What is Scrapple and Why Should I Eat It?

If you didn't grow up in Pennsylvania or the surrounding mid-Atlantic region, you probably have no idea what scrapple is. The good news is, scrapple is exactly what it sounds like: scraps. But not just any scraps. It defined in the dictionary "cornmeal mush made with the meat and broth of pork, seasoned with onions, spices, and herbs and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying." 

Basically, scrapple is the result of cornmeal and pig meat leftovers being mixed together and fried until golden brown. Another way to think about it is kind of like a fried pork burgers for breakfast. Of course, there are other names that this unique regional dish goes by such as pon haus, pannhaas, panhoss, pannhas or ponhaws. It all depends on where you're eating it. It varies, depending on your city, whether you're in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Williamsburg, New York; or Wilmington, Delaware. 

For those who love it though, scrapple is the food of the gods. For others, it's an absolute abomination. If you are one of the ones who currently resides in the "culinary abomination" camp, we are here to change your mind.

Why You Should Love Scrapple

#scrapple #egg #and #cheese

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What we know today as pon haus is actually the ancestor of an economic way that the Pennsylvania Dutch dreamed up to use every part of a butchered hog. That economical way spread throughout Appalachia and can be found in variations from North Carolina up to New Jersey.

Originally, scrapple was a breakfast dish that allowed people to enjoy what was essentially offal, or pork scraps and pork fat. The ham, bacon, chops, pork shoulder and other cuts of the pig were reserved for more momentous occasions. While today this dish is often made from those "better" cuts of meat, we would argue that using true scraps is what makes scrapple so delicious.

Seriously, using scraps (offal) is great. The flavors that you can find in pork skin, pork heart, pork liver, pork tongue are incomparable, and as long as they are ground up and blended with cornmeal, you won't even know the difference. In fact, you might even prefer this kind of informal breakfast sausage to the traditional types.

So, if you can get past the idea of what you are going to have to use when making pon haus, you may discover that it tastes surprisingly good. It's a bit like country pork sausage or a thicker breakfast meat. Except that it is baked in a loaf pan and served in slices with a fried outside and a soft inside.

Often, it is accompanied by butter, maple syrup, applesauce, ketchup or mashed in with its usual partner: a plateful of fried eggs. 

Seriously, what's not to love about this stuff? It allows you to use up all the parts of the animal and challenges your preconceived notions of what you can use in the kitchen. Plus, it's really really delicious.

Oh, and if you weren't sold yet, let's talk about Delaware's Apple Scrapple Festival that happens every October on the coast. First held in 1992, the Apple Scrapple Festival is devoted to celebrating the farmers in Delaware and boasts an all-you-can-eat scrapple breakfast every morning of the festival. How's that for loving scrapple?

Find out how good it is for yourself with these 5 recipes.

1. Philly Scrapple

scrapple
My Recipes

A classic variation beloved by those in Philly. The spice blend is almost identical to the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch blend, with fresh ground black pepper adding just the right amount of depth.

Get the recipe here.

2. Venison Scrapple

venison scrapple
Deer Camp Beans

Who says that you have to use pork in your scrapple? No one, that's who. Get the most out of your venison in the freezer and put it to work for breakfast in your cast-iron skillet.

Get the recipe here.

3. SOS Scrapple

sos-creamed-beef-recipe-2
Nutmeg Nanny

This is basically deconstructed pon haus that is combined with cream and served over toast. Think of it as a very hearty version of biscuits and gravy.

Get the scrapple recipe here.

4. Scrapple Breakfast Pizza

scrapple-breakfast-pizza
Jones Dairy Farm

Breakfast pizza is a thing. And we all know that you can put anything on a pizza in America, so why not try one with scrapple?

Get the recipe here.

5. Traditional Scrapple

traditional scrapple
Birdsong Farm

For those who want to try the real deal with nose to tail pig parts.

Get the recipe here.

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