Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Scrapple Insult Raises Intercity Tensions

WE have a heap of trouble cooking on Laurel Ave. You see, food and culture are important to us Laurelites. We don't want anyone insulting our culture by way of insulting our favorite foods.

As much as it embarrasses me to admit it, my wife Joanne eats scrapple. She loves the stuff. She even passed on this genetic flaw to our children. It turns out that my neighbor Eric is also a connoisseur of this rendered hog offal and cornmeal, aka scrapple.

I guess it makes sense that they both would be familiar with this midatlantic pork mush. Joanne was raised by native Washingtonians. Eric grew up in the shadow of the Delaware Bay Bridge in Wilmington. I've read that scrapple is only consumed in eastern PA, MD, and DE.

I'm from northeastern Ohio and I never heard of scrapple before moving to Laurel. Honestly, the thought of eating scrapple makes me want to do something painful. Like maybe live through the 21st district election all over again wearing a campaign sign.

But can anyone seriously enjoy ground up pig parts? I mean think about it, scrapple is made from the parts of the pig that the sausage guy didn't dare use. No thanks, I'm happy with just good old fashioned bacon.

Eric and Joanne are incensed over a scrapple cooking insult that Eric experienced this past weekend during a motorcycle trip to Westminster, MD. It turns out that the Plum Crazy Diner prepares scrapple by deep frying it. Can you imagine? And to add indignity to this porcine insult, they also suggested that he drizzle on a bit of maple syrup!

Eric and Joanne are now preparing to lay siege to the Plum Crazy Diner and possibly to the entire City of Westminster for this gross breach of scrapple etiquette.

Thank goodness that Laurel's Tastee Diner knows how to properly prepare scrapple...smashed and burned. And Tastee's super waitress Patty, would never even joke about putting maple syrup on scrapple.

Remember the Rapa Brand!

Westminster, you have been warned. Don't mess with Laurel.

Feel free to share your scrapple tributes in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

What?! People eat Scrapple?! How?! Pour some milk over a bowl full of wooden tiles? Use the board as a Ledo’s-style pizza crust? Lightly broiled rack of rack, seasoned with vowels and consonants?

I can think of easier ways to get fiber…

Mike McLaughlin

Anonymous said...

Actually, my dad was a big scrapple fan. He was from the Philly area where it was a morning staple. My late friend Norman Thomas loved it too, and had some success introducing it to my son Kevin. Me? I like the smell of it frying, and I ate it before I read the God-offal ingredients. But then, the label on a package of hot dogs is not much different, and I still eat them.

Mike McLaughlin

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of scrapple until John and I were married. For a short time we lived with his parents and my father-in-law loves the stuff. I came down to breakfast wondering what was that smell. I thought Bud (father-in-law) said it was shrapnel. I wanted no part of any food called shrapnel!.. Even when corrected I was not impressed. I also am from Ohio although the southern half and while the folks from that part of the country eat some strange things, I don't believe they eat anything that sounds so much like shrapnel.

Jan Robison

Anonymous said...

Over the years I've grown to love this offal food. And to boot, I've tried it the deep fried way... not bad! Not kosher, but not bad! I did leave out the syrup, that seemed a bit much.

Hey while we're at it, how about those hot dogs and what's in them? And you know the old story, at the grill if they happen to drop a hot dog on the floor, just pick it up and put back on the grill.

Too bad all those breakfast foods I love [bacon, sausage, scrapple, corned beef hash especially] are major producers of heartburn (sigh).

Ken Skrivseth

Anonymous said...

I'm from a small, North East Ohio town (Alliance) and scrapple was a big seller. Your neighborhood must have been disadvantaged :-) This may also have been because of the local meat packing plant that boasted they used everything but the squeal. They sure did!

Fried with syrup is the only way to eat it. I preferred corn meal mush eaten the same way though. It came in 1 pound blocks, but I haven't found it since I moved to Laurel 33 years ago.

Sigh...the pleasures of childhood. Scrapple frying on a snowy morning while I got ready to walk to school (uphill both ways!)

Rick Goddard

Anonymous said...

I used to eat Scrapple as a kid. Coming from Lancaster, PA - it was a weekend thing. But it had to be crisp on the outside and mushy on the inside and it had to have syrup!

John Steinecke said...

Fried scrapple at the Tastee Diner is a damned fine feed. With a side of home fries and a cup of coffee (served by Patty, of course), it's a delightful breakfast. My inlaws are from central Pennsylvania and they're all agog over fried mush. I haven't gone there yet.

Rick Wilson said...

Thanks for sharing. It is obvious that scrapple has struck a nerve. Here is a response I got via email from a good friend:

I grew up eating scrapple with karo syrup, sliced thin (i'm one of 7 children) and cooked up to a nice crispy outside w/hot but not crunchy inside. ONLY on a cast iron griddle.

Rapa is good. They make it good up in the Poconos too.

Nuthin in the world like a scrapple and fried egg sandwich on white toast. That's good eatin'!

Rick Wilson said...

Another old friend from the Eastern Shore of MD wrote me:

In my house, the kids and I love scrapple - My wife will eat it if it is sliced thin and fried hard (to the point it looks like roofing shingle). My Boy Scouts love it - when we go camping we typically cook up 4-to-5 pounds for a Saturday morning breakfast.

And just so you know - I have made the trip to the Scrapple shrine - the RAPA Apple Scrapple Festival held every year in October in Bridgeville, DE. More scrapple info for you - RAPA scrapple is the main industry in Bridgeville, Delaware and it stands for Ralph and Paul Adams. And yes - scrapple is a very local food - hard to find anywhere other than the places you list in your web site.

I have always told my kids when they ask me what is in scrapple - its the first and last thing over the fence (lips and butts).

james walker said...

Rick, is all your taste in your mouth? Scrapple is a wonderful breakfast meat and although I've never tried it deep-fried, it sounds very tempting. My father's family reside in extreme western Md/Pa only a stones throw from your old stomping grounds and scrapple and homemade/local maple syrup is the standard with their buckwheat pancakes. Didn't you get out much? They now offer it in a variety of spiced up versions.
PS- don't try the pudding if you don't like the scrapple.

Rick Wilson said...

James, I know many appreciate scrapple. I'm just not one of them.

Now, my favorite breakfast food is creamed chipped beef. I've been thinking about publishing a glossy, coffee table book full of pictures of chipped beef. That's some good eats.

Thanks to everyone for sending in your tributes to scrapple.

Anonymous said...

Where my Moma’s folks come from (North Carolina), Liver Pudding is the deal.
When I first moved to Maryland, I thought scrapple was liver pudding but liver pudding is much purer than the ‘scraps’ of scrapple. It is an acquired taste but good. I am have tempted to try this recipe myself but probably need to consult with my Mom before proceeding.
My grandmother used to make it and I don’t know her recipe but I found this one on the web and it sounds like what I remember it tasting. You don’t deep fry but you do cook it in a skillet until it gets crispy:

1 pound pork liver
1 pound boneless porkchop
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp red crushed red pepper
A pinch of sage

Clean the liver and trim away the excess fat, membrane and veins. Cook the liver and porkchops over medium heat, in separate pots, until they are thoroughly done and a fork easily inserts in them. Cook them separate to avoid overcooking either. Save the stock from the porkchop.
Cut the liver and porkchop into small cubes and then run them thorough a meat grinder together. In a pinch you can use a food processor but you want to grind the meat, not liquify it. You want it finely ground but not creamy.
Stir in your salt, two types of pepper, and sage. Taste it and see if you want more seasoning.
But many of us need to watch our salt so don’t over do it. Use some of the liquid from your pork chops to moisten your mixture so that it sticks together nicely.
Pack it tightly into a lightly oiled pyrex (glass) loaf pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate for a day. I know it’s tough but you want the flavors to blend and the texture to set in.
After a day you it should be set enough where you can put it in a plastic container if you want. It will keep for several days in the fridge.
When ready to eat your liver pudding, I like to slice off a few pieces and fry it in a lightly oiled skillet until it is medium browned. By medium browned I mean it has a slight crust from cooking.

Gloria A.

Anonymous said...

Here it is folks, right from the manufacturer's site:


Pork Stock, Pork, Pork Livers, Pork Skins, Yellow Corn Meal, Pork Hearts, Whole Wheat Flour, Pork Tongue, Salt, Buckwheat Flour, sodium citrate, sodium diacetate, wheat flour, spices, dextrose, flavoring


Serving Size 2 oz.(56g)
Calories 90
Cal.From Fat 50
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 35mg
Sodium 310mg
Total Carb. 5g
Protein 5g