Sunday Life-isms: It’s Sauce, NOT Gravy!

    I’m an Italian from Brooklyn- please hold the, “How you doin’?'”, jokes.

    Growing up I heard A LOT of arguments, and most of them were ridiculous. Everything from, “Who ate the prosciutto?! That was for SUNDAY!!” to, “Tell your father if he doesn’t stop asking, he’s not getting any dinner!”.

    I’ll be the first one to admit they were pretty comical, but the one I find more annoying than anything is the epic battle of ‘Sauce or Gravy’.

    Not only is this the most pointless battle in the history of Italians- and possibly man kind- but people refuse to understand why one is correct and one isn’t.

    Well, I’m here to put an end to this, once and for all.


    Gravy isn’t an Italian thing it’s an Italian-American thing.

    When Italian immigrants came over from Italy, they were forced to make a lot of changes. They dropped letters from their names, they went from Giovanni to John (I’m know, tragic) and they had to adjust to words people would understand. In America, gravy is something that is poured on top of meat. You’ll know it best as the brown sh*t your turkey bathes in on Thanksgiving.

    Most Italians back in the day made their sauce with meat in it. So when it came time to describe this foreign red deliciousness, they started describing it as gravy to explain it to the non- “guinea’s” (which by the way, is a very offensive term, not something to be proud of).


    It was gravy with the meat already in it. That was the best explanation America was gonna get. So why didn’t they call it the Italian word for gravy instead of just gravy?


     The Italian word for gravy is….. OH WAIT. THERE ISN’T ONE!


    Sorry to burst your bubble, but in the language of Italian there is no translation for the word gravy. None. Nope.

    Don’t even try to say there is one.

    Sugo is the word for sauce in Italian; see the resemblance? S-U-G-0 = S-A-U-C-E. Are you catching on yet?

    Some people also argue that gravy is with meat and sauce is without. If you’re arguing the American explanation, then sure. BUT…



    You’re lying. You’re a big fat gravy stuffed liar!

    “Real Italians”,- since you wanted to open up that can of worms- know that the correct way to say it is sauce. I mean, just look at the language.

    Sauce actually has a few translations in Italian; Sugo, Ragu, Salsa.

    You’ll hear expressions like:

    Salsa di Pomodoro – which means sauce of the tomato

    Ragu- Which typically refers to meat sauce

    Sugo- which is basic sauce. 

    At the end of the day, they all mean sauce. Ask for any of it in the motherland, and they’ll know what you mean.

    Still think I’m wrong? Go ahead.. go to Italy and ask someone for gravy and let me know how it goes when you get back…

    …if you get back…

    Stop listening to GOOGLE.


    If you type in, “what does gravy mean in Italian,” it’s going to tell you sauce, because that’s what you’re asking.


    If you speak Italian, have ever studied the language (like I have for 8 years), or have relatives actually from Italy, they’ll tell you there is no translation and it is indeed, and forever will be sauce.

    As long as it’s good, I don’t care what you call it. Just understand if you’re proclaiming how, “Real Italians”, say it, it is sauce.

    *If you’re wondering what a fake Italian is, please search, “the Jersey Shore”.      

    Tutti Mangiare, B*tches!


    • Tom La Vecchia

      Founder of New Theory & X Factor Media

      Founder and Publisher of New Theory Magazine and Podcast. Serial Entrepreneur who loves wine, cigars and anything that allows to people to connect and share experiences.

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