Scrapple Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


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There are some foods that it is simply better if you didn't know how they're made. Haggis is a perfect example of this.

The Pennsylvania Dutch 'mystery meat' of scrapple is another.

Also known as ponhaws, most dictionaries define this food product being made of seasoned pork and cornmeal shaped into loaves and then sliced for frying.

Traditional recipes called for butchers to chop a hog's head into halves and then scrape out all the meat; while others used all the hog 'parts' left over when the butchering was finished. Modern butchers assure us that they use shoulder trimmings and perhaps a bit of liver and they rather emphatically stated that they do not use hog snouts or other troubling 'parts'.

To prepare scrapple, the meat is boiled for a few hours to make a broth. The meat is then removed, ground (or shredded) and returned to the broth with cornmeal and the seasoning. It is stirred until it begins to get firm, molded into loaves and refrigerated.

Many restaurants in Pennsylvania will serve scrapple as a breakfast meat, on a platter with scrambled eggs and home fried potatoes. It is also good with pancakes covering everything with maple syrup.

Some folks carve a slice off their scrapple loaf, pan fry it and eat it as a sandwich meat. In many ways, Pennsylvanians are as creative in their uses for scrapple as others are with their recipes for Spam.

One disclaimer... do not mistake scrapple as health food. A single slice contains 265 calories, 14 grams of fat, 54 milligrams of cholesterol and 583 milligrams of sodium.

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