My father was born and raised in Hot Springs, AR, until he moved up north looking for work. His family has been in Arkansas since the land grants in the 1800′s. We’ve traced the family back to the 1200′s, with American landfall coming in the 1600′s. They have been a southern family for hundreds of years.
So I shouldn’t have been so surprised to find out that Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits wasn’t just an eccentric family recipe. In fact, it seems to be an old family tradition in some parts of the old south.
My family would go to Arkansas a few times a year when we were kids. The highlight of the trip was staying at my Aunt Nellie’s house. She let kids have the run of the house, which we always took advantage of. And she always made us Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits for breakfast.
Chocolate gravy is exactly that. It’s made like a traditional gravy, starting with a roux and adding milk, cocoa and sugar to form a rich, chocolate flavor. In our family we’d put a bit of butter on the bottom of our plate, pour the gravy over that, and tear up hot biscuits into that. I hear that more refined people actually just pour the gravy over halved butter biscuits.
That’s hardly any fun for kids, if you ask me.
We’d come back up north and none of our friends would have heard of it. At sleep-overs my mom would make it for breakfast, but most of our friends would turn their noses up at it. I never understood that. I mean, come on…. it’s CHOCOLATE!
I never understood that it was a tradition outside my family until I was channel surfing one day and stopped on an interview with a southern race car driver who was confessing that his favorite meal was Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits.
Huh, who knew.