17 Comfort Foods For Deep Winter

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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 2; Biscuits and gravy at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

2. Biscuits and gravy

Perhaps this is because I grew up in the South, but the mere mention of biscuits and gravy gets me salivating. It’s a popular breakfast item in the Southern U.S., and its appeal has been spreading throughout the nation. In fact, it’s getting so big that my current city, though far from my Florida hometown, has its own biscuits and gravy restaurant. Trendy, yes. It’s also damn delicious.

How can I fully explain my love of biscuits and gravy? It’s pillowy, rich biscuits, still warm from the oven. It’s smothered in a rich, butter-laden gravy. Back when I ate meat, it also meant a peppery sausage, too, along with delicious chunks of sausage in the gravy itself. Speaking from vegetarian land, I can confirm that there are some equally amazing mushroom gravies as well.

Biscuits and gravy arose as a proper meal after the American Revolution. In 18th century America, food stocks were often in short supply. People needed a high-calorie breakfast to fuel them up for long, hard days working on farms and plantations. Biscuits and gravy were relatively cheap to make and easy to prepare – not to mention laden with calories – and so a regional dish was born.

Recipe: Biscuits and Gravy (The Pioneer Woman)

Healthier variation: Okay, I’ll admit that this is a tough one. Biscuits and gravy is an inherently decadent meal that, honestly, should only be enjoyed occasionally by modern desk jockeys. You can switch out pork sausage for turkey, and perhaps back down a bit on some of the butter in the biscuits themselves. Check out this recipe for some tips (from 101 Cooking for Two).