Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scrapple Anyone??

Yes, scrapple. I've heard of this before, but until recently I'd never seen it up close, much less taste it. I actually stumbled upon it. Do you know what it is? Well, I was taking a quick trip to Pennsylvania to a little town I like to visit when I have time. On the way to my room, I always stop at the local meat purveyor to get some stuff to cook with because there's a stocked kitchen where I stay.
Looks old school, huh? Well it is and I love it. This is the spot I get all my thick-cut bacon, hot dogs for the grill, steaks only 2 days from the farm up the road and well ... this time around ... scrapple. There I was in the middle of ordering said meats and my eyes wandered through the glass case and saw this ....
I said to the butcher, "What is THAT??". He smiled and said simply, "Scrapple". I said to myself, 'duh... it says that on the container', but I was captivated by the block of unidentified foodstuff so much that I didn't even catch the label. So, immediately I asked him if it was an easy prep because I wanted to try it. He at first said he didn't think I'd like it ... that's my cue to know I most likely will. This happened before in Hawaii at Super J's. (side note, I've since called and talked to Miss Super J and we have a nice budding foodie friendship). Anyway, as soon as he said I wouldn't like it, the challenger in me said, "well how do you make it?". He suggested I just pan fry a slice and serve it with eggs. That seemed simple enough. I told him to give me two slices and as he weighed it to measure he told me the best part was the crunchy edges and the soft center. I asked what was in it and he said, I didn't want to know. I gave him a deadpan look and said "yes, I do, don't worry ... I'll still eat it!". So you know, it's just pig parts ... the scraps he said, wonder if that's the origins of the name? Then a nice blend of herbs and spices. Well, I was too happy to have my slices of scrapple and the next morning I woke up and sizzled my first slices of scrapple ...
Sorry it's blurry, but that's what I do sometimes and it was warm and callin' my name. Only had tummy time for one more shot. Here's a close up with the same bad focus ...
By this time, I'd done my research online and found it may be tasty with some pancake syrup as well. I gotta tell you though ... it didn't need it. I reeeeeeeally liked it! It is a cross between blood sausage and canned spiced meat. It's a really hard thing to describe, but the butcher was right ... the texture was pretty yummy. The crunch around the edges went very well with the soft center. I sat there thinking, where has scrapple been all my life? I really like it! Well the answer is it is regional and hard to find, but not really because my research found a few places that mail it via online purchase. I'd totally do it with grits. It reminds me of this sausage my grandma called 'pudding' growing up. I'd peel the casing off and squeeze it all over my grits. What a memory. So much of a memory that before I headed out of Kunkletown, I made a quick stop at the butcher's. As soon as I walked in, he asked how I liked the scrapple. I said "gimme all the scrapple you've got, that's how I liked it!". So, now in my freezer waiting on a day I'd like to take a trip back to my childhood, or the great mountains of Pennsylvania sits this ...
A block of heaven. And guess what the whole block cost? 10 bucks and change! I can get at least 20 slices out of this!!! So look, next time you ask about something you've never had, if the person tells you that you may not like it ... try it. It's there because someone likes it, why not that someone be you?

20 comments:

ChiTown Momma said...

That is scary looking, sister! It reminds me of something they eat on Survivor or Fear Factor. Haaaaaaaaaa!

Complaint Department Manager said...

Soon as I saw the scrapple I started to chuckle. Reading further, I was fallin' out. First thing that hit my mind was Chris Rock saying something about eating a part of a pig's anatomy, as long as you cook it right.

'nuff said.

Sean said...

this is one of those things that tastes better than it looks. im sure you've had the steamed livers and lungs from the streetfood vendors in korea. sounds disgusting but tastes awesome (IMO)

Mary said...

Oh, I don't know! Some things do scare me. Well, I've never heard of this before, ever, but I do trust you so if I ever run across this I'll try it! Hey, I ate hoghead cheese and loved it LOL! And look how cheap it is too!!

Sunny Anderson said...

chitown momma, i admit ... not the prettiest bfast, but omg ... i closed my eyes and i was back at grandma's eating at her counter. i'm the idiot that would win on fear factor, if it weren't for the physical challenges :-)

complaint dept. mgr., yep! 'from tha rooter to tha tooter'!!! i know whatchu mean! saw him at the apollo, can't wait ti see his new film 'good hair' and feel guilty about my wig lol ...

sean, ita, it was sooooooo good and crunch-creamy! i tasted sage and thyme in my blend.it was pretty darn good. and yeah, i've had all the liver and lung i can handle, like c.d.m. alluded to above,i'll eat anything if you cook it right!

mary, yeah, it's a must try. you may not like it, but you can't take a stranger's word for it. gotta give it a go, with millions of taste buds on your tongue, some of em deserve a fighting chance at something new!

t2ed said...

I just always assumed scrapple was what failed the QA testing at the Snapple beverage company.

I may have to do a two-fer Tuesday and do scrapple and fatback next week.

Beth said...

PA native here! Scrapple is delicious! Yes, it's freaky looking and I don't inquire as to the specifics of its ingredients, but it is good stuff. My Nana used to dip it in flour before pan frying; you get more crispy edges that way! Some here in PA eat it with ketchup, some with syrup, and some plain. Don't knock it 'til you tried it. Good for you, Sunny!

Sunny Anderson said...

t2ed, teeheehee, either that or the name that didn't make the cut for the board game scrabble, eh? and i'll raise your fat back and see you with a chicharonne!

beth, yaaaaaay!!! i was hoping pa would check in! i did middle school in mechanicsburg and don't remember scrapple, but boy was i glad to run into it last week!! i think i'll try a dredge like you suggested, the crunch is where it's at!! ever try it with grits? i guess first we need to know if you even like grits. my dude doesn't and i don't understand why ... grits are amazin. thanks for the comment!

LauraLiz said...

What?? I thought everyone knew what scrapple was, and loved it!! I like mine with toast, grits, or fried eggs... or cut up into scrambled eggs!! Yummy alongside a biscuit and jelly too!! BTW, I'm from Maryland!!

Selenasking said...

That's just horrible. I'm a vegetarian, remember? But yes, I remember when I was a child my grandmother got that stuff back then. Not now please, lol.

MHAithaca said...

My friend Rhonda came up for the weekend to hike the gorge trails at the state park nearby, and she brought me two bricks of scrapple from eastern PA! I have such awesome friends. Glad you've discovered the magic, too!

Sunny Anderson said...

lauraliz, i know right?! :-) maryland has some hills ... and salt of the earth ppl, i'm sure there's plenty of scrapple, eh?

selenasking, ooops. sowwy, but i eat things with parents :-(. just imagine the best textured tofu veggie patty crossed with morning star veggie scramble plus lightlife smart bacon and you'll get the idea of how good scrapple is ... see i speak vegan :-)

mhaithaca, i wonder if it's the lehigh gorge trail ending in jim thorpe? i biked that! lucky you to have such a good friend! and how about, i only got one block and plan to return this winter to ski so i can get another one? i know by then, i'll be out of it. it's not an every day bfast, i have to space it out ... it's special teeheehee ... ahem, but i'm serious.

Complaint Department Manager said...

"sowwy, but i eat things with parents"


Must...resist...obvious...remark. Don't know...how much...longer...I can...hold out...(if only I could have typed this with out the tears in my eyes and being in abdominal pain)

Selenasking said...

Cool!

Bonnie said...

Hi Sunny! I enjoyed reading about the Scrapple. You are right about trying things new. I'm off to Africa this Saturday, so this was a good day to read about trying new (but safe!) foods. I want to share a quick story with you about your Lemon/Walnut waffles. Six months ago we had a significant house fire. After being out of our house for six months, we finally got back at the beginning of Sept. I am a newly retired as an elementary school principal and decided I'm going to learn to cook. I was watching your program on the lemon waffles two days ago and they looked delicious and a good starting point! Yesterday I was printing off your recipe to begin. As I was printing the recipe, I heard a huge water sound coming from my laundry room. A water pipe had come out of where it was supposed to be and flooded my new laundry/bath and the bathroom downstairs! S0, today I made lemon/walnut waffles for myself and the men tearing down the sheetrock. Making your waffles brought me great joy and the confidence to try another recipe. I love food because it is so often connected around stories (like your gran) .Thank you!

Nichole said...

I'm so glad to see scrapple on your blog! I lived in Pennsylvania for several years (and only recently moved) and I miss this food item. If you want to find the best scrapple, head over to Lancaster County Pennsylvania. This is a PA Dutch food, so the Amish really make it the best. If your ever there, head to Intercourse, PA or Bird-In-Hand, PA, try the scrapple,schnitz un gnepp, and finish it off with a whoopie pie! Thanks so much for the review.

Sunny Anderson said...

complaint dept. mgr., teeheehee i can read your mind...

selenasking, exactly! cool, cuz the block is in my freezer waiting on a thaw out!

bonnie, wow, lucky you! have a great time and eat, eat, eat! glad you liked my waffles! they make me feel like a kid everytime i eat them.

nichole, omg scrapple is now my screensaver, i love it! i got it in the poconos, spotted some amish in the area, i feeeeeeel authentic!!! thanks for commenting!

Schottzie03 said...

I have not had scrapple, but it appears to be a close cousin of GOETTA, a tradition in the Cincinnati area. Goetta contains chopped oats rather than meal, and I think it has less in the way of offal. The texture and taste are magnificent.

Nola.Divine said...

i would try it - the crunchy edges sound interesting...and it kind of looks like hog head cheese!

Sunny Anderson said...

schottzie03, hmmm that sounds nice. do i need to make a trip? and to where? all i know is offal ain't awful ...

nola.divine, the crunch made it over the top, i need texture sometimes and this was perfect. i reeeeeeally liked it. head cheese, close, but not the same. love that too though ...