I am going on vacation soon and wanted to leave on a positive note. It is true that there is much in the world that needs fixing, changing, adjusting or pitching out. But there is at least one perfect thing in this universe; Habbersett’s Scrapple.
If you didn’t grow up in Pennsylvania or Delaware, you may not know that scrapple is the best possible accompaniment to fried eggs on God’s Green Earth. It beats bacon hands down and makes breakfast sausage taste bland in comparison. The lack of knowledge about this thoroughly satisfying breakfast food is widespread; there are some scary myths floating around out there.
Recently, I was again forced to defend the World’s Best Breakfast Meat against ignorant anti-Scrapple propaganda when a local radio personality posited over the airwaves that “scrapple is made from wieners.” If you aren’t in third grade anymore, you may not understand that he was actually stating that scrapple is made from pig genitals. Why would anyone even believe that? It is sad to think that they would, prompting me to set the record straight.
Being raised outside of Philadelphia, I grew up with scrapple. My mom made a big breakfast after church every Sunday which almost always consisted of scrapple, eggs and toast. Sometimes we had link sausage, but most often it was scrapple and it was a family favorite. As a child, I took it for granted that everyone knew what scrapple was and that you could get it anywhere. Wrong!
Scrapple is a dish that was created by the Pennsylvania Dutch. They were known for their thrift and used everything that was edible. When they made liverwurst or sausage, they used the “scraps” from that to create scrapple. Scrapple DOES contain some parts of the pig that some would normally perhaps not use, such as the liver and the heart. However, people use the gizzards from chicken to make gravy and stock and fried chicken livers are a favorite of many people where I live now.
You can’t find scrapple where I live now and most people don’t know much about it. I find that what they do know about it is as wrong as wrong can be. The following pig parts are NOT USED in any scrapple brand that I have ever heard of: snouts, ears, feet, tail, genitals. Also, scrapple is NOT the same as “Head Cheese” which is something so disgusting-looking that it is beyond belief that anyone would confuse the two! (keep in mind when viewing the picture below that someone went out of their way to make this look appetizing!)
There are only two brands of scrapple worth buying: Jones and Habbersett’s. Habbersett’s is the KING of scrapple. The difference is in the seasonings. Jones comes close, but it cannot match the savory blend of spices that makes Habbersett’s the favorite of scrapple lovers everywhere. It is impossible to get good scrapple where I live now. In the past, I have been able to order Jones scrapple at a local grocery store, but they will not carry it for long because I am the only one that buys it. People here in Kansas just don’t know what they are missing!
Here are some scrapple truths:
Wikipedia: Scrapple or pon haus (Dutch) 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, 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, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland).
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 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 German colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries.
I have never personally tasted a scrapple as good as Habbersett’s, (http://www.habbersettscrapple.com/) which is made in Pennsylvania and not sold at any store even REMOTELY close to where I live. Sadly, the Habbersett’s website is extremely limited and outdated. It doesn’t appear as though it has been updated since 2003. I have tried the email addresses listed there in an attempt to have some scrapple sent to me, but have never received a reply to any email I have sent. If anyone out there has a Habbersett’s connection, will you please hook me UP??? (I’m dying over here!)
The picture above depicts scrapple as it appears after slicing, cooking and then cutting in half (bottom right below the star-shaped bread). The kid that had THAT lunch was one lucky little bug!!
I found this website that has LOTS of recipes containing scrapple. I might even try some myself, if I can ever get my hands on some decent scrapple:
I found this website for a scrapple brand that I never heard of. It is promising in that both the ingredients and the packaging appear very similar to Habbersett’s. HOWEVER, apparently they only ship scrapple during the holidays. BUMMER!!
NEVER go to this website to find out more about scrapple; it’s full of inaccuracies!! (Lips and assholes—really???! Who would believe that these parts could even be separated from the carcass, nevermind packaged and sold??) This sort of ignorant raving from an admirer of Scrapple is completely inexcusable.
If you are lucky enough to live in a place where scrapple is sold (particularly Habbersett's or Jones) and have never tasted it; do yourself a favor and get some to cook this weekend. You simply slice it and fry it. Serve it with fried eggs (over medium) and toast. Then, just for me, mash it up and mix it with the eggs and use your toast to mop up every last delicious drop! (At least that way I can live vicariously through your scrapple experience!) Sphere: Related Content