Recently, Vinny Guadagnino from the popular T.V. show Jersey Shore, posted on instagram condemning anyone who calls marinara sauce, “Gravy” to be a non-Italian. You can watch the video below.
In the video, Vinny states that Gravy is only for mashed potatoes and turkey. He also states that Italians in Italy would never say gravy.
Although I myself agree that Gravy is great on mash potatoes and that Italians in Italy do not use the word. I strongly disagree with the points.
Gravy is not limited to just two types of food. Just like sauce is not. I would never claim that sauce is just for macaroni. There are different types of sauces such as Barbecue, Tabasco, Soy, etc.. I use different types of sauces for different foods.
Secondly, we know the word “Gravy” is never used for Italians in Italy. However, it was made up by them! When Italians immigrated into the United States, most made a strong effort to learn the Italian language.
When most Italians make marinara sauce they use meat. The definition of gravy is, “Sauce made from the juices of meat.” It is only natural for an Italian trying to learn the language to use the word gravy when cooking a meat based sauce.
To say there is a correct and incorrect way to use the word just does not make much sense. It is okay to call it gravy. It is okay to call it sauce. There is no right or wrong!
It is strictly an Italian-American thing that was lost in translation. I have never met a non-Italian in my life who uses the word gravy. In fact, if you called it gravy in front of somebody who is not Italian… They would probably look at you like you’re nuts!
Today, there are 15.7+ million Italian-Americans living in the United States. It is time to realize it is okay to be Italian-American. Although Italians in Italy may call it other things, there is no reason to ridicule people who say things differently because of their American heritage. Embrace your Italian-American heritage and way of life 🇮🇹