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Term of the Week: Scrapple

Term of the Week: Scrapple

I just got back from my annual beach vacation in Delaware–the state where I grew up. There are certain foods I always have to eat while I’m there, and scrapple is at the top of the list. It’s not pretty and you don’t want to think too much about the ingredients, but if you develop a taste for it early in life, it brings back fond memories.

Scrapple is a meat product that’s native to the Mid-Atlantic, apparently originating with the Pennsylvania Dutch. My grandfather made it as a butcher in Philadelphia, to use up leftover scraps of pork. Thus, scrapple. The pork is finely minced and cooked with cornmeal and seasonings, then shaped into a loaf. If you see it uncooked, it’s gray and mushy looking, but fry it up to a brown crispiness, and it’s much better.

I used to eat scrapple sandwiches with buttered bread. It’s amazing I survived to adulthood! It’s hard to find outside of the east coast, although Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley has it, since Bette used to live in Delaware herself. I keep hoping that some local butchers and charcuterie masters will attempt a more local version. Do you know of any?

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