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  #1  
Old 04-29-2011, 02:42 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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What Is Brown Gravy?

I was watching an episode of Hazel and Mr Griffith invites himself to dinner. Hazel says she is serving turkey, and Mr Griffith goes on and asks Hazel to make, oyster dressing, mashed potatoes and brown gravy.

OK I've heard of brown gravy but what exactly is it?

I would think with turkey you'd make TURKEY gravy. I always thought brown gravy was just a common name for beef gravy? A quick google says "you can make brown gravy from: beef, pork, chicken, or turkey."

So what about brown gravy makes it brown? I mean if you use turkey drippings how do you get it to be brown gravy and not turkey gravy?
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2011, 02:48 PM
Profound Gibberish Profound Gibberish is offline
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Brown gravy can be made with beef, pork, chicken, turkey, pheasant, etc. Turkey gravy is made with turkey drippings.

A brown gravy is simply the drippings from whatever you are roasting combined with a thickener--a roux, cornstarch, etc. It is cooked and reduced, flavored to taste and best served immediately.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:49 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is online now
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I guess you can turn any gravy into brown gravy by cooking the flour in butter until it turns dark. Or Gravy Master.

Still, beef is what I make my brown gravy with-- and no Gravy Master.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:50 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Umm, which word don't you understand? It's gravy, and it's brown.

Turkey is often served with white gravy, usually from the addition of milk or cream. Brown gravy could be any form of gravy that is brown. The color either comes from the main flavoring like the drippings, or from browned flour, a dark sauce added like Worcestershire or Soy, or from leaving the pot on the stove for too long.
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  #5  
Old 04-29-2011, 02:58 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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You could lightly brown the flour first, as per a roux. Or, maybe they are using the term "brown" gravy loosely. (Probably the scriptwriters were men who really didn't know anything about it.)

Or what everybody else just said faster!

Last edited by needscoffee; 04-29-2011 at 02:59 PM..
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2011, 03:29 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Brown gravy is as opposed to cream gravy.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:30 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
Brown gravy is as opposed to cream gravy.
Concur.
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2011, 03:53 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Umm, which word don't you understand? It's gravy, and it's brown.
Why is it BROWN gravy and not turkey gravy. As I said, what makes brown gravy, brown if you're using turkey drippings as opposed to turkey gravy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Brown gravy could be any form of gravy that is brown. The color either comes from the main flavoring like the drippings, or from browned flour, a dark sauce added like Worcestershire or Soy, or from leaving the pot on the stove for too long.
Then why don't you simply call it gravy or turkey gravy instead of brown gravy?

Or is brown gravy just a generic term for any gravy that is brown?
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:57 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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You let the flour brown a bit. With white or cream gravy, you cook the flour, but don't let it brown. With brown gravy, either you start off with toasted flour, or you cook the roux a bit to let the color develop before adding the liquid.
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2011, 03:59 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Or is brown gravy just a generic term for any gravy that is brown?
Yes.

If you want a specific beast, then it's Beastname Gravy (turkey gravy, beef gravy, etc.) Brown gravy is just...brown. If it's made from beef, then it's brown because of the beef. If it's made from some other beast (or no beast at all, as is common in cafeterias), it gets the brown color from a dark roux and/or caramel coloring.
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  #11  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:01 PM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Why is it BROWN gravy and not turkey gravy. As I said, what makes brown gravy, brown if you're using turkey drippings as opposed to turkey gravy?



Then why don't you simply call it gravy...
Then how would I know if it was white or brown gravy. I prefer brown so I need to know this information.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:12 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
If it's made from some other beast (or no beast at all, as is common in cafeterias), it gets the brown color from a dark roux and/or caramel coloring.
The OP should note that its the rouxing/caramelizing that gives a brown gravy a different flavor than a white/creamy/just a thick liquid made with drippings kinda of gravy. There's brown gravy thats brown because the source material was brown or coloring was added. Then there's the gravy thats brown because it was cooked differently (and its going to taste different too).

Last edited by billfish678; 04-29-2011 at 04:14 PM..
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:18 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
The OP should note that its the rouxing/caramelizing that gives a brown gravy a different flavor than a white/creamy/just a thick liquid made with drippings kinda of gravy. There's brown gravy thats brown because the source material was brown or coloring was added. Then there's the gravy thats brown because it was cooked differently (and its going to taste different too).
True. I call that flavor, "blech".

(Love a good dark roux in gumbo. Hate it in gravy.)
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:26 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Umm, which word don't you understand? It's gravy, and it's brown.

Turkey is often served with white gravy, usually from the addition of milk or cream. Brown gravy could be any form of gravy that is brown. The color either comes from the main flavoring like the drippings, or from browned flour, a dark sauce added like Worcestershire or Soy, or from leaving the pot on the stove for too long.
I, for one, have never seen nor eaten white turkey gravy. My mother used to make what she called cream chicken gravy, which I thought was nasty stuff. Gravy for pepper steak can be a cream gravy, and it's terrific.

Last edited by Chefguy; 04-29-2011 at 04:27 PM..
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  #15  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:28 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Why is it BROWN gravy and not turkey gravy. As I said, what makes brown gravy, brown if you're using turkey drippings as opposed to turkey gravy?
It's brown turkey gravy instead of white turkey gravy.

Quote:
Then why don't you simply call it gravy or turkey gravy instead of brown gravy?
In the example in the OP, of course it's turkey gravy, since you're making turkey. You don't need to specify what kind of meat to make it from, unless for some reason Mr. Griffith wants Hazel to make brown beef gravy. If you just called it gravy, then she wouldn't know whether you wanted brown gravy or white gravy.
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  #16  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:41 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
I, for one, have never seen nor eaten white turkey gravy. My mother used to make what she called cream chicken gravy, which I thought was nasty stuff. Gravy for pepper steak can be a cream gravy, and it's terrific.
I've made it and had it from others. I prefer brown myself. And of course sausage gravy for biscuits and gravy would fit in the white gravy category. It's just a descriptive phrase.
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  #17  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:43 PM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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In classical French Cuisine, there are the 5 master sauces, 3 of which are relevant in this discussion:

Veloute (white gravy)
Demi-glace (brown gravy)
Bechamel (cream gravy)

Veloute is made with white roux and white stock, Demi-glace is made with brown roux and brown stock, bechamel is made with white roux and dairy. Since the turkey is roasted, the drippings are, defacto, brown stock and thus, brown gravy is made from it.
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  #18  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:43 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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Gravy with Kitchen Bouquet added.
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2011, 04:44 PM
miss elizabeth miss elizabeth is offline
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What Is Brown Gravy?

Delicious

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  #20  
Old 04-29-2011, 06:00 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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I remember the southern mother of a friend of mine. She had this bottle of liquid stuff she would pour into a cast iron skillet to brown with other ingredients. Called BVE or some such. IIRC it was basically bottled cows blood. Now, I have nutin against eating a nice slab of beef, but for some reason that bottled blood squeeked me out a bit. I just tried not to think about it much as I enjoyed that great gravy
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2011, 06:45 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I've made it and had it from others. I prefer brown myself. And of course sausage gravy for biscuits and gravy would fit in the white gravy category. It's just a descriptive phrase.
In any case, in my family gravy is considered a beverage.
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  #22  
Old 04-30-2011, 06:57 AM
Teacake Teacake is offline
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I'm struggling to understand this. After you roast a piece of animal, the bottom of the pan is always going to be at least a little brown in the fat and delicious drippy bits cast off. Even if you don't cook the roux all the way out, the gravy is always going to be at least a little brown, surely? Mine always is.

Mind you my sister's gravy is always and unfailingly grey in colour, and tastes disgusting too, so obviously this isn't as foolproof as I always thought.
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2011, 07:04 AM
Sierra Indigo Sierra Indigo is offline
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Originally Posted by Teacake View Post
I'm struggling to understand this. After you roast a piece of animal, the bottom of the pan is always going to be at least a little brown in the fat and delicious drippy bits cast off. Even if you don't cook the roux all the way out, the gravy is always going to be at least a little brown, surely? Mine always is.

Mind you my sister's gravy is always and unfailingly grey in colour, and tastes disgusting too, so obviously this isn't as foolproof as I always thought.
Americans tend to make a fair number of gravies with milk/cream and without cooking out the flour for the roux very much.

They also tend to use the term "gravy" very liberally, for most sauces that are served with meat (so you get sausage gravy, turkey gravy, brown gravy, bacon gravy), whereas in the Commonwealth "gravy" tends to refer to the brown kind, made without cream or milk, pretty much regardless of what meat you make it with, but usually refers to roasted meat drippings only.
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  #24  
Old 04-30-2011, 07:21 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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I'm sure it is a regionalism, but I have heard what I would call sauce called gravy. Spaghetti Sauce is called, at least in parts of PA, gravy or red gravy.
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  #25  
Old 04-30-2011, 08:15 AM
Teacake Teacake is offline
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Originally Posted by Sierra Indigo View Post
Americans tend to make a fair number of gravies with milk/cream and without cooking out the flour for the roux very much.

They also tend to use the term "gravy" very liberally, for most sauces that are served with meat (so you get sausage gravy, turkey gravy, brown gravy, bacon gravy), whereas in the Commonwealth "gravy" tends to refer to the brown kind, made without cream or milk, pretty much regardless of what meat you make it with, but usually refers to roasted meat drippings only.
No, no, I understand all that. I love all kinds of gravy - in fact we're having biscuits and gravy tonight - but this appeared to be asking about meat gravy.
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  #26  
Old 04-30-2011, 08:32 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is online now
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Who above said turkey gravy is brown? Turkey and chicken gravy is yellow unless you deliberately darken it. At least is should be, if you're making it delicious.
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  #27  
Old 04-30-2011, 09:29 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
Who above said turkey gravy is brown? Turkey and chicken gravy is yellow unless you deliberately darken it. At least is should be, if you're making it delicious.
It's only yellow if you haven't allowed the flour to brown in the fat. More browning equals deeper color and flavor. Uncooked flour is the biggest failure point in making gravy.
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  #28  
Old 04-30-2011, 10:08 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is online now
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It's only yellow if you haven't allowed the flour to brown in the fat. More browning equals deeper color and flavor. Uncooked flour is the biggest failure point in making gravy.
Nope, not true. There's nothing I hate more than raw flour flavor so I cook my flour. But poultry drippings are no where near as dark as beef or pork drippings. Plus chicken and turkey broth is yellow in color, which makes for a much lighter and yellower gravy.

Turkey and chicken gravy are not brown.
Turkey gravy

Chicken gravy

Brown gravy.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:25 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
Nope, not true. There's nothing I hate more than raw flour flavor so I cook my flour. But poultry drippings are no where near as dark as beef or pork drippings. Plus chicken and turkey broth is yellow in color, which makes for a much lighter and yellower gravy.

Turkey and chicken gravy are not brown.
Turkey gravy

Chicken gravy

Brown gravy.
That turkey gravy looks anything but yellow to me. It's just a lighter shade of brown. But then I'm partially colorblind. The beef gravy you linked to looks more like an au jus. By the way, there is nothing untrue in my statement about the flour.

Last edited by Chefguy; 04-30-2011 at 10:26 AM..
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  #30  
Old 04-30-2011, 10:28 AM
Sierra Indigo Sierra Indigo is offline
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Those are all shades of brown, and I'm not colourblind.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:44 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Agree those are all shades of brown. Chicken or turkey gravy isn't going to really be literally yellow unless you put food coloring in it.

Gary T gave the essential answer to this question. It's "brown" as opposed to "white" from the addition of dairy.
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  #32  
Old 04-30-2011, 11:28 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Yellow chicken gravy comes from a packet, and it's gross.

And I'm pretty firmly in the "gravy is a beverage" camp. As far as I'm concerned, mashed potatoes are merely the vehicle for transporting gravy to my gaping maw.
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  #33  
Old 04-30-2011, 11:41 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Yellow chicken gravy comes from a packet, and it's gross.

And I'm pretty firmly in the "gravy is a beverage" camp. As far as I'm concerned, mashed potatoes are merely the vehicle for transporting gravy to my gaping maw.
I always knew that you were a standup guy.
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  #34  
Old 04-30-2011, 01:25 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
Agree those are all shades of brown. Chicken or turkey gravy isn't going to really be literally yellow unless you put food coloring in it.

Gary T gave the essential answer to this question. It's "brown" as opposed to "white" from the addition of dairy.
Those gravies are all shades of brown. Gravy isn't yellow, bearnaise sauce is yellow.
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  #35  
Old 04-30-2011, 02:01 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quoth Khadaji:
Quote:
I'm sure it is a regionalism, but I have heard what I would call sauce called gravy. Spaghetti Sauce is called, at least in parts of PA, gravy or red gravy.
What's really baffling is that some of them apparently have no conception that gravy could possibly be anything other than spaghetti sauce. I was at a church service once in the Philadelphia area, and the pastor was trying to reassure the congregation about some minor change in the liturgy. He explained that some things were essential, and some things were flexible, using a gravy analogy: "I could ask you all for your gravy recipes, and they'd all of them be different. But every one of them would include tomatoes".
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  #36  
Old 04-30-2011, 02:44 PM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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It's just brown and water.

Joe
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  #37  
Old 04-30-2011, 02:47 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Quoth Khadaji:What's really baffling is that some of them apparently have no conception that gravy could possibly be anything other than spaghetti sauce. I was at a church service once in the Philadelphia area, and the pastor was trying to reassure the congregation about some minor change in the liturgy. He explained that some things were essential, and some things were flexible, using a gravy analogy: "I could ask you all for your gravy recipes, and they'd all of them be different. But every one of them would include tomatoes".
Sauce=Gravy is an Italian thing, not restricted to PA, but I noticed it's predominance from Philly up to Scranton, and out into Jersey. I don't think there's a clear delineation between sauce and gravy anyway.

Last edited by TriPolar; 04-30-2011 at 02:48 PM..
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  #38  
Old 04-30-2011, 03:57 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Right, it doesn't baffle me that spaghetti sauce might be called gravy. What baffles me is the notion that nothing but spaghetti sauce could conceivably be called gravy.
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  #39  
Old 04-30-2011, 04:04 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
I remember the southern mother of a friend of mine. She had this bottle of liquid stuff she would pour into a cast iron skillet to brown with other ingredients. Called BVE or some such. IIRC it was basically bottled cows blood. Now, I have nutin against eating a nice slab of beef, but for some reason that bottled blood squeeked me out a bit. I just tried not to think about it much as I enjoyed that great gravy
I think you're thinking of Wilson's B-V. If so, it wasn't cow's blood. It was just bouillon, basically.
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  #40  
Old 05-01-2011, 12:30 AM
njtt njtt is offline
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Gravy Browning.

(It makes it brown if it is otherwise unappetizingly pale.)
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