Is it sauce or gravy? It’s one of the greatest debates among Italian-Americans. I am referring, of course, to the sauce (or gravy) that Mom stood over all day, every Sunday.
I thought a simple Google search would find me the answer, but all I found was message board after message board of people passionately arguing that what they call it is correct. I thought maybe it was a regional thing, either in the US or wherever the family hails from in Italy…but to no avail. I found a pretty equal amount of Chicagoans and New Yorkers who call it either one or the other. The same went for Italian regions of origin, whether it be Northern Italy or Sicily.
After asking a number of friends, I received a variety of answers. One was that it is a gravy if there is meat in the preparation and sauce if there is not. Another said that it is only gravy if it is made on Sunday…hmm, interesting. I also heard that it is only gravy if it takes all day to make.
I knew from the start that there is no real answer to the question. For most, it really just depends on what Mom called it when you were young. That being said, my own mother would never call it anything other than sauce, while for me, I like the sound of gravy.