Fran Lane

The History of a Baltimore Favorite: Scrapple

May 17, 2019

You either love it or hate it, but one thing is for sure: Scrapple is here to stay!  The Pennsylvania Dutch call it Pannhaas or "pan rabbit."  Scrapple is traditionally a mixture of pork trimmings and scraps that are combined with cornmeal, wheat or buckwheat flour and a variety of spices. This mixture is formed into loaves and then sliced thin and pan-fried. Scrapple is best known in the Mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia and is considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish. Its roots can be traced back to the 17th and 18th centuries when German colonists settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania. Scrapple is found in most supermarkets throughout the Mid-Atlantic in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases.

People often joke that scrapple is made of “everything but the oink!”  According to Wikipedia – “Scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other trimmings, which are boiled with any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are removed, the meat is reserved, and (dry) cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned to the pot and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, black pepper, and others are added.”

Most folks eat scrapple as a breakfast side dish – pan-fried and crispy and served plain or with ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, apple butter, honey or mustard. It’s more popular now than ever! Die-hard fans enjoy the annual "Apple Scrapple Festival," which is held the second weekend in October in Bridgeville, Delaware. So, love it or hate it... it looks like scrapple is here to stay!