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Scrapple (Pennsylvania Dutch) is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour and spices. It is similar to Pon haus, which 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 (Delawaremarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, New Jerseymarker, and Marylandmarker). Scrapple and Pon haus 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.

Composition

A dish of 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. Fans of scrapple sometimes boast that scrapple contains everything from a pig except the "oink." 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.

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. Home recipes for chicken and turkey scrapple are also available.

Vegetarian scrapple, made from soy protein or wheat gluten, is offered in some places. It tends to be sweeter in flavor than typical meat scrapple.

Preparation

Scrapple 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.

Scrapple is usually eaten as a breakfast food, and can be served plain or with apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, or even mustard and accompanied by eggs, potatoes, or pancakes. In some regions, such as New Englandmarker, 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 popularity

Scrapple 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, and it is still called "panhoss" or "pannhas" in parts of Pennsylvania. The first recipes were created more than two hundred years ago by Dutch colonists who settled near Philadelphiamarker and Chester County, Pennsylvaniamarker in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result, scrapple is strongly associated with Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and surrounding eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsulamarker.

In composition, preparation, and taste, scrapple is similar to the white pudding popular in Irelandmarker, Scotlandmarker and parts of Englandmarker and the spicier Hog's pudding of the West Country.

In Texas with the influx of a large German contingent of immigrants, the use of Panhaus or Pannaus is largely found in German based communities like New Braunfels and surrounding areas. With modern chilling and packaging procedures, Pannaus is to be found in many community grocery stores and meat markets, particularly those with old fashioned meat butchering capabilities.

References

  1. http://philadelphia.about.com/od/scrapplerecipes/Scrapple_Recipes.htm About.com, PA and NJ Regional Recipes. Scrapple Recipes.
  2. http://www.rapascrapple.com/products/original.htm Rappa Scrapple, Our Original.
  3. http://www.rapascrapple.com/products/beef.htm Rappa Scrapple, Beef.
  4. http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Turkey%20scrapple Prevention Magazine, turkey scrapple. January 1984.
  5. http://home.comcast.net/~erhamstine169/recipes.html#scrap Scrapple or Pon Haus (the Pa. Dutch name). February 22, 2008.
  6. http://blogs.menupages.com/philadelphia/2008/05/vegetarian_scrapple_yes_it_exi.html "Vegetarian Scrapple: Yes, It Exists" March 26, 2009.
  7. Definition of "pannhas", Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1), based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc., 2006
  8. Habbersett Scrapple Corporate Internet Site, History


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