed down through the generations. Make it yourself, or keep reading: For another memorable foray into the world of gravy, read Castle’s Secrets to Making Gravy Like My Grandmother.
Are you a fan of chocolate gravy, or does it make you cringe? Let us know your favorite chocolate gravy memories or, if this is the first you’re hearing about it, if and when you decide to try it.