The delicious photo in the What is Scrapple?! logo was shot by sameold2010 and used via Flickr and Creative Commons.
It probably isn't too difficult to find scrapple in Lancaster, Pennsylvania -- possibly the heart of Pennsynvania Dutch Country. But it certainly doesn't hurt to know a few go-to locations when you're riding your buggy through town and absolutely need your scrapple fix. Based on the reviews from the Travel Channel, the Neptune Diner might be such that place.
Let's talk for a second on the basics of how scrapple is made:
You've cut up your pig. You've sliced up your ham and bacon and tenderloin and whatever other pieces of hog you want to enjoy. That's when the scrapple making begins! Take your pork "scraps" -- yeah, the liver and fat, but maybe even some hearts and snouts -- and boil them. When it's nice and tender, you take out the pork and chop it up. Meanwhile, you've got this pork stock left behind; add something like flour or cornmeal to thicken it up. Stir the meat back in, cool and shape it in a loaf pan and BAM that's how scrapple is made!
Scrapple is delicious, and gosh darn it, it's practical! We'll never stop making scrapple the way we all know and love. Still, it never hurts to have some fun with a classic dish, which is exactly what Chef John Mitzewich has done with his "Modern Scrapple" recipe.
"Wait, modern scrapple? What the heck are you trying to pull here?"
Close your eyes and imagine the most amazing sandwich your mind can create. It involves scrapple right? Of course it does, but what else? Before you answer, let me try this out on you: Take some thick-cut, crispy Habbersett scrapple and put it on top of dry-rubbed smoked sirloin. For toppings add some sharp American cheese and a sweet, homemade barbecue sauce. Cram all that between a fresh baked South Philly roll that is drizzled with pure maple syrup. Was that what you envisioned? Is your mouth watering?
RAPA, located in Bridgeville, Delaware, is the world's largest producer of scrapple. Wow, that is a great phrase to read.
Scrapple lovers often have a brand-of-choice, so RAPA's distinctive red, white and blue packaging is a welcome sight to many. Growing up in Maryland, this was once the only scrapple I knew.
"Any day with scrapple is like Christmas!" says Gregg S. on our Scrapple Facebook page. Well, I guess that's true, but technically only one day a year is actually Christmas.
On that wonderful day, how do you incorporate scrapple into your Christmas festivities? Maybe a side dish along with some sort of casserole. Or maybe scrapple and eggs as you unwrap gifts. Man, that sounds delicious. But I'm wondering if we can do even more.
It's election season which, of course, got me thinking about scrapple. (but really, when am I not thinking about scrapple?)
Anyway, I wondered, have any of our Presidents been scrapple lovers?
According to the Department of Labor, the actual founder of labor day is a bit unclear:
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, founded the holiday.
What isn't mentioned here are recent findings by the Research Association of Pork Amalgamations supporting evidence of a different origin of Labor Day. Have you heard the name Rasher Liverburg? Probably not, but if you love scrapple and having off the first Monday every September, then you should read on.
Condescending Willy Wonka does not care for your scrapple disgust:
You love scrapple. If you could, you would eat it every day (maybe you do). But part of your job as a scrapple eater is to spread the love.
So what's the best technique for introducing scrapple newbies to this delicious, but often misunderstood meat? Here are a few suggestions.
A few years ago, the NY Times pulled together a chain of editorial letters about scrapple from 1872. Like most discussions on scrapple, it starts off with a passionate supporter going on and on about how awesome this little-known breakfast meat is. And also similar to today, the detractors voice their disgust, unable to get over how and what scrapple is made of and insist it's terrible. Same story, different century.
But what I find most fascinating is how much the initial scrapple lover sounds exactly like scrapple lovers of present day.
© 2013 What is Scrapple?!