HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >

Where does one draw The Scrapple Line?

budgetrick May 5, 2007 06:07 PM

A PA coal-cracker transplanted to Upstate New York needs some help. How far north or west of Philly can one find scrapple as a readily available side dish at breakfast? Anyone care to offer recommendations on especially fine renditions of that delicacy? (I'm also kind of curious about the geographic reach of Taylor Pork Roll, again considering Philly to be "ground zero;" the key difference is that I'd actually eat the scrapple.)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. m
    missfunkysoul RE: budgetrick May 7, 2007 07:29 PM

    my best guess would be scranton. being a new yorker transplanted to philly, i still don't quite understand the scrapple thing, but there you have it :) good luck!

    1. v
      Vladimir Estragon RE: budgetrick May 9, 2007 12:31 AM

      There's plenty of it out here in Lancaster. For those who don't know, scrapple is a mixture of ground pig scraps and offal, mixed with spices and corn meal, and formed into a loaf.You then cut thin slices and pan fry them until crisp on both sides. My wife loves it with butter and maple syrup. I've tried it, and I have no aversion to it, but I found it somewhat tasteless. I'd much rather have bacon or sausage for my breakfast pig.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Vladimir Estragon
        jean larosa RE: Vladimir Estragon May 9, 2007 07:10 AM

        Scrapple is amazing. I've eaten it at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia, it was good, but no better than any diner in New Jersey or Philadelphia.

        While traveling, I find that people in Florida, etc. have no clue what the heck this stuff is!!!

        1. re: jean larosa
          quazi RE: jean larosa May 9, 2007 08:08 AM

          That's probably everwhere but the carolinas. Most grocery stores here have scrapple

      2. Passadumkeg RE: budgetrick May 9, 2007 04:49 AM

        My mom's Hazelton area hometown is so depressed that they took away the state liquor store. I do, however, miss the great cheap eating. When we visit from N. Maine, we return loaded w/ scrapple, pork roll, pierogies, good rye bread, kiebasi, and pitz(pizza) from Hazelton. Are there others that miss pitz? I found a recipe for scrapple on line and make it myself. Any recomm. for good eats in the Hazleton area? Funky ethnic bars?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg
          JScatton RE: Passadumkeg May 31, 2007 08:42 PM

          God I miss the pitz! I grew up in Hazleton and always load up when i go home. I can recommend some good, classic Hazleton eats. For Italian, I'd say Angelo's Italian House. The owners are from Anzi, Italy where a bunch of Hazleton Italians are from. His wife does all the cooking and his sister-in-law makes the desserts. There's always the Ovalon too. Now, for no nonsense Hazleton comfort food, you have to go to Jimmy's Quick Lunch for hotdogs, The Knotty Pines for pork barbeque, or Rostas' for great pizza and antipasto. Don't forget to have a carton of Farmer's Iced Tea.

          1. re: JScatton
            Passadumkeg RE: JScatton Jun 1, 2007 07:30 AM

            Thanks so much! Isn't the pits thing weird, but real?

          2. re: Passadumkeg
            gardens4me RE: Passadumkeg Sep 27, 2009 07:52 AM

            Hazleton makes me want to cry...so very, very depressing. I used to live in Jim Thorpe and after two trips through the virtually dead downtown, I actually found back ways to drive, to avoid the sad feelings.

            That said, people always rave about Senape's on North Vine Street. But that's not about scrapple.

            1. re: gardens4me
              Passadumkeg RE: gardens4me Sep 29, 2009 05:09 AM

              I remember Jim Thorpe as Mauch Chunk in the 50's, was that a depressing place then. What a turn around in a town!
              Can one still buy scrapple at the Allentown Farmer's Market? And what hours is it open?

          3. m
            mardy RE: budgetrick May 9, 2007 05:00 AM

            Funny story about scrapple. Years ago a friend was cooking it for her husband, and had to leave the stove to answer the front door. It was UPS and she had to sign for packages, fill out forms, etc. When she returned to the stove, the rubber end of her spatula had melted into the scrapple. She vigorously mixed "it" into the scrapple and served it to him moments later. I watched in disbelief as he mentioned that the scrapple tasted even better than usual. He wolfed it right down and asked for another plateful.

            True story that happened in Allentown,Pennsylvania......

            2 Replies
            1. re: mardy
              Passadumkeg RE: mardy May 9, 2007 05:16 AM

              I belive it! Considering I ate my way through Muhlenberg at Yocco's on Liberty Street, man will eat anything. Funny too, our youngest, 17 and born in Blue Hill, Maine, loves, scrapple, Taylor Pork Roll, periogies, and real kielbasi. They are his favorites.
              Is there still any good Penn Dutch eating in the Allentown area?

              1. re: Passadumkeg
                mardy RE: Passadumkeg May 9, 2007 06:16 AM

                Can't answer that one. Haven't lived in the Lehigh Valley for a long time. The above-mentioned scrapple story happened in 1974...

            2. j
              jzerocsk RE: budgetrick May 9, 2007 07:23 AM

              Ground zero for Pork Roll would be Trenton. It's kind of amusing that someone who would eat scrapple wouldn't eat pork roll :-)

              You should be able to find pork roll in some form throught NJ, up into the northern suburbs of NYC and perhaps even into DE/MD. To the west, I imagine it gets harder to find the farther you get from Philly and Trenton.

              Scrapple is harder to find in Jersey as you cross north of the Mercer/Monmouth "M-line." Those people are too far gone on pork roll to care about scrapple. Scrapple is easier to come by south of the M-line, but even then it's not all that common. Going west for scrapple, I imagine there's a dead spot between Amish country and State College. There's probably enough transplants at PSU that you can find scrapple easily. Then another deadzone until you get into Ohio. There's enough Amish/Mennonites/Anabaptists in OH that scrapple or some variant is still somewhat common.

              So you may have an easier time finding pork roll...depends how far upstate you are. :-)

              2 Replies
              1. re: jzerocsk
                aldadshsta RE: jzerocsk May 9, 2007 09:21 PM

                If you are looking for a western line, I'm near the Pittsburgh area and my father-in-law loves scrapple and it is readily available in our local supermarket.

                1. re: jzerocsk
                  gardens4me RE: jzerocsk Sep 27, 2009 07:55 AM

                  Agree totally. Grew up in North Jersey and Taylor's Pork Roll, sliced thick was my idea of a fabulous lunch. When I went off to college outside Philadelphia, I learned about scrapple from people who grew up in the area. The best scrapple made by people from the Lancaster area who bring it into Reading Terminal Market. My friend says that theirs has more 'snouts' ...lol....there's also a controversy about whether to slice and cook think or thick. I prefer scrapple thin and crispy and my Taylor Pork Roll thick.

                2. b
                  badams007 RE: budgetrick May 19, 2007 10:30 AM

                  I live in the northern edge if the Catskills in NY. Taylor Roll is available in the local grocery store, but no scrapple. I suspect that is a direct result of where the people owning second homes here hail from.


                  1. e
                    epfoodie RE: budgetrick May 21, 2007 01:12 PM

                    Habersetts (it's spelled close enough) at any grocery store- it's the best! I've had scapple in Ohio and NC- but it's pretty rare

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: epfoodie
                      travlnmike RE: epfoodie May 30, 2007 08:41 PM

                      just got back from philly,and had the best scrapple i've ever tasted at sabrinas cafe in the italian market.Huge portion that 2 can share as a side.

                    2. d
                      dougherj RE: budgetrick Jun 1, 2007 01:05 PM

                      I can confirm the presence of Taylor Pork Roll as far North as Simsbury CT (just outside of Hartford) at a place called Brookside Bagels. The bagels are very good and they make a pork, egg and cheese on a cheddar bagel that is fantastic. One note, the call it "Taylor Ham" instead of pork roll.

                      1. Passadumkeg RE: budgetrick Jun 1, 2007 02:54 PM

                        This blew my pork roll mind. My brother, who lives in Las Vegas, gets a thick slice of pork roll from the deli section of the supermarket to gnaw on while he shops. Many coal cracker expats in LV?
                        Here in the icy far north, we must settle for salt cod snacks or reindeer knuckles.

                        1. j
                          jack14jack14 RE: budgetrick Sep 25, 2009 08:39 PM

                          We found scrapple at the Summit Diner in Somerset, PA. Have not seen it in the Pittsburgh area per say. That's about as close as it gets as far as we know. Summit Diner does a nice job.

                          1. v
                            Velvet Elvis RE: budgetrick Sep 26, 2009 03:25 AM

                            There is a chain of cheesesteak places in the LA area called Philly's Best that sells Taylor's Pork Roll.

                            1. p
                              PearlRabbit RE: budgetrick Sep 26, 2009 06:24 AM

                              We can draw the scrapple line wherever as long as it leads to my belly. Yum!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: PearlRabbit
                                seagulls1 RE: PearlRabbit Sep 26, 2009 07:12 PM

                                We are spoiled on Habersetts, anything else just doesn't do it for us, and I've tried many others, including homemade and small butchershop mixes, My family owns a pig farm near Kutztown so we have tried most of the locals.

                                Taylor pork roll is best , Trenton roll #2, I wish Taylor had the huge logs that Trenton sells thru Sams club. When the extended family comes in for visits we take that sucker and slice it thick for the grill, with cheese too, awesome!!

                                1. re: seagulls1
                                  BBCaprice RE: seagulls1 Sep 29, 2009 03:57 AM

                                  Trenton Pork Roll is actually made by Taylor. Trenton is a cheaper version. Taylor is the best, nothing else compares although my kids prefer Trenton because they are used to it. Taylor has too much flavor according to them.
                                  Habbersett's Scrapple is the best. I bake it in the oven on a greased pan at 400 degrees until brown. The easiest way to go. Deep frying is done at restaurants but I think it ruins it although that is now the common method.

                              2. s
                                shellbellc RE: budgetrick Sep 29, 2009 11:36 AM

                                I've heard of people, who aren't in the SE, PA area, finding frozen scrapple in some grocery stores...might be worth a try!

                                BTW, it HAS to be Taylor...

                                1. p
                                  phillydogs RE: budgetrick Oct 2, 2009 02:07 PM

                                  Scrapple also goes pretty far south into Maryland and DC.

                                  1. cheflynnie RE: budgetrick Oct 5, 2009 12:04 PM

                                    Of course, you realize what sCRAPple is, don't you? If not, it's basically all the parts of the pig that should have been thrown away. I won't say anything more than that because my husband and his family love the stuff. I'm a native NY'er by birth - so maybe it's something you have to be born in Philly to appreciate. Good luck with your searches! :-)

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: cheflynnie
                                      gwebber RE: cheflynnie Oct 5, 2009 12:57 PM

                                      You gotta know that's totally not true. I dunno how this got started, but scrapple is nothing more than chopped up pork meat mixed with polenta. If it really was "scraps", it'd be inedible; pork scraps (usually cartilige and the tougher parts that aren't very popular - tails such) are so tough that no matter how finely you ground them, if you put them into scrapple they'd taste like little rubber balls embedded in your lovely smooth polenta. The scariest thing in scrapple is probably liver.

                                      1. re: gwebber
                                        barryg RE: gwebber Oct 5, 2009 01:25 PM

                                        Scrapple definitely has snouts in it.

                                        1. re: barryg
                                          Passadumkeg RE: barryg Oct 5, 2009 04:30 PM

                                          So? And ham is a pig's ass! What is your point?

                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                            barryg RE: Passadumkeg Oct 5, 2009 05:15 PM

                                            Hey, I like scrapple. My point is that to many pig's snout is a more... exotic ingredient than liver.

                                            1. re: barryg
                                              centralpadiner RE: barryg Oct 5, 2009 05:31 PM

                                              I love scrapple. It has always been my understanding that the meat used in scrapple was what had to be boiled off the bone after butchering (often or even primarily including the head). Then, those little bits of meat and the subsequent broth that was created are mixed with the spices (sage and pepper, I believe) and cornmeal to form the cakes of scrapple.

                                              Nothing was wasted - jeez, hasn't everybody read the pig butchering chapter in the Little House books? They turned the bladder into a balloon for the kids to play with, and eating the meat boiled off the skull is supposed to be gross? :)

                                    2. Passadumkeg RE: budgetrick Oct 5, 2009 12:21 PM

                                      No cheflynnie, I don't think that scrapple has anything to do w/ Philly or NYC birth, I think it might have more to do w/ using ALL the animal and that nothing edible is CRAP. My, what a narrow view for a chef.
                                      ps What part of the pig does an Iberian hame come from?

                                      1. s
                                        shellbellc RE: budgetrick Oct 9, 2009 10:34 AM

                                        We have a REALLY old PA Dutch cook book and it was stated to boil a whole hogs head. If you look up recipes now, a lot of them call for using a pork shoulder. I love me some scrapple, whether it has the squeal in it or not!!!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: shellbellc
                                          phillydogs RE: shellbellc Oct 14, 2009 06:18 PM

                                          A country dish that came about as a way to make the most from what you have, it's really almost a Pennsylvania Dutch terrine.

                                          I don't get the aversion to eating "weird" parts of an animal, if you're going to eat meat might as well eat the whole thing.

                                          I think having no idea what goes into your food (fast food and pre-packaged whatever) is a lot scarier that eating some ground pig nose.

                                          1. re: phillydogs
                                            Bigley9 RE: phillydogs Oct 15, 2009 10:34 AM

                                            second dogs!

                                        Show Hidden Posts