Monday, March 23, 2009
Scrapple, Food of the ... ?
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where eating right is for woosies! Go ahead and tuck into that nice salad if you please. We won't tell you what deity to worship or what food to enjoy. But we like greasy stuff, and no apologies. Dump it in the vat, we'll have some of that!
The gentlemen in the picture are making a regional foodstuff called scrapple. As its name suggests, scrapple is made from scraps of pork (visualize the parts of a pig no one would willingly eat). The meaty scraps are cooked with corn meal to form either a mush called ponhaus or Spam-like blocks of gray stuff you fry, called scrapple.
These are Pennsylvania Dutch concoctions, frugal and fattening. My grandma was PD, and she served ponhaus all the time. She was correspondingly corpulent.
Maybe you don't want to know what scrapple tastes like. I hope you don't, because there's nothing in the gustatory palette that resembles it. Fried in lard or oil, it becomes crunchy on the outside and gooey in the middle. It lacks the smoky flavor of hot dogs and Spam. I hate liver, so it doesn't taste like that. But comparing it to a pork chop is giving it too many breaks.
Why do I love this artery-clogging, fat-boosting product? I can't tell you. I only know that once or twice a year I go out and get myself a breakfast plate with two eggs over easy and a side of scrapple.
Hey, it can't be worse than scarfing down a chocolate-covered funnel cake with ice cream and caramel topping.
This past weekend, Philadelphia had a Scrapple Festival. Apparently the Pennsylvania Dutch farmers who work the stalls at Reading Terminal Market outdid themselves, creating turkey scrapple and even tofu scrapple.
Tofu scrapple. Every bit as appealing as tofu M&Ms.
I didn't get to go to the Scrapple Fest. But that's okay, because where I live is close enough to Pennsylvania that one can get scrapple in diners.
I've seen raw scrapple for sale in the grocery store. I never buy it or even look at the label. Just like the dude you used to date when you were young, some things are better if you don't know too much about them.
Scrapple. Fried and fresh, a sin of the flesh.