Q. So seriously, what is scrapple?
A. Are you sure you want to know? Wait, I answered your frequently asked question with my own frequently asked question. Let's try that again: I'm not sure you want to know.
Q. No, I do. I do want to know! What is scrapple?
A. Alright, well, at its simplest, scrapple is pork scraps boiled, chopped up and turned into a mush. That mush is combined with some pork stock and grains and then allowed to thicken into a loaf. You typically slice off about a 1/4" piece of the loaf and cook it in a pan so it's crispy on both sides.
Q. Uh, pork scraps? What the heck is scrapple made of?
A. This answer isn't always pretty. It's typically everything left over after the butcher is done making all the other meats from the pig. If you look at the ingredients list of a typical scrapple, you will see things like pork, but you will also see:
I warned you, didn't I? There are also nicer-sounding ingredients like pork stock, corn meal, wheat flour, salt and spices. This is typically the point where I tell people to just try it first.
Q. People really eat this?
A. You betcha! It's delicious. Nice and crispy on the outisde. Soft and warm on the inside. My mouth is watering thinking about it.
Q. Where does the word 'scrapple' come from?
A. The easy answer is that scrapple is made from the scraps of the pig -- scraps to scrapple is not a big jump. But that explanation would also be incorrect.
The origins of the word scrapple actually stem from Germany, where scrapple was called Panhas. Scrapple as a food has its origins with the Pennsylvania Dutch, who in Germany called it panhas. A slice of panhas would be said as panhaskröppel. That long word was pretty easily butchered in English to simply scrapple, and the rest is delicious history.