National Scrapple Day

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While scrapple can claim roots in Germany, the regional dish as it is known today is distinctly American. Pan Rabbit (or panhas) was an old-world dish composed of pork parts discarded during butchering, sliced thin and served for breakfast. Once in America, German immigrants exchanged traditions with the English settlers and the scrapple loaf was born.

Scrapple

Scrapple

Cornmeal (a new world ingredient), sage, and pepper were added to the pork bits, boiled into a loaf, cooled, sliced and pan fried. By the mid 1820’s, the dish was named in print as “Scrapple”, though theories as to its moniker have never been agreed upon.

Scrapple eventually found its way to other regions, though it is often referred to by different names depending on the provincial recipe alterations. In the South, for example, pig liver was specifically added and thus is called “Liver Mush”. In the Midwest, “Goetta” is a scrapple relative, but made with oats instead of cornmeal.

As with the likes of cilantro, black licorice, or olives, scrapple and its relatives seem to be a love it or hate it kind of food. I personally think it all depends on the preparation. My husband likes to slice liver mush as thin as possible then pan fry it and serve it with eggs. Although, to be perfectly honest, not many slices ever make it from the cooling rack to either of our plates. We’ve also diced up a loaf, pan fried the cubes and made scrambled egg breakfast tacos, but I think the key is the golden-brown crust.

I saw an article in the Smithsonian Magazine that called scrapple “the meatloaf of the morning”, and I couldn’t agree more! Although, enjoy in moderation because scrapple is often high is fat and cholesterol. But this winter, before you bundle up for a day in the snow, fill up on a warm breakfast of eggs, scrapple, toast and coffee. Your belly will be grateful!