Archive for scrapple

Scrapple(con)quest: Victory at Brunch; or, How I Ate Some Scrapple

Posted in KNOW YOUR PIG, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE, Pork, STRANGE MEAT, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , on March 9, 2009 by chomposaurus

Offal comes when you least expect it. There I was, sitting down to brunch at Egg, one of Brooklyn’s trenderias, when I noticed it under the meats section of the menu: “Scrapple, fresh from our farm, $3.” Would sweet success only cost me $3? Yes, especially if I convinced my dining companion to order the other thing I wanted to try, the candied bacon (coated in hard syrup candy, just as good as it sounds).

This grainy image is the only footage we have of scrapple in the wild.

This grainy image is the only footage we have of scrapple in the wild.

But after my long months of waiting, would scrapple live up to its expectations? After all, scrapple is hog offal (heart, liver, head etc.) combined with cornmeal and mush, typically eaten in parts of Pennsylvania, so it may be a regionally acquired taste. Let me assure you, though, that it is much better than it sounds. It was fried into moist little patties, which had the consistency of hashbrowns. The taste was similar to corned beef hash, but with a fattier tang, like lamb. I’m not sure if supermarket scrapple would be this good, but with such strong flavors it would be hard to go wrong.

So having conquered scrapple in its natural environment, I’ll be tackling it next on my home turf: cooking scrapple in my kitchen. Stay tuned to this space to see if I survive.

Scrapplequest: The Ancient Secret

Posted in Pork, Sausage with tags , , on May 8, 2008 by chomposaurus

I’m not ashamed to admit that my mom reads my blog. But I was surprised to get this email from her after posting about Scrapple a couple days ago:

Your grandparents were both big fans of scrapple. They never forced us to eat it but every now and then Mom would fry some up for her and Dad.

I had not taken into account my own Pennsylvania roots. Maybe it explains my fascination. I’m just hoping my grandmother still has her recipe. The scrapplequest continues… I’m still waiting for one of you to airmail me some offal.

P.S. Wouldn’t you love to be standing next to the person who grabbed a slice of the scrapple pictured above and bit into it, thinking it was fresh banana bread? Although the person would most likely have to have a really bad sense of smell.


Posted in Pork, Sausage with tags , , , , , on May 5, 2008 by chomposaurus

What is scrapple? That’s the question I asked upon when I stumbled upon a picture of it online. Apparently, it’s “a savory mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour” that’s fried in loaf form. Or, to put it in simpler terms, it’s like bread made out of hog offal. For those of you unfamiliar with everyday butcher’s terminology, offal includes the head, heart, liver and kidneys.

What’s most surprising regarding my discovery of this new sandwich “meat” is that it apparently is very popular in the northeastern United States, including Philly and New England. Delaware is the scrapple capital of the U.S., which matters a great deal to me because Dealware is where my ancestors landed on the shores of North American in the 17th century. Since (again according to wikipedia) scrapple was the first pork food invented in America, I suddenly feel great nostalgia and longing for it.

So, I am now on a Scrapplequest. I will eat as much of this fried organloaf as possible and discover whether it is good and, if so, what it is like. I think there is a gap in our world between the rather large presence of scrapple, its importance to our national history and our low levels of Scrappleducation.

I invite readers with scrapple recommendations or stories to comment; I will follow your advice and heed your warnings, as always.

Note: Apparently scrapple has a strong cult following in the Philadelphia area, and people there are most likely going to mock me for never having heard of it. All I can say is: this is your chance to scrappleducate the rest of us. Also, if you cooperate, I’ll make sure you get some tasty fried gator next time you come to Central Florida.