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.