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What is scrapple?

The room service staff at the hotel where I'm staying (and eating a lot of room service) couldn't define it for me. I'm staying in Delaware, if that makes a difference.

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  1. Someone may have a more accurate description, but the original is made of pork parts that you probably don't want to know about it and it's grey, yes grey. Generally it's dusted lightly in flour then fried for about 6 minutes on each side. I won't touch the stuff, but the husband likes it and yes - it's a regional thing in the PA, DE, MD, VA area.

    Although there isn't a descpription of the product
    www.rapascrapple.com

    1. Although I wouldn't automatically trust Wikipedia, their description in this article is consistent with what I know scrapple to be and also with the external links used as reference:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrapple

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nom De Plume

        Haha...we all must have posted at the same time. Great minds think alike.

      2. Oh lord, I just dipped into Wikipedia for this... primarily hog offal: a savory mush made of corn meal, flour and pork scraps formed into a loaf and cooked.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrapple

        1 Reply
        1. re: ballulah

          <<<a savory mush made of corn meal, flour and pork scraps>>>

          You can't even spell it without all the C-R-A-P in it.

          Just as an aside, has anyone ever heard of scrapple being called "C-Loaf"???...saw the grey ghostly brick once at a local A&P.

          1. re: eLizard

            Health food, not really but it is healthy and tasty as all get out. You can't be squeemish about its origins if you don't balk at sausage. I find it delish but rarely available to me except when I travel through PA on my to visit my sister in MD and then I indulge (served as a breakfast meat).

          2. Grind up a pig, put it in a can, Scrapple.
            Grind up a pig, put it in a can, Scrapple.
            Yes I am a scrapple man.
            Think I'll have another can.
            Grind up a pig, put it in a can. Scrapple.

            1. OOO-- I can answer this one-- I'm from Lancaster County, PA. We also call it panhaas. Traditionally, it's whatever meat is left over at butchering time, boiled up all together, mixed with cornmeal, and shaped into a loaf. Then it's baked, cut into slices, and fried.

              1 Reply
              1. re: madisoneats

                I'm from Lancaster PA too and what madisoneats left out is that its DAMN good!!! Just think of it as a square hot dog for breakfast....it's like the Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast version of fois gras!!! Yum!

              2. I've heard it described as "the parts of the pig that aren't good enough for sausage".

                1 Reply
                1. re: JugglerDave

                  That makes me sad.

                  Scrapple is wonderful.

                2. I cooked up a roll of Goetta last weekend. It is similar to Scrapple but made with oatmeal. It is a Cincinnati area speciality. Between the two I'd rather have the scrapple. I am a corn person.

                  1. I'm sure I'll offend someone with this, but Scrapple has to be one of the worst tasting things I've ever put into my mouth! We were duped into trying it out by a waitress in PA who claimed that her friends would beg her to send "care packs" of Scrapple when they moved out of town. After a polite "bite" of what looked like a slice of grayish Spam I wanted to go scrub my tongue with a brillo pad. I've tried lots of odd tasting things in my life, blood sausage in the UK, ostrich jerky from South Africa, wild antelope, but Scrapple beats them all!

                    1. Friends (?) from Philly brought us up a batch--dusted it in cornmeal and fried it up last weekend. The cornmeal gave it a little crunch but the primary texture is that of overly processed pate. The flavor comes from the spices in the ground up toes, nose, ears, tails, and other bits of pig. It must be an acquired taste--the way people up here in New England like Indian pudding.

                      1. ok, guess i'll be sticking to the continental breakfast!!

                        1. I grew up right down the street from a scrapple mill. Strode's Scrapple Mill. (now just a shell of a building that is desperately in need of being turned into a historic landmark if it is not one already)
                          Yes, they call it a Scrapple MILL and the common knowledge for the area is it is called SCRAPPLE cause it is the scraps from the cutting room floor that is all swept up and pured into the mills and then pressed into bricks, tubes, whatever shape and then you slice it and fry it and eat it like ham steaks with your breakfast.

                          It is a type of sausagey product, but without the casing.

                          i personally think that this is what the SPAM people were emulating when they started their canned meat company.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jupiter

                            swept up, along with the saw dust, no doubt.

                          2. and how is this different from all the offal that's so trendy in high priced restaurants today? i'm sure mario batali could serve scrapple, give it some italian name, and be the toast of the town.

                            (oh, and FYI: no matter whether you call it headcheese or salumi or scrapple, i'll try it. and i'll probably like it, too.)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: funkymonkey

                              funny Mario is making it and it is the fab head cheese on his menus. just had it at Lupa a few weeks ago. Deleware is the heartland of scrapple. the closest thing I had was the the haggis found
                              all over Scotland. People, if you have had a hot dog you have had everything in scrapple: butts, lungs, filler and all!

                            2. My mother is from the Mid Atlantic region and I have had it on several occasions. Yes, people make fun of it for being all the scraps, but how different is that from sausage.

                              Interestingly, my mother has tried to make it on her own these days from scratch - and make it a bit more pure than in the old days. She has basically used ground pork, corn meal and some black pepper and sage. Frankly, it pretty much tastes the same as I remember from my youth and it does give comfort that she makes it with better product.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: poulet_roti

                                I've never heard of dusting it with flour prior to cooking - going to try that next time my mother prepares a couple of bricks.

                              2. I think most people recoil more at the idea than at the actual flavor of scrapple. It's not bad at all.

                                Scott

                                1. I love this stuff, and I didn't start eating it until I was in my teens -- love at first bite! You mustn't slice it too thick to begin with, then you dip it in flour and fry until very crisp. Serve with maple syrup. Yummy! Of course, no one else in my family will touch it. There's a good recipe for it in my old (circa 1950) JOC.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    I like scrapple as well...especially the crispy corn meal crust...a previous poster mentioned it coming in a can, but it has always been in a Vacuum sealed plastic wrap and here in San Fran. it is in the frozen food section...I definitely like it...and i was hoping SPAM would be similar, but when I finally tried it a few months age...I found it vile....slimy and tasteless...one bite and it found a place in the garbage...I quickly ran out to find my scrapple and was a happy breakfast meat camper-person...

                                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                      I've never seen it in a can, just in plastic.

                                  2. My husband grew up in Southern Maryland and loves the stuff. I tried it and think it tastes even more disgusting than the descriptions sound if that's even possible. But then again, I love some things that other people find awful - sweetbreads, Jewish deli beef tongue, chicken gizzards (cooked properly).

                                    My daughter's kindergarten teacher has given all her students these words of wisdom: "Don't Yuck my Yum!" - to each his/her own right? Still, I have to say scrapple is really yucky.

                                    1. Think of it as our version of haggis.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: wayne keyser

                                        This is so true. I tried haggis for the first time in June of '05 and scrapple in Oct of the same year and I was surprised how similar they tasted. For the record I liked both.

                                      2. Scrapple is a by-product of the butchering process of hogs. After all the primal cuts are removed, the head and scraps are cooked, ground up and blended with cornmeal and formed in loaves that look like much.

                                        In the old days, hogs were slaughtered in the late spring and early fall, the scrapple was produced and left outside (in the cold weather) and generally consumed for about two weeks after the slaughter.

                                        It is a heavy "stick to the ribs" type of dish.

                                        To me, it is all in the seasonings.

                                        1. Scrapple is my absolute favorite breakfast meat. I've never questioned what's in it cause I know it's all the pieces-parts that are not fit to be used for other things along with the sweepings off the floor, but who cares. All you need to do is cut a 1/4" slice, dredge it in flour and fry it. um, um good.

                                          1. I adore scrapple, and I'm not even from a scrappley part of the world. Grew up hearing slighting references to it, as well as even more slighting references to grits. Being a fair-minded person who was raised (by those Slighting Referencers, I may add) to try anything once, I tried grits and I tried scrapple, and now I'm in love with both of them. Go figure.

                                            I refuse to relegate any parts of a dead pig to inferior staus relative to other parts of a dead pig just because you can't make a steak out of them. If it's sanitary and non-toxic, the only other question is Does it taste good, to which the answer in most cases is Yes. And the parts off the head are better than most.

                                            1. I love scrapple. When I was little my Mother would fry it up for b-fast. No cornmeal dusting just scrapple. I'll have to look and see if they have it down here in Florida somewhere. Oh yeah, I like haggis as well LOL!!!

                                              1. The one time I had scrapple - at Lily's in Louisville, which is a lovely restaurant - I loved it. As a poster above mentioned, I suspect the difference between good scrapple and a bad food memory is very much in the seasonings.

                                                1. I've saw recipes for scrapple years ago - while browsing an Mennonite cookbook, but didn't try it until last night. My local meat market had some discounted packages of frozen Jones brand scrapple, so I thought I'd give it a try.

                                                  I would describe it as a cross between sausage and cornmeal mush. The brand I tried was strongly spiced with the typical sausage flavorings, black pepper and sage.

                                                  When fried it was softer than I expected, and stuck to the pan. But one side developed a nice crust. Dusting it with flour or cornmeal before frying might help.

                                                  It has its place as a side along with pancakes or fried eggs.

                                                  paulj

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    Some people cut the scrapple real thin and grill it until it is real crunchy. Others cut it in thicker slices and grill it until it is gooey in the middle.

                                                    The difference between good scrapple is in the spices. Ditto for goetta. It has to have some flavor.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      Jones scrapple has a good flavor, but I find the fat content almost ridiculous, like cheap supermarket Mexican chorizo.

                                                      The best I've had was at a Dutch Pantry, a long-defunct chain of restaurants, only a day or two before it went out of business! Bummer. But now that y'all got my attention, I guess I'll just have to make some...

                                                    2. My mom is from Deleware so, of coarse, we grew up with scrapple and I love it. To me scrapple is an entire breakfast all by its self. Thin and crisp for me.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: tbear

                                                        Thin and crisp is my preference as well!

                                                      2. Scrapple is delicious, and what do they say about sausage and laws? you don't want to know how they get made.
                                                        growing up near Trenton NJ, scrapple and eggs OR Trenton/Taylor pork roll and eggs (another mystery meat) were a regular breakfast for me as a kid.

                                                        1. Scrapple is like many items, it depends a lot on the brand (seasonings) and preparation. Some people like it spicy and others don't. Some like it thin and crispy and others prefer it thicker with a softer center.

                                                          It is made of pig parts and other stuff. Just like sausage. Pig parts are pig parts.

                                                          Scrapple and Pork roll.....ummmmmm

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                            So NATURALLY...I HAD to go to Safeway here in San Fran. to pick up some scrapple...this brand is the only kind I have had, never having tried a different brand to compare and contrast (If some Bay Area folks know of others'...let me know!)
                                                            It is HABERSETT 'imported' from Pennsylvania!

                                                            ingredient list:Pork Stock, Pork, Pork Skins, Corn Meal, Wheat Flour,Pork Hearts, Pork Livers, Pork Tongues, Salt and Spices

                                                            My Yiddische Grandma and 5 millennia worth of ancestors are turning over in their respective graves I know, and After that ingredient list I may soon join them....BUT...I really like this stuff!

                                                            1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                              Welcome to the brother-sisterhood of scrapple. There ain't nuthin' awful about offal. Every bodypart on that ingredient list would have been used by frugal house-feeders at butchering time when "slow food" was the only food and springtime bounty was far away.

                                                              1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                                My yiddishe grandma served scrapple. "You think there's actually meat of any kind in there at all?" she asked.

                                                                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                                  Which Safeway in The City did you find scrapple and in which department? I live here as well and would like to go buy some for comparison. Please advise.

                                                                  1. re: poulet_roti

                                                                    I bought it at the Large Market Street store...it is in the frozen food section...you might have to ask... I think it wasn't the most eastern aisle, which is ice cream and such, but the refrigerator aisle to the west of it but on the east facing side of that aisle toward the rear of the store...
                                                                    hope this helps!
                                                                    It looks like a small gray brick...

                                                              2. This is the pure beauty of Chowhound! Discussing something as simple as scrapple. I grew up in Central Pa (CPA) and had no idea anyone outside of the area even knew what scrapple was. Makes sense that it's available in other parts as it's, well, leftover parts. Haven't had it in years and no, this forum does not make me want to have it again!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: dpnpt

                                                                  >> had no idea anyone outside of the area even knew what scrapple was.

                                                                  Possibly its one foray into wider culture was through Charlie Parker's
                                                                  great "Scrapple From the Apple" bebop classic. Many years after hearing
                                                                  that song I had scrapple for the first time. I was terribly disappointed
                                                                  that it didn't contain apples.

                                                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                    I had some for b'fast today...you know some crunchy=sweet apples would be a nice addition...I think I'll try that t'row!

                                                                2. I'm surprised this has not come up yet. There's also a big argument in these parts about the right kind of scrapple.

                                                                  Most of the posts so far seem to be describing "PA Dutch Scrapple", made with the butcher's trimmings, as well as liver, tongue, etc.

                                                                  There's also "Philadelphia Scrapple" which is supposedly more refined for the city and main line folk. Made basically the same way -with spices and corn meal, but regular cuts of pork meat are used - nothing supposedly gross. There may also be some differences in the types of spices used.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Ace_Mclean

                                                                    The original version of all these products (pahhaus, scrapple, goetta) involved the scraps of the butchering process. For most farm families who would butcher hogs, this would be a once or twice a year occasion.

                                                                    As much of the population moved to the cities, many people make the dish but it is easier to pick up a cheap cut of pork or some sausage than finding a lot of pork scraps.

                                                                  2. Nobody mentioned the buckwheat version, which is pretty much the same bluish-grey colour of the faces of dead martyrs in medieval paintings, and tastes even better than the cornmeal-only version.

                                                                    The trick to getting a nice crust is to fry it on one side in a cast iron pan until it's almost brown enough, and then turn the heat DOWN. The slices will release from the pan after a few minutes and all the fond will stay together w/ the slice, not stuck to the pan. Flip it over and turn the heat back up. It's similar in its crunchy outside/tender inside contrast to fried polenta or a good croquette.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: beethoven

                                                                      I am a Delaware resident, born and raised and scrapple is a delight. I understand the description can be off putting, but so can hot dogs.

                                                                      If it's your first time trying it, look for a local farm that makes it. My favorite is a brand called Hughes. This makes a difference to me because it has less preservatives. It comes wrapped with a plastic packaging. Get the pan medium high, slice thin and crisp the outsides, and enjoy!

                                                                      1. re: in bocca

                                                                        I had the best scrapple I've ever eaten at a diner in suburban Wilmington. It was crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, just lovely with runny egg yolks. Also, more spices than versions I've had in PA or available in markets here in VA.

                                                                        I wish I'd asked what brand it was.

                                                                    2. I grew up in New Jersey and we used to eat scrapple all the time. My favorite way was cut it up into chunks, nuke it until soft, then spread it on buttered English muffins. Kind of poor man's pate. Parks was our favored brand and it was a sad day when I found out they no longer make it. When I'm up in New Jersey I pick up Jones, which is comparable. Living in Virginia now I have access to Rapa and Esskay brand scrapple, but Rapa is tasteless and Esskay is just plain gross.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. Amish polenta?

                                                                        And yes, I love a good slice of scrapple.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Striver

                                                                          Scrapple, another Great American Regional food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!