- , /ˈskræpəl/, /"skr
Scrapple is a savory mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour. The mush is formed into a loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then fried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, too small to be used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is best known as a regional food of Delaware, South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
CompositionScrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other scraps, which are boiled with any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and (dry) cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned, and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, and others are added. The mush is cast into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until gelled. The proportions and seasoning are very much a matter of the region and the cook's taste.
Commercial scrapple often contains these traditional ingredients, with a distinctive flavor to each brand. A few manufacturers have introduced beef and turkey varieties and color the loaf to retain the traditional coloration derived from the original pork liver base.
Vegetarian scrapple, made from soy protein or wheat gluten, is offered in some places. It is seasoned to be much sweeter than typical meat scrapple.
PreparationScrapple is typically cut into quarter-inch to three-quarter-inch slices, and pan-fried until browned to form a crust. It is sometimes first coated with flour. It may be fried in butter or oil and is sometimes deep-fried.
In composition, preparation, and taste, scrapple is similar to white pudding, which is popular in the British Isles.
Scrapple is usually eaten as a breakfast food, and can be served plain or with apple butter, ketchup, pancake syrup, or even mustard and accompanied by eggs. In some regions, such as New England, scrapple is mixed with scrambled eggs and served with toast. In the Philadelphia area, scrapple is sometimes fried and then mashed with fried eggs, horseradish and ketchup.
History and regional popularityScrapple is arguably the first pork food invented in America. The culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called Panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients. The first recipes were created more than two hundred years ago by Dutch colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Scrapple is strongly associated with Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and surrounding eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch and in Appalachia, scrapple is known as pawn haas or pon haus, a term hailing back to the old German dish. It can be found in most supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases. It can sometimes be found in frozen form in cities as far away as Los Angeles.