Monday, November 09, 2009

Eat up!


According to this post at Slashfood.com today is National Scrapple Day. I am willing to bet few of you have so much as the slightest inkling as to what scrapple is. No cheating by Googling or checking out the links first!

Let's back up a bit. Many of you know I used to do Trini Tuesday posts featuring information about the culture, history, and foods of Trinidad or sharing some of my experiences of living there. After about a year and a half of that weekly feature I switched to my home culture and started doing Pennsylvania German Tuesday posts.

Well, scrapple falls very firmly (or should I say splats rather disgustingly) into the Pennsylvania German category. It's a food. Though I have shared recipes of sumptuous delectables I grew up eating and though I observe certain culinary traditions with great gusto this is not one I would ever choose to celebrate. Why, you ask? Let's just take a little looksee at the ingredient list shall we? According to an article found here it is:
"cornmeal mush made with the meat and broth of pork, seasoned with onions, spices and herbs and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying."

image from http://home.comcast.net/~jomercer/Dutch%20Blitzkrieg/db%20pics/faq/scrapple.jpg


Heck, that sounds vaguely similar to sausage and really not too bad at all. But wait! There's more! True enough the old adage tells you if you enjoy sausage don't watch it being made. Scrapple is even worse. First off, it starts by boiling a pig's head. Secondly the "meat" used in scrapple is the stuff not even good enough for sausage. It includes skin, tongues, hearts, brains, livers or as many a Pennsylvania German likes to say, "everything but the oink." After all that offal is boiled with the head to make a broth the meat is removed and cornmeal along with the seasonings and possibly buckwheat is boiled into the broth and the finely minced meat is added back in. Once it's all glopped up it is formed into loaves and left to set up. And you thought spam was a horrid thing!

Theoretically scrapple could be eaten "raw" because it's all been cooked in the process required to make the loaves. That would be terribly unlike the Pennsylvania Germans though. Full preparation includes slicing the loaf and frying the individual slices until they are golden and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is generally considered a breakfast food and would be an option alongside bacon or sausage to complement eggs, fried potatoes or perhaps mixed in with all of that together. If it's eaten in slices it might be slathered with ketchup or maple syrup. Occasionally folks may even make a scrapple sandwich. Though why they'd want to is far beyond my comprehension.


I have to admit Mr. Lime, Diana, and Isaac are all fans of this dish which Calypso and I find especially vile. If the lovers of loaved hog offal in this house wish to celebrate National Scrapple Day they will have to do so by their own efforts. Calypso and I will instead be observing an alternate holiday, which Slashfood.com also lists for today, Cook Something Bold & Pungent Day. Bring on the curried venison!

30 comments:

Gledwood said...

My local butcher displays chopped off dead swines' heads in the window. Utterly disgusting!

Gledwood said...

(PS would they do that in America..?_

lime said...

gledwood. i can remember seeing that at a butchers shop when i was a kid but it's been a VERY long time since i've seen such a display in the US.

gaelikaa said...

Like our black pudding in Ireland, made of pigs' blood. Or Dublin coddle, not nearly so revoltingly made, a dish made of boiled sausages, bacon, potatoes and onions!

Jazz said...

As if I needed to know this so early in the morning *shudder*

Though kudos on the Pennylvania Germans for not wasting a thing. *shudder*


Would you believe today's word verification is "larder"...

lime said...

gaelikaa, sign me up for some dublin coddle but i will pass on the black pudding.

jazz, hahaha! i do indeed believe it. sometimes they match eerily well.

Desmond Jones said...

My first exposure to scrapple was in one of Michener's novels - Chesapeake, I'm pretty sure. . . And I was on a business trip to Delaware once, and it was on the breakfast menu at the hotel I stayed at. I actually made so bold as to order it, out of pure curiosity (and a general principle that I try to check out the 'local color' foods when I travel) but they happened to be out of it that day. Maybe fortunately so, eh?

My dad (who grew up on a farm) used to make up a batch of corn-meal mush (sans the hog offal), which he'd form into loaves, then slice it up and fry it, then eat it with maple syrup. That wasn't too bad, actually. . .

But, just between you and me, I'd much prefer the curried venison. . .

misticblu said...

Niiiiiiiiiiiice way to start the week.... :)
think they call it head cheese down here. Not any more appealing, i know.

S said...

Yuck

Moannie said...

And here was I, getting all set to tell you about the time I laid a seven letter word on two triple scores.

Ugh ugh and ugh!

VE said...

lettuce and puppy dogs please...lettuce and puppy dogs...

G-Man said...

Don't be such a Lily!
A few eyeballs never hurt anybody!

coopernicus said...

nasty, nasty, nasty, nasty stuff...I'd rather eat spam...which isn't saying much...

Ananda girl said...

Oh dear... sounds dreadful. Mark me down for venison please.

Suldog said...

I had the misfortune of trying scrapple once, which was more than enough. MY WIFE, while not a huge fan of the stuff, likes it more than I do (which is to say not at all.) Yuchh.

Aside to Gaellikaa, though: I love both black pudding and white pudding, and consider them indispensable parts of a Full Irish Breakfast. Obviously, De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum, as my grandfather used to say whenever the police caught him trying to boil the neighbor's cat.

lime said...

desmond, plain old corn meal mush (offal-less) all fried up like that would be tasty.

misticblu, head cheese is actually a bit different i think, more gelatinous

s, quite

moannie, scrabble is far more enjoyable than scrapple

ve, what on earth???

gman, i'll be sure to flick a few your way

coopernicus, i have to concur with you on all counts there

ananda, the curried venison is to die for

suldog, i promise never to ask either of yo uto eat scrapple ever again and i apologize for the inital experience.

RennyBA's Terella said...

Yea, I remember your Trini posts - love to read about history & culture you know!

Love food too and that on the pic look delicious!!

Blither said...

Err.. Ew.

*Shiver*

You got me with Pig head.

DianeCA said...

Typical of traditional foods they come from using up all of the animal. Which is a positive thing, this coming from someone who had mashed lung for dinner..mmmmmm :-)

Jeni said...

Scrapple -yet another food I never experienced until I worked as a waitress at the local truck stop. But my vote on this item would fall in line with Mr. Lime, Diana and Isaac! I like it plain, occasionally with a little bit of syrup -but that usually comes about if I order it with pancakes. I've never cooked though at home and really, I don't know why that is either. Maybe because I'd be afraid to purchase a package and it would go to waste since I might be the only one willing to eat it? (Although, my kids say it's very tasty with a little jelly on it too.)

secret agent woman said...

I did know what scrapple was already, but even in my meat-eating days I was never tempted to try it.

Fred said...

I'm with you and Calypso. Bleh.

lime said...

renny, i'm glad you think so!

blither, lol, quite the image, eh?

diane, mashed lung? oh my, i don't think i could cope with that.

jeni, i will donate my portion to you and your kids.

secret agent, yeah, it's just not in the least bit appetizing in sound or taste to me.

fred, welcome aboard

lime said...

renny, i'm glad you think so!

blither, lol, quite the image, eh?

diane, mashed lung? oh my, i don't think i could cope with that.

jeni, i will donate my portion to you and your kids.

secret agent, yeah, it's just not in the least bit appetizing in sound or taste to me.

fred, welcome aboard

Palm Springs Savant said...

We have a restaurant in Palm Springs that has a German theme- sort of. Anyway, that's how I knew what this was. (I don't care much for it tho!)

for a different kind of girl said...

I think there may be a really good reason why 'crap' is a big chunk of how you spell 'scrapple'!

Jenn said...

Both my husband & best friend grew up eating this meat, er, um, greasy hunk of grey matter. He grew up in Virginia / Long Island but his grandparents were PA all the way. My BFF lived just outside of Scranton until sixth grade when she moved here to Boston with her family. She has been "off the junk" ever since. Thankfully I have never touched the stuff but if their descriptions of what it is weren't enough, I think you sealed the deal with the ingredient list and "recipe" here. Shudder.

~Dragonfly~* said...

To buy it in public... NEVER!!! Can't be too sure of what all they put into it.... but dang... when we butcher the pigs and make it all ourselves and you KNOW exactly what is going into it and we only use the meat.... fry it up and dip it in maple syrup!!!! Yummy!!!!

From what I recall, we didn't put a whole lot of corn meal in it either... it really was mostly meat.

lime said...

pss, as i tell my kids, "it's not my favorite."

fadkog, a most excellent point

jenn, i am sorry. can i offer you a tums?

dragonfly, ok, if i was completely assured that it only contained meat and not brains or offal i would consider eating it.

Jocelyn said...

It's no surprise that, like you, I am repulsed by Scrapple but think curried venison sounds a dream!