Monday, July 27, 2009

Pork Mush: The Pennsylvania Treat

funny word of the day: scrapple

According to Wikipedia:

Scrapple (similar to pon haus) (Pennsylvania Dutch) is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour and spices. (Pon haus uses only the broth from cooked meat.) The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then panfried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is best known as a regional American food of the Mid-Atlantic States (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland). Scrapple and Pon hause are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Mennonite and Amish, or Pennsylvania Dutch. Scrapple is found in supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases, and it can sometimes be found in frozen form in cities as far away as Los Angeles.

Scrapple 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, black pepper and others are added. The mush is formed into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until set. The proportions and seasoning are very much a matter of the region and the cook's taste.

Personally, I have never tried scrapple but I can't say it sounds particularly appealing. If anyone has tasted it and wants to share their experience, please do. And if you're interested in making your own scrapple (I am not), here's a recipe:

1 comment:

  1. I'm a central Pennsylvanian myself, and I have had scrapple, in fact i just had some about an hour ago. It was delicious! i like mine sliced, browned on a skillet, and with just a bit of maple syrup. It does not taste as bad as you would think with pork snout in the ingredient list. But I'm not sure how to describe it. Maybe mix the taste of fried spam and corn beef hash?