I fully intended to get into National Scrapple Day, learn about a new food and tell you all the meritable aspects of it, but what fell onto my plate did little else but make me eye the trash can and wish it was a different food holiday. Sorry about that, but I guess that I can’t be jumping for joy over every one of my NaBloPoMo topics. Looking at the rest of the month, I am crossing my fingers that this one is the worst of the bunch.
Scrapple, for those uninitiated, is arguably one of the first pork foods created in America, owing it’s humble roots to the Pennsylvania Dutch and Appalachia regions of the East Coast and brought about by the age old frugality of rural life where nothing, and I do mean nothing, ever goes to waste. It is composed of pork scraps left over, ideally, from the butchering process and deemed too small to be used elsewhere or sold; the scraps are mixed with water or broth and cornmeal (with additional buckwheat flour on occasion) and cooked into a mush that is then refrigerated until firm and fried in slices. It is a breakfast food, served hot and topped with any number of condiments ranging from ketchup to maple syrup, or it is covered with eggs, mixed with eggs, served on toast, served with toast……you get the picture. Traditional Scrapple is made with pig offal- the head, heart, liver and other bits- boiled with bones and everything still attached to make a broth that has the gelatinous make-up that will chill the mixture firmly. Any seasoning added, like any regional or ethnic offering, is very much the fingerprint of the individual cook, but typical additions are sage, thyme and savory.
I did come across a recipe, and even roasted a nice piece of pork so I could say that I really tried Scrapple, but I’m pretty sure that my rendition was nothing like the original design. That being said, it wasn’t bad; it was like polenta slices with chunks of pork in them and since I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with polenta, it seemed to cloud my judgment of Scrapple. I cooked up two slices, probably too small, we sampled them and the rest went into the trash. So I tried.
It wasn’t that it was bad; it just wasn’t, well…..in my opinion, it wasn’t that good either. I suppose it could have withstood more bold seasonings, a finer chop of pork, maybe some added onion or peppers, something to make it really pop in the mouth, but the bottom line was simple- it was cornmeal mush and I’m just not your cornmeal mush girl. It’s not something I’m willing to work with.
Let’s move on then, shall we??