Food - Drink
The Working Class History Of Sausage Gravy
While many of us enjoy the rich taste of sausage gravy over biscuits or country-fried steak, this decadent Southern staple was conceived as a cheap, filling meal for manual laborers. Sausage gravy originated in the late 1800s amongst the working class in the Southern Appalachian mountains.
Most people who lived and worked in Southern Appalachia took jobs in sawmills, and needed inexpensive, hearty meals to sustain them throughout the day. Sausage gravy and biscuits fulfilled the criteria, since the main ingredients – pork, flour, and water – were very low-cost at the time.
The type of biscuits made in the 1800s Appalachia contained no fat, making them crisp and brittle, so sausage gravy made them much tastier and easier to eat. This origin story is why some restaurants and recipes refer to biscuits and gravy as "biscuits with sawmill gravy."