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Scrapple

t
Tom Armitage Apr 17, 2001 02:40 AM

There have been several strings devoted to scrapple over the years. But none have answered three basic questions: (1) What is the best commercially prepared scrapple? (2) Is it, or any other scrapple, available by mail order for those whose local markets don’t carry scrapple? (3) Is the quality of commercially prepared scrapple such that scrapple lovers should ignore it, and go to the effort of making their own homemade scrapple?

Kirby and Holloway in Harrington, DE make scrapple. But a look at the list of ingredients (including the disclaimer “contains no snouts”) reveals that it is made of pork liver, pork fat, pork skins, and pork hearts. Maybe I’m a purist, but classic scrapple is made with a pig’s head as the essential ingredient, mixed with cornmeal, and seasoned with sage and cayenne. Other recipes include various other parts of the pig, such as trotters, knuckles, ribs, and liver, and embellish the seasonings. Some “modern” recipes include more desirable parts of the pig, such as the shoulder or butt. But in none of the traditional recipes is the liver dominant. One recipe that includes one liver for every 4 heads, states, “Add liver until you can taste it but the liver flavor does not predominate.” The Kirby and Holloway recipe, with pork liver as the dominant pork product, seems too much like a paté, and not close enough to the traditional recipe. Stoltzfus meats in Intercourse, PA sells scrapple, as does Seltzer’s Smokehouse Meats in Lititz, PA. However, I haven’t yet been able to determine how either of these producers makes their scrapple. Habbersette Scrapple is sometimes mentioned as the best commercially prepared scrapple, and is available by mail order through a couple of sources. Again, however, I don’t know how it’s made or much about it.

Are there any scrapple experts out there who can provide information to answer these questions?

  1. b
    Betty Apr 18, 2001 11:23 AM

    All I can tell you is that my mother's family made it my mother is 83 and her grandmother (came from PA before the Civil War) made it, and she's never said anything about it being from any specific part of the hog, just bits and pieces, or when it's not butchering season, sausage scraps. They did their butchering themselves in those days, in the winter (family photos included, posing in snow with hanging swine and g-grandma in a long black dress).
    I guess I never knew it was made commercially.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Betty
      c
      celeryroot Nov 19, 2002 04:09 PM

      I always was told it was made with the head also. In Pa dutch land , Lancaster , Lehigh Valley etc, buckwheat is used instead of cornmeal. The Allentown farmers market has some great farmers who have buckwheat scrapple.

    2. b
      Bill Apr 19, 2001 11:39 AM

      Let me weigh in with my opinion here, as someone who grew up in Central PA. First off, I have never, ever, tasted a commercial scrapple that wasn't awful. It's mostly organ meat. To be honest, I have not had the Habbersette Scrapple, but I'm not holding my breath.

      Having said that, there are millions of variables, and it all depends on what you like. I prefer the Amish method, which I'm pretty sure (I'm not Amish) uses predominantly head meat, and those scraps left from the butchered pig. I don't like the "fancy" scrapples with the choice cuts of meat. It ruins it somehow.

      I was recently on a tour that took me to Reading PA, and we found a market with about 3 different butchers, all having scrapple. A friend and I got scrapple from different butchers and it was vastly different, even though it was from the same region.

      I don't know if anyone mail orders scrapple, but here are a few places that I've enjoyed, and you might try calling to see if they would send some. The first was a surprise in Annapolis MD. Off of Rt. 2 there's a shopping center with a theater, Tower records, and an Amish market (open Th-Sat). They have great scrapple. Another is in Mechanicsburg/Camp Hill PA, At the West Shore Farmer's Market. As you go in the door, the first butcher to your right (can't remember his name) has scrapple made from his grandmother's recipe. Delicious. Both Stoltzfus and Seltzer’s scrapple is good, but I don't know how they make it. I've never tried making it myself. A friend's father makes it and it doesn't seem too hard, although I've never witnessed this blessed event.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bill
        t
        Tom Armitage Apr 19, 2001 08:53 PM

        Thanks, Bill. Great post. I have a friend here in Los Angeles that makes homemade scrapple every year at Christmas-time. It disappears quickly, and then I'm left scrappleless the rest of the year. I agree with you that classic scrapple uses the scraps left over after butchering a hog. It ain't fancy, but I've had scrapple that sure is lip smackin' good.

        1. re: Bill
          h
          Harry D Aug 28, 2002 03:25 PM

          I grew up in the Reading area and could find no better scrapple than Habbersette, although some years ago a company called Roberts also made scrapple which was also very good. I agree that most if not all other commercially produced scrapple horrid. I now live outside DC and can find none worth eating.

          1. re: Bill
            d
            Dean Roth Nov 19, 2002 10:43 AM

            Just for the record, the butcher at the West Shore Farmer's Market (Lemoyne, not Mechanicsburg) is Stoney's.

            And you are right the scrapple is very good there.

          2. s
            Suky Apr 20, 2001 10:17 AM

            Hi Tom. I was going to wait to reply till I had a chance to check the Habbersett's label at the supermarket for dreaded organ meats. But after Bill's post I really need to weigh in with my own scrapplephile point of view.

            We get all our pork from a farmer/butcher in Berks County (outside of Reading). We buy a whole pig once a year and we use (or sell back) "everything but the oink." We leave the scrapple-making entirely up to the butcher. He uses only meat scraps, no innards. The leaner we trim our chops and roasts, the softer (fattier) our scrapple turns out. It's always softer than commercial brands, which have a whole lot more cornmeal, though probably no less fat.

            Last October, 30 members of my Phila-area family went to Glasgow, Scotland for a wedding. The Scots were altogether impressed at how manfully we handled the haggis. Yo: substitute cornmeal and pork for the oats and mutton and you've got yerself a plate of scrapple.

            Tom, how do you eat your scrapple? At our house, we pair it with applesauce. My Daddy always ate his on soft white bread with dark Karo syrup. I've heard that Willow Valley, a Lancaster County resort, serves deep fried scrapple sticks as part of their breakfast buffet. Now THAT's serious scrapple.

            suky

            5 Replies
            1. re: Suky
              t
              Tom Armitage Apr 20, 2001 09:28 PM

              My mother's side of the family is Scottish, and I'm a card-carrying haggis eater. Do you suppose I'm genetically programmed for haggis, scrapple, and other similar "scrap-meat" concoctions?

              I usually saute my scrapple in butter to a light to medium crisp, and eat it with maple syrup. Applesauce would be a terrific pairing. I should have thought of that, apples and pork being a classic combination. I usually make my own applesauce from Gravensteins, since the commercial brands are sweeter than I like. Thanks for your interesting post.

              1. re: Suky
                d
                Doug Weller Aug 6, 2001 05:48 AM

                I'm staying near E. Berlin in Pa. Yesterday had some scrapple from the Mennonite groceery store in E. Berlin. Had the locally made stuff

                Label gone, but we ate it with jelly, grape jelly in my case, delicious. Also maple syrup.

                Doug

                1. re: Doug Weller
                  s
                  saucyknave Nov 19, 2002 10:39 PM

                  Yea, maple syrup.

                  1. re: saucyknave
                    d
                    DEAN SIMAR May 6, 2003 07:35 PM

                    Hey guys and gals (Scrapple Lovers)

                    I'm clear out here on the west coast, and even out here, we can find scrapple in a good butcher shop.

                    But we prefere to make home made scrapple, the recipe and the love for good scrapple, has came down through the many generations, our favorite way to fix scrapple is make it thick, and plenty of pork, and after letting it set up, and age, in the refrigerator for a couple of days, we slice it thin, and fry to a golden brown, preferably in a cast iron skillet.

                    Served with eggs (any way you like eggs), it's a breakfast fit for a king.

                    Dean Simar

                    dean_simar@yahoo.com

                2. re: Suky
                  PattiCakes Apr 14, 2009 10:56 AM

                  In Lancaster, you will find scrapple served with syrup (like pancake syrup), but in Philly we tend to eat it with ketchup. The old fashioned way of cooking it was to dust it with a little four, then put it in a cold iron skillet, letting it cook slowly as the pan heats up. Some people also put a weight on the top to flatten it out & insure even crispiness. It takes a long time to cook this way & you need to have a relatively thin piece. A lot of places have taken to deep frying the scrapple because it's a lot faster, they can cook thicker slices & also gives that crispy outside crust.

                  Laliz (down below): my dad (he was PA Dutch) used to make corn meal mush & put it in a loaf pan. Once it cooled/solidified, he's slice it down and fry it in an iron skillet as well -- served with syrup. And yes, cream of wheat (and probably grits) lends itself to this. VERY hearty fare for a time when people did physical work, didn't have much money & had to fill a lot of hungry bellies. .

                3. s
                  Shannon Sep 30, 2003 01:30 PM

                  Boy this is seriously funny!!! I am in Georgia, where there is no scrapple to be found. I have not found a local butcher here or anyone that has even heard of scrapple none the less tasted it. I read all of the comments and I know that you are located in PA, but I grew up in Delaware and we always ate Kirby Holloway and Rapa Scrapple my whole life. The Rapa is my favorite and they have a mail order program even that you are able to order 12 packages in the mail. I am not sure what it is made of, but I at least wanted to throw the name out. We have an Apple-Scrapple festival there and Rapa is the hit. We generally eat the scrapple fried, as a breakfast meat. I eat mine plain on two slices of untoasted white bread and my mom likes ketchup and mustard. Hope you enjoy these comments.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Shannon
                    v
                    Val G Sep 30, 2003 10:42 PM

                    Scrapple on untoasted white bread sounds delicious. I imagine the bread gets all smushed and greasy. Mmm.

                    1. re: Val G
                      t
                      The Rogue Sep 30, 2003 11:43 PM

                      Today I started making my three day spaghetti meat sauce... and was STARVIN'... And so went and picked up some lousy Parks Scrapple and made a scrapple, grade b maple syrup, and soft fried egg sandwich on soft country white bread which was so juicy and squishy and tasty... MMMMMmmmmm.... I daren't get my cholestrerol tested... or anyway I am scared to... but life ain't worth livin' without some comfort... Ja Know?

                      1. re: Val G
                        s
                        Shannon Oct 2, 2003 12:47 PM

                        You got it that bread, by the end is as good as the scrapple itself... I am going to buy some from Rapa and get it sent to me in GA soon. I miss it so much

                        1. re: Val G
                          b
                          bsheitman Apr 10, 2009 11:05 AM

                          Just as I read this I as chompin' down on some homemade bread piled high with scrapple and a sunny-side egg and thinkin'..."Damn if this isn't the best way to eat scrapple!"

                          It's the first time I tried that...definitely worth repeating though. I love scrapple and maple syrup, and am looking to try scrapple and fried apples when apples come back in season.

                      2. b
                        brian Sep 18, 2005 09:44 PM

                        Imagine that - a site dedicated to scrapple! I grew up in Philly and grew up eating Habbersette's, sliced to 1/4" and slowly fried to a beautiful golden-brown crust. Delicious topped with ketchup and placed beside a pair of eggs over easy. I now live in FL and have a difficult time finding Habbersette's (or any other brand)at any grocery store. Some stores here carry Jones brand. I tried it and was not impressed. My yen for scrapple led me to try it again. I was able to improve the flavor by frying it in a tiny bit of bacon fat and adding a little salt and a dash of cayenne pepper while frying. I think the commercial manufacturers are too concerned with the nutrition label, cutting the fat and sodium content in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Scrapple never had a wide audience and never will. The people who enjoy scrapple like the fat and seasonings. I have, on rare occasions, found Habbersette's locally and it just doesn't taste the same today as I remember it 25 or so years ago. The doctoring works great - careful with that cayenne.

                        1. b
                          bsheitman Apr 10, 2009 11:10 AM

                          I'm probably in a minority but I don't much care for Rapa scrapple. It doesn't hold together well and it's a little watery. Rapa is better suited to slicing thinly and frying in oil about as deep as the scrapple is tall that way the crisp edges give it more stability. It uses mainly livers and I think that contributes to the texture (though they do use pork snouts).

                          Not having had the real deal scrapple, I can say among the commercial brands I like Hatfield scrapple the best...it's a little cornier, with a corresponding yellow hue...but it fries up deep ruddy gold and is wonderfully creamy in the middle. Not spiced quite as well as rappa, but the texture wins hands down. On the flip side, if you look closely, you can see the tiny little hairs from the pork skin...!

                          1. c
                            cycloneillini Apr 11, 2009 06:40 PM

                            I'm from Iowa originally and had never heard of scrapple until I met a former SO who is from Virginia. He loves the stuff, and in the Houston area we were able to find Jones Farm brand in the freezer case at Randall's (Safeway) with the other frozen breakfast items. Obviously I'm no scrapple expert, but he seemed to think it was pretty darn good. We just sliced it thin, fried it, and ate it with fried or poached eggs. I was actually kind of surprised how much I liked it.

                            1. Axalady Apr 11, 2009 08:42 PM

                              I'm in Maryland and have always eaten Rapa Scrapple. Sliced, dredged in flour and fried. Love it with Maple syrup too!

                              This is their website link. http://www.rapascrapple.com/ According to it the ingredients are Pork Stock, Pork Livers, Pork Fat, Pork Snouts, Corn Meal, Pork Hearts, Wheat Flour, Salt, Spices.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Axalady
                                b
                                bsheitman Apr 14, 2009 07:49 AM

                                Ah, maybe dredging in flour helps with the watery and somewhat crumbly texture. I'll definitely try that next time, 'cause I liked the flavor a lot.

                                1. re: bsheitman
                                  The Professor Apr 14, 2009 08:11 AM

                                  I LOVE Scrapple. My Pennsylvania born father was raised on it and he turned me onto it when I was very young.
                                  The commercial ones are ok in a pinch, but the stuff is _so_ easy to make (as is it's Cincinnatti cousin, Geotta) that I really cant think of a good reason to ever buy it .
                                  And if a commercial made one touts "no organ meats" or "no snouts", that's reason enough to avoid them; Such brags are not a selling point...to me they're more like a consumer warning (kind of like "lean pastrami")

                              2. l
                                laliz Apr 14, 2009 10:10 AM

                                I grew up in PA and I miss scrapple. I bought some Jones (frozen) but it was AWFUL.

                                I like it fried w/maple syrup. I also like cream of wheat sliced and fried w/maple syrup. Try selling that smoetime to California kids. **they turned up their noses**

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: laliz
                                  m
                                  MattInNJ Apr 15, 2009 08:38 AM

                                  MY favorite way to eat scrapple is fried with maple syrup, too good.

                                2. Will Owen Apr 15, 2009 12:25 PM

                                  I've had much less scrapple than I'd like, that's for sure. Jones is all you can get here in SoCal, and it's equal parts grease and cornmeal mush with a few shreds of...something... mixed in. Blech. And there's been much lamenting on the LA Board that all the places that used to serve scrapple have bitten the dust. Just looking at what everyone is saying here, seems to me that the easiest way to produce REAL scrapple in your own kitchen would be to get some decent headcheese (which can be found both here and in the Southeast) and stir it into hot mush. This would be a much closer approximation than the usual home recipes that call for bulk sausage, waddaya think?

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                    FoodFuser May 6, 2009 02:13 AM

                                    I spent many years in the Livermush Belt, straddling the piedmont of the Carolinas.

                                    Livermush is simply a cornmeal based scrapple that includes pork livers. Poor choice of name, admitted. Sort of like who was the original rascal who named "bean curd" and thus turned off millions of people from wonderful tofu.

                                    I've found it really easy to make a good approximation, just like you say, by stirring a meat mixture into cornmeal mush, and let it cool in mini loaf pans.

                                    Meat is pork neckbones simmered to yield gelatin, then removed and picked clean. Then pork hearts and pork liver is simmered in same stock. Then neck meat, hearts and liver are pulsed in food processor individually to yield different textures.

                                    The rich stock is used to boil the cornmeal mush, with meat mixed in, and pepper and sage and salt and a few flaked dried chilis. Then poured into mini loaf pans and cooled. Slices are fried to browning.

                                    Scrapple, souse, headcheese, etc are gradations along a theme. I call my concoction "pork polenta pate". Fun and easy to make.

                                    1. re: FoodFuser
                                      PattiCakes May 6, 2009 10:56 AM

                                      That is so funny that you mentioned Livermush. I live in Philly, and when Jim Thome became a part of the Phillies' organization, a great deal was made of his moving to our town. One of the questions that was asked of him (and his wife) was about what things he would miss while he was here in Philly. Well, Livermush was one of those things. I thought, "huh? isn't scrapple a lot like livermush.....?"

                                      1. re: FoodFuser
                                        bkhuna May 6, 2009 06:04 PM

                                        I was fortunate to make friends with an old man from the hills of NC who turned me one to Liver puddin' (as it's called in his part of the state). He was able to get fresh pork livers and made his own.

                                        That stuff was wonderful. Then I got a touch of gout and it turned out to be one of my trigger foods.

                                        Oh well. Maybe stem cell research will allow me to eat liver again one day....

                                        1. re: FoodFuser
                                          al b. darned May 6, 2009 09:09 PM

                                          Amazing timing! I had never heard of livermush until last night, when I watched Zimmern. Lo and behold, he attended a Livermush Festival. I thought eating it with grape jelly sounded a tad odd, but he said it worked. Since I now know what it is made of, tho, I am not drooling for it.

                                        2. re: Will Owen
                                          Will Owen May 6, 2009 02:51 PM

                                          Just as an addendum to my older posting above, I found what appears to be excellent headcheese in a chub pack. It's from a Russian meat packer in Burbank, and I got it in an Armenian market in Glendale, and I'm gonna make Pennsylvania Dutch-style scrapple with it, probably using Italian polenta! Damn, I love Southern California...

                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                            paulj May 9, 2009 09:36 AM

                                            I don't know if Italians make polenta with meat and meat stock, but I recently discovered a vegetable equivalent. Shredded cabbage and other vegetables are cooked, and then corn meal added. The name means something like 'cornmeal in chains'.

                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                              Will Owen Jun 5, 2009 01:20 PM

                                              HOT FLASH! I did get the headcheese, and decided to go with plain old Albers yellow cornmeal. I also added in some bulk breakfast sausage I'd made. After a couple days' sitting in the fridge I just fried a few slices for lunch, topped with two runny eggs, and I am one happy boy. For anyone who's interested, I'm about to post the recipe on Home Cooking.

                                          2. c
                                            consaacs May 5, 2009 09:22 PM

                                            I'm from the Delmarva Peninsula, so my experience is limited to the style of scrapple produced there. I think the best commercially-produced scrapple is RAPA brand. Kirby and Holloway has a grainier consistency, and I just don't care for the flavor. RAPA brand can be mail-ordered, in season. But please note, it does not take well to freezing. After being frozen, it crumbles. I've never tried to make scrapple, but back in the days when I ate such meats, RAPA brand was good enough for me. By the way, Bridgeville Delaware, home of RAPA brand, used to have a scrapple festival. I imagine it is still a local fall event. If you are local, you call it: "RAPA brand Scrapple."

                                            1. d
                                              dberg1313 May 7, 2009 10:43 AM

                                              Did anybody mention apple butter with scrapple? That was how we had it all the time growing up, although my dad did like it with syrup. I would only eat syrup with fried mush! I wish I could steer you right but I'm spoiled--I only live 40 mins. drive or so from Dietrich's where they make their own scrapple. Check their website though--they may ship.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: dberg1313
                                                PattiCakes May 7, 2009 12:05 PM

                                                Holy cow, you MUST be from the heart of PA Dutch country. Maple syrup on scrapple & fried mush? Apple butter und schmear casse......

                                              2. w
                                                woodandfine May 7, 2009 09:01 PM

                                                I just had to reply to this thread. Ever since an extended stay in central PA and Philly last year, I've been dumbfounded over scrapple.

                                                Just seeing people wolf it down made my stomach turn. Now that I know what is in it, I'm even more disgusted. This is most obviously a regional thing. I can't imagine a dish that is a hodgepodge of hog parts being so popular out here on the left coast.

                                                Ok I gotta ask: does this give people horrible indegestion? Major weight gain? Do you all really find this delicious? I don't mean to be condescending or rude, I really am quite shocked that people eat this. A lot of people.

                                                20 Replies
                                                1. re: woodandfine
                                                  h
                                                  hungrystudent257 May 7, 2009 11:41 PM

                                                  I've lived in Williamsport PA for the last 3 years for culinary school, and for a class I had to plan a brunch buffet with a Pennsylvania Dutch theme, which of course included scrapple.
                                                  I don't understand the appeal of most PA Dutch cuisine, but scrapple leaves me absolutely dumbfounded. From what I researched, scrapple is literally made with what is scraped up of of the floor of the butcher shop at the end of the day. Of course, I'm sure that that isn't practiced today, but I think it kind of sets the tone. Garbage, combined with mush, cooked to a loaf then fried. Whats wrong with bacon? I admit its a good way to stretch a buck, but come on. Once it hits the floor, it's officially garbage, at least in my book.
                                                  After thinking about its origins, I had difficulty trying it once the day came. We ordered a commercial product (some culinary school, huh? Don't ever go to Pennsylvania College of Technology) whose name I unfortunately cannot remember. All that comes to mind is the odd taste of ...pine? Like a pine scented cleanser. it must have been the brand, because I am sure if it actually tasted like that, no one would be interested.

                                                  All in all, to each their own, I suppose, especially when it comes to regional foods. I would never eat scrapple again of my own volition, but I'm Canadian and bleed gravy, cheese curds onto french fries, the heart attack on a plate known as poutine

                                                  1. re: hungrystudent257
                                                    m
                                                    morwen May 11, 2009 07:23 AM

                                                    I grew up in Lewisburg, PA, raised on the PA Dutch cuisine you disparage. PA Dutch foods have roots in Germanic cuisine traditions. Having since worked in kitchens up and down the east coast I can say that almost every region has their equivalent of PA Dutch dishes that go by different names with slight adjustments for regional ingredients. My lesser travels to European countries have yielded the same findings. All these dishes are of humble origins and in many cases, often can be found in high end restaurants, elevated by chefs inspired by comfort foods and regional cooking from their youths. Scrapple exists in one form or another, by one name or another, the world over including Canada. In the farmer's markets around Central PA you can get as many different scrapples as there are butchers in any given market. Each has their own recipe (most often an old family recipe), each customer must find the one that suits his/her own taste. No, it is not the leavings on the floor at the end of the day, never has been, and while it's not made from prime cuts it is one respectful, economic and tasty use of lesser bits. If you wish to go to what would be in your opinion, one rung lower on the complete use of a pig, that would be what's locally known as "pudding", a recipe that older generations still savor but is less popular among people of my parents generation and younger. Scrapple is basically a terrine so maybe it would appeal more to your French-Canadian sensitivities (I'm assuming you're from Quebec) if you thought about it that way. Your research sounds like it never progressed past the point of the local blow-ins' anecdotal opinions. I do find it surprising that your instructor ordered a commercial product when there are so many excellent examples of scrapple to be had locally. I'm also surprised that you weren't encouraged or didn't take the initiative to make your own scrapple since it is so very easy and would have allowed you to create your very own superior recipe.

                                                    As a graduate of both PCT and it's former incarnation as WACC, though not in it's culinary program, I have to disagree with you about the quality of education there as well. I would rate 98% of my instructors anywhere from extremely able to absolutely amazing and certainly got the biggest bang for my educational buck there. The PCT and WACC culinary grads I've worked with ranged from competent to inspired. Maybe the problem's not the school....

                                                    1. re: PattiCakes
                                                      m
                                                      morwen May 12, 2009 08:49 AM

                                                      Souse. I forgot about souse. Scrapple, pudding, and then there's souse. That was the last product granma and grampa made during fall butchering. It was often served as a topping on waffles or pancakes. I never acquired a taste for it but was the only one in the family that didn't like it. Consequently, in my own butchering /preserving traditions, I don't make it anymore. But I do still have their recipe. Maybe it's time to try it again.

                                                      1. re: morwen
                                                        PattiCakes May 12, 2009 09:04 AM

                                                        You are right -- this is another one of those Pennsylvania German, use-everything-but- the-oink dishes. Right up there with pickled pigs' feet.

                                                      2. re: morwen
                                                        kpaumer May 13, 2009 10:43 AM

                                                        That's Right, Don't be dissin the PA or PA Dutch food traditions. The PA Dutch bought alot of food to the "American Table" Well Done, Morwen!

                                                    2. re: woodandfine
                                                      Will Owen May 8, 2009 10:39 AM

                                                      It's one of many strategies we've devised to use as much of whatever we harvest or kill as possible. I consider this to be wholly admirable, and for the most part find the resulting foods delicious, scrapple very much included. I grew up among people who practiced nose-to-tail eating, and who regarded "persnickety" folks (those who let "the idea" of something put them off eating it) with amused disdain - "More for the rest of us!"

                                                      Please note my comment above about finding all the ingredients for scrapple-making from many different sources here on the "left coast". Between the Armenian, Asian and Latino markets, in fact, I've found offal in much more abundance and variety here than back in Tennessee.

                                                      1. re: Will Owen
                                                        FoodFuser May 8, 2009 11:31 PM

                                                        Well said, Will. It is all about competent and complete husbandry of our animals, going back many many generations.

                                                        My own lifepath did not cross that of the scrapplers until my early twenties, when I was invited to a weekend of pig butchering.

                                                        The invitor was a lanky and spare man in all his ways, who had never moved from the Southern Appalachian valley where he had grown up many years before electricity and refrigeration arrived. He still kept the old ways of making dried "leather britches" from the field beans, grinding his own cornmeal, and keeping a milkcow.

                                                        There was something magical about the butchering weekend. Everybody was old. Everybody had done this for many years. Everybody was happy about the perfect weather conditions for butchering. I sensed that this was something that I should forever affix on the emulsion sheet of my mind.

                                                        Six hogs raised from kitchen scraps were gently killed and hung to bleed out, scalded and scraped. The frost that October night helped. The moonshine alcohol, a bonus of the field corn, flowed freely but not overly as there was a focus on tomorrow which would be a hard and long workday.

                                                        Day 2 was a day of stepping back and watching in awe and amazement as the practiced men used their butchering tools. As the belly was split and the offal rolled forth it was judiciously sorted. When the primal joints were separated I was put to steady work as the young muscle guy to carry the hunks to the tables where they were further butchered. Six hogs is a lot. The tables were borrowed from the church social hall and almost hermetically covered in plastic for pristine return.

                                                        Hand grinders for sinewed sections were employed to make sausage. Some was packed raw for freezer, but some was also fried in patties to be canned with a covering of rendered lard in the older way. There was a plastic barrel to receive the copious backfat as salt pork.

                                                        I settled into the table doing the livermush. The granny in charge had just the previous week given a demonstration of making apple butter at a local fall festival, using the same iron cauldron. It was an old, huge, heavy cauldron. It was an old, thin, lovingly intimidating granny. She supervised the boiling and grinding of the headmeat, necks, livers, and hearts. Then the spicing, the boiling of the cormeal, and the final paddled incorporation.

                                                        It was an all day job. It was a lifetime memory. That's why I love Livermush.

                                                        My beloved invitor passed away just three months ago, and I miss him.

                                                        1. re: FoodFuser
                                                          scoopG May 9, 2009 03:28 PM

                                                          Wonderful tale and well told FF. I've only had scrapple on my visits to PA over the years but this gives new perspective.

                                                          1. re: scoopG
                                                            FoodFuser May 12, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                            And I am surprised at how many old friends are passing the word of mentor's passing. He was a good, simple man.

                                                          2. re: FoodFuser
                                                            kpaumer May 18, 2009 10:44 AM

                                                            Wonderful Story, FF. A connection to the food and to the past. I too remember those communal food events, everyone had their job to do.
                                                            Sadly you won't see them anymore!

                                                        2. re: woodandfine
                                                          pikawicca May 13, 2009 01:50 PM

                                                          I didn't meet up with scrapple until my mid-teens, but it was love at first bite! No one else in my family will go near it, though.

                                                          1. re: woodandfine
                                                            Passadumkeg May 13, 2009 02:02 PM

                                                            Woodandfine, do you eat hot dogs?

                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                              w
                                                              woodandfine May 13, 2009 04:34 PM

                                                              No hot dogs for me, last one I ate was probably about 25 years ago.

                                                              I abstain from pork and beef.

                                                              Scrapple sounds absolutely disgusting to me, and would so even if I ate meat.

                                                              1. re: woodandfine
                                                                FoodFuser May 14, 2009 03:44 AM

                                                                It puzzles me that one who eats no pork or beef would comment on a thread about scrapple. To drop in and read our comments is certainly understandable, as is rubbernecking on that wreck on the highway, or watching "Cops" on TV.

                                                                I like to read Chowhound because it celebrates people's individual tastes, and our collective topical posts offer a range of experiences that help us focus on what we want concerning food.

                                                                I like to eat once a month with a group of 30 to 40 vegans, because I like to keep up with some cool friends, I like good food, and I like people who make firm choices and stick by them. They know that I eat meat. They generally enjoy my recipe-labeled vegan potluck dish. Perhaps they enjoy the fact that I hang through the post meal phase of watching the PETA video, and participate without rancor in discussions.

                                                                Please do not disparage my scrapple or my love thereof. Pork liver is part of my personal life path.

                                                                I will not ask you to expand your culinary breadth to include scrapple or other atavistic and ancestral foods. Just read the posts, say "ewwwww.. gross" and move on. Chowhound works best without disparagement.

                                                                1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                  The Professor May 14, 2009 07:46 AM

                                                                  I'd have to agree with FoodFusser...that was a pretty weird hit and run.
                                                                  Surprising, since these forums generally seem fairly troll-free.

                                                                  Anyway...to each his own...and all hail the noble pig!

                                                                2. re: woodandfine
                                                                  pikawicca May 14, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                                  How do you know how it would sound, since you DON'T eat meat? I find tempeh and seitan disgusting, so there!

                                                                  1. re: woodandfine
                                                                    bkhuna May 17, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                                    "Scrapple sounds absolutely disgusting".

                                                                    Just what is the sound that scrapple makes. I usually just make yummy noises.

                                                                    1. re: woodandfine
                                                                      l
                                                                      laliz Jul 2, 2012 02:32 PM

                                                                      I agree with foodfuser et al.

                                                                      Often I will see a topic or even read some about something I don't care for, just out of interest. I might even say "ewwww" to myself; but I have learned on here to not "yuk" someone else's "yum".

                                                                      I grew up in PA and I love Love LOVE good scrapple. OP knows more than I ever did about it. Thanks everyone.

                                                                  2. re: woodandfine
                                                                    pikawicca May 28, 2009 05:01 PM

                                                                    I've just read your response to babettefeasts about tourist food, and am amazed that you do not see your own hypocrisy. WTF is a vegetarian doing critiquing scrapple? You attack babette because she judges others' food choices. Get a mirror.

                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                      w
                                                                      woodandfine Jul 7, 2009 09:38 PM

                                                                      Calm down, my pig-intestine-chowing friends.

                                                                      I will continue to comment on whatever food I find fascinating. I do, by the way, find scrapple fascinating.

                                                                      Enjoy.

                                                                  3. Passadumkeg May 8, 2009 11:23 AM

                                                                    Give me scrappel, syrup, mush and applebutter over any food from any chain restaurant. Food is cultural; someone may be disgusted by what you eat.
                                                                    Wos Wit Pennsylvania Dutch Foods, of Tamaqua, Pa, make very good apple and peach butter and chow chows. It is, however, a relative of mine.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                      PattiCakes May 8, 2009 11:41 AM

                                                                      Hey, Pass! I forgot about your relatives and Wos Wit. I will vouch for the fact that their products are excellent and represent PA Dutch foods quite well.

                                                                      We are going out to a local diner for Mother's Day & I plan on having me s fine mess of eggs, home fries and scrapple, with syrup. Wolfgang Puck & his left-coast minions be damned! He'd probably put pineapple and arugula on it.

                                                                      Has lobstah season started?

                                                                      1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                        Passadumkeg May 9, 2009 12:08 AM

                                                                        Our youngest just got home from college, ordered 6 lobsters at $3 /lb from a student and his mom gave to us for free! Lobster Benedict and the best corned beef hash at Chester Pike's Galley for Mom's Day breakfast, but no scrapple. Then to our cabin on Tunk Lake for some salmon fishing and relaxin'. Just drove from Vegas, Alb., Austin to see my daughter, NOLA, Savannah, Nag's Head and New Haven w/ Scargod in my new 1990 Miata, but no scrapple!

                                                                    2. b
                                                                      boxerma May 8, 2009 11:40 AM

                                                                      Born and raised in CA checking in. My folks are from PA, Dad Philadelphia, Mom Lebanon. When I can find it, I get Habersetts. I make it like Grandma - dusted with flour then fried to crispy in a well seasoned (3rd generation) cast-iron skillet. Serve with applebutter or applesauce. Heck, I just enjoy it plain. When visiting PA, I purchase it at either Heagy's or Weaver's at either Green Dragon or Root's. I prefer the Heagy's version. My mom being a "country girl" even had us make scrapple from scratch at home when we were kids. We used a fresh pigs head that we got in Chinatown. Never knew what adventure she would come up with next.

                                                                      1. MGZ May 9, 2009 12:14 PM

                                                                        Has anyone ever battered/coated and deep fried scrapple? (I've been thinking of doing scrapple and spam fingers as a funky anti-chicken finger app.)

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                          PattiCakes May 9, 2009 05:26 PM

                                                                          Never had batter coated, but deep frying is a technique used to cook thicker slabs of it. In my culinary tradition, the only way to cook scrapple was to dust iut lightly with flour, t start cooking it in a cold pan (cast iron skillet), and cook it very slowly to develop a really crispy crust. I remember my dad also weighting it down to press it thin. It's not a very efficient way to cook it if you want to turn out lots of it for patrons' breakfasts, so many diners deep fry it.

                                                                        2. kpaumer May 12, 2009 10:17 AM

                                                                          I used to like Scrapple. But what is "pudding"? Is that the same type of meat product?

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: kpaumer
                                                                            Will Owen May 12, 2009 02:26 PM

                                                                            If you open all the posts on this thread, and have the time to read them, you'll probably find the answer to that. However, we can also say that all of the foods and versions of foods discussed here are technically puddings, budins, boudins, whatever - mixtures of meat, grain products and seasonings. I've been waiting for someone to mention goetta (well, someone might have and I missed it), which is like scrapple but uses oatmeal instead of cornmeal...which makes it a first cousin to haggis, yet another pudding!

                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                                              PattiCakes May 13, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                              yeah, but you get to drink scotch with haggis.....

                                                                              1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                Will Owen May 14, 2009 02:59 PM

                                                                                That's to make the bagpipes sound like an actual musical instrument.

                                                                                I think scotch with scrapple would be very nice, actually. When I make mine (weekend after this, when Mrs. O is out of the house) I will give it a try. And file a report, of course!

                                                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                  Will Owen Jun 5, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                                  "And file a report, of course!" Which I did, above, and am posting the recipe on the Home Cooking Board.

                                                                          2. m
                                                                            mikey the mook May 13, 2009 04:38 PM

                                                                            I was born and raised in Delaware and the best brand hands down is RAPA. I now reside in NYC and have to wait for my family to visit to bring it to me>>>>>

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: mikey the mook
                                                                              johnb May 13, 2009 05:12 PM

                                                                              Sorry, but notwithstanding your comments and some earlier, IMO Rapa brand isn't worth eating. Somewhere between tasteless and terrible. I suffered during my DC years because often the only scrapple that was carried by the local supermarkets was Rapa, once Parks Sausage company of Baltimore (Balmer) went out of business. I now live in North Carolina, the heart of livermush country, but try as I do I can't see much difference between livermush and scrapple, at least as it appears on the grocery shelf. Maybe it's time to start looking for some boutique scrapple as was talked about earlier, or making my own.

                                                                              BTW, I like it fried in butter 'til crisp then spread on heavily buttered toast. Food for the gods. My beautiful bride, of course, won't remain in the same room with me when I do that, but more for me........

                                                                              1. re: mikey the mook
                                                                                g
                                                                                gordo737 Dec 13, 2009 07:14 AM

                                                                                I'm from Virginia, where RAPA scrapple was a breakfast staple. I've lived in Texas since the mid '80s and have been suffering through withdrawals eversince. I used to find it in Tom Thumb, Winn Dixie, and Central Market, but no more. RAPA will ship, but they aren't quite operating in the current century. (They don't take credit cards and won't ship until your check clears their bank---as of about a year ago anyway). I may have found an answer though. My family physician owns a ranch. This afternoon he and I are going to attempt to make our own. I'll fry some up tomorrow morning and report back on how it turned out!

                                                                                1. re: gordo737
                                                                                  g
                                                                                  gordo737 Jul 2, 2012 08:28 PM

                                                                                  Well, I just reread my previous post and realized I never reported back on the homemade scrapple. Well, I didn't turn out as well as I thought it would. I started experimenting with different spices afterwards and it improved some. I don't buy RAPA anymore, since it's too difficult to get here in Texas. But a Krogers near me, (Ridge Road in Rockwall, Texas) sells some made by Jones Country Farms. IMO it's good. We use ketchup or syrup. The kids spouse, and dog all love it. Hope this helps!

                                                                                  1. re: gordo737
                                                                                    paulj Jul 2, 2012 08:57 PM

                                                                                    I've seen the Jones brand in freezer sections; suppose I should try some to see what the seasoning is like.

                                                                              2. iL Divo Sep 7, 2009 10:37 AM

                                                                                I was hoping to find recipe after recipe of scrapple.
                                                                                Wonder where that thread is?
                                                                                Hint/help............ :)

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                  paulj Sep 7, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                                                  recipe threads are under Home Cooking.

                                                                                  Evidently most people who eat scrapple buy it already made. But it does not sound hard to make - just cook cornmeal with pork stock and scraps. Next time you butcher a hog, turn some of the scraps into scrapple. :)

                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                    Will Owen Sep 8, 2009 05:11 PM

                                                                                    It's dead easy, so easy and so cheap that experimentation consumes not much more than time, and it's just about guaranteed to be edible whether it's perfect or not. I haven't made another stab at it just because it's been too damn hot to fuss over what's best as a cool-weather comfort food. But I'm gonna.

                                                                                    Experiment #1 is under the thread headed "Scrapple!", like this'n only with the bang.

                                                                                2. m
                                                                                  mthayne Jul 2, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                  In reply to your questions 1 & 2: it's not worth your time and effort to purchase scrapple from stores or on-line. I don't even think I would order it in a restaurant.
                                                                                  #3) Make your own; it's a cinch. I just made a batch using Julia Child's recipe and it is very much like my Mother's recipe of years past, after Dad butchered a pig. Dad never did anything w/the snout, lips, etc., etc. he did however grind up scraps of pork from the bones and added the heart, liver and tongue and made an incredible scrapple. I just use ground pork, and added fresh sage and thyme from my herb garden, salt, pepper, celery seed, garlic and paprika. It was very savory and so simple to make. It's baking right now.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mthayne
                                                                                    pikawicca Jul 2, 2012 01:09 PM

                                                                                    Julia Child had a recipe for scrapple???

                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      mthayne Jul 2, 2012 02:57 PM

                                                                                      Yes, it's very simple and delicious.

                                                                                    2. re: mthayne
                                                                                      paulj Jul 2, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                                                      A few weeks ago I made some. I had a bag of pork bones from my Asain/Chinese grocer, along with some pork heart (makes good dog treats) and pork trail. After cooking those till tender, I had a good amount of pork stock, plus scraps off the bones. I just cooked some cornmeal with the stock and scraps, and then fried it a few days later. Overall good, but not head and shoulders above other grits/polenta preparations.

                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                        m
                                                                                        mthayne Jul 2, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                                        Scrapple has to have sage in it and it is highly seasoned w/other herbs of choice, salt & pepper.

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