Skip to comments.Scrapple: Pork Mush—The Pennsylvania Treat
Posted on 03/06/2010 9:36:55 AM PST by JoeProBono
Unless you live in the Middle Atlantic states, you may have never had the dubious pleasure of breakfasting on scrapplea fried slice of pork-mush. Often erroneously called Philadelphia Scrapple, it's really a dish that originated in the Eastern Pennsylvania farmlands of German born settlersfar from the city of Brotherly Love.
It's dictionary defined as "cornmeal mush made with the meat and broth of pork, seasoned with onions, spices and herbs and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying." The word, scrapple originates from "scrap" or "scrappy" meaning made up of odds and ends for that's exactly what it isboiled, ground leftover pig scraps with cornmeal and spices thrown in. Scrapple lovers think of it as food for the gods. Anti-scrapplers consider it a culinary abomination.
Scrapple is the unique creation of the Pennsylvania Dutch, and therefore only quasi-American as the immigrants combined their German heritage with New World ingredients. The term "Pennsylvania Dutch" is a corrupted form of Pennsylvania Deutsche, mostly transplanted Rhineland farmers who worked hard and ate heartily. They are frugal people and many of their dishes make imaginative use of every part of the butchered hog's anatomy. Scrapple is one of them.
But what parts of the hog go into the creation of scrapple? After the ham, bacon, chops and other cuts of meat are taken from the butchered pigwhat remains are fixings for scrappleincluding the meat scraped off the head. Scrapple may contain pork skin, pork heart, pork liver, pork tongueeven pork brains. Those faint of palate needn't venture any further.
If one can get past what goes into making scrapple, he or she may discover it tastes surprising goodlike country-style pork sausage with a unique shape and texture. It's a deck of cards sized slab, crispy on the outside, soft inside and may be embellished with butter, maple syrup, applesauce, ketchup or mashed in with its usual partner: a plateful of fried eggs. Besides, modern day recipes make no use of questionable pork parts. (See recipes below.)
Being born and raised in Pennsylvania, I was destined to have a piece of a scrapple slapped across my breakfast plate. Being a good source of cheap protein, it often made a morning appearance at our table. I didn't quite relish it because of its gray color. That may have been the fault of my mother, the cook. Properly prepared and fried, scrapple should be a tasty looking golden brown.
Although edible raw, Scrapple is usually sliced and fried in butter or lard. Served in a deep, placid pool of egg yolk and ketchup, it is a veritable cholesterol meltdown.
Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious...and, as the story said “But what parts of the hog go into the creation of scrapple? After the ham, bacon...” proves the old adage that EVERYTHING tastes good with Bacon.
Some of those same German settlers migrated to North Carolina in the 1750’s and gave the world Liver Mush. Very similar, just limited to liver instead of offal. One might consider that an improvement, lol.
For those of gentle palate, and children not very fond of pork, the alternative to scrapple is fried cornmeal mush. Properly prepared, then fried in bacon grease or vegetable oil, with some maple syrup on top, it is a much milder companion to scrapple.
In my part of Penna, the home butchers cooked the scrap part of scrapple and poured it into pans and covered it with melted lard for preservation. This was commonly called puddins.
>p<This was heated for breakfast along with cornmeal mush. The mush was mixed on the plate with the puddins. Eggs and potatoes were also served. The left over mush was cooled in pans so that it could be fried for lunchtime ‘dinner’ or evening ‘supper’ served with molasses or if desired some more puddins.
Everything but the squeal, minus the ham and bacon.
That's actually about as good a definition of "American" as one could ask for.
Heart attack on a plate..that’s eat’in!!!!
I love Scrapple! My wife hates the smell so I can’t cook it.
sweepings, that’s what goes in scrapple.
Bridgeville Delaware has an Apple/Scrapple festival at the end of summer!
Scrapple sandwich on white bread with american cheese ketchup, add a fried egg if it’s breakfast time. mmm mmm good.
Personally I prefer Rappa brand.
The young woman seems to have thrived upon it. Clearly an important part of a healthy diet, lol.
How about some chicken rivvel soup on the side and shoo fly pie for dessert?
Seriously.. having been to several food magazine photo shoots I could here a conversation for these pics that might go something like this:
Food Stylist: what are we shooting today ?
Food Stylist; Whats Scrapple.
Director; You dont want to know, just make it look good.
my local ACME sells corn meal mush in a loaf, for slicing and frying. I think the brand name is Kinsler.
Good ol’ NC barbecue is about as authentic and as early of a New World cuisine as you can find. The earliest settlers at Jamestown were taught pit-cooking methods by the Powhatan and other tribes, and the vinegary sauce is a survival of the original, herb-vinegar “catsup” of Elizabethan times. Even the cornmeal hushpuppy accompaniment is native fusion.
The Scrapple I buy acutally lists pig snouts as ingredients. I love it.
does your gas grill have one of those side burners that you never use.... Fry it outside and the neighbors will be lined up at the fence!
The parts of the pig that aren’t suitable to be shrink-wrapped go into sausage. The parts of the pig that aren’t suitable for sausage go into scrapple.
“I love Scrapple! My wife hates the smell so I cant cook it.”
Tell her you’ll start cooking chitlins and hog maws...she’ll beg you to make scrapple.
That looks about right. I’ve found lard works better than butter as it takes the heat better and browns better but I wouldn’t complain either way with a bit of salt and pepper. Add a mug of coffee...yes!
Yum! In the South we chop it up and mix it in with the scrambled eggs. At least that’s how my mother from Alabama made it. Now I’m have to put some on my shopping list.
(With all due respect to B. Hussein Obama) mmm mmm mmm...
Rappa Brand is the only brand I will cook. I slice very thin, fry the slices until very crispy and put them between two slices of buttered toast, usually from white bread. The slices are kind of stacked up two or three thick on the one slice of toast, so there’s enough Scrapple to balance the amount of toast for taste and texture.
It’s an art.
Yep...back in training days, I roomed with a guy from Kennett Square, PA (not surprising, he was a Quaker). Learned a few things from him: scrapple and eggs, where the best mushrooms come from and how to make a good martini.
I must say, this scrapple looks quite tasty.
my mother slices hers thin/fried crisp through and covers with maple syrup.
I like mine thick, crusty on the outside and soft in the middle.
Try scrapple on toast with yellow mustard. Delightful!!!
Well, you’re both wrong.
Got tears in my eyes just looking at those pictures, I haven’t had scrapple in YEARS!
I grew up in South Jersey and have lived in Texas since ‘79.
I miss scrapple, Tastykakes, good pizza (the kind made by Italians that can barely speak English) and a really good tomato.
A Cheddars restaurant opened in Katy last year so I can get a really good cheese steak sandwich.
Other than missing a few things I do love Texas!
Yep...I used to look forward to when my roomie used to go home for the weekend and return with those mushrooms. I have never been able to find mushrooms that white since...and they tasted great too...
Par le vu frances ?
Scrapple and fried bread! Staples as a kid in NJ. Not available in SE Wisconsin unfortuantely.
Since my wife and I both come from Philadelphia, we grew up eating scrapple and we love it. We grill it for breakfast, garnish it with horseradish and serve it with eggs. MMMMM GOOD!
The Louisiana cajuns make a sausage called boudin with similar ingredients but with rice instead of cornmeal. I love it and use it in many different ways, some with the casing on and some with it stripped and mixed with other ingredients.
I use it to accompany gumbo rather than steamed rice. In fact, I was thinking about a crawfish etouffee for later today and I might put it over boudin instead of rice!
Well, it isn’t. It’s deeeeeeelicious. Nothing like a LARGE SLAB OF Habbersett’s scrapple laying across your plate. MMMMMMMmmmmm, good.
Well cook it outside like one of the other freepers just said.
It’s an art and deeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious. :) Enjoy.
I will definitely try that.