I’m not from the South, but there are some southern style foods that I really like. Biscuits and gravy are at the top of my favorite breakfast foods. I love both Bananas Foster and steamed crayfish, New Orleans style. Pecan pie, peach pie – heck, any sweet except mint julips. Some day I’d like to visit Savannah and go back to New Orleans. But one southern food I haven’t tried (but plan to) is red-eye gravy.
It doesn’t strike me as a true gravy; it’s more of a sauce really. Traditionally, after cooking a slab of ham in a skillet, strong coffee is added to the ham drippings (ham removed to the platter first). The resulting sauce is then poured over the ham or sopped up with biscuits. Wikipedia reports that the name “red-eye” comes from the appearance of the gravy with the coffee giving the red tinge and the grease making a swirl like an iris. It might also get its name from the caffeine that keeps you up – who knows.
Whatever the origin, I’m going to give this southern staple a try. Fresh biscuits, good fried ham, and red-eye gravy sounds like a delicious trip south of the Mason-Dixon line.