Ramble On

Friday, January 27, 2012

Parts is...parts

As folks took turns stirring the pudding,
there was quite a bit of socializing going on.
As Wikipedia has it:

Scrapple is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is best known as a rural American food of the Mid-Atlantic States…. Scrapple and pon haus (the Wikipedia article says this is a traditional Amish name for scrapple) are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish. Scrapple is found in supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases.

Mark worked over the meat for the scrapple.
I turned down at least 3 invitations to try some.
The preparations for making scrapple began on Friday evening, as we were winding down from breaking the carcasses up into smaller roasts and other cuts. The organ meat, retrieved earlier during the day (after David’s short demonstration of how to rummage through the gut tub for the heart and liver, I did it myself) had been put aside for this purpose, as had some parts of the head. This was mixed with a bit of lard and other scraps to make the meat basis of the dish.

I was impressed that there was quite a bit of activity involved in making it; there was a very social aspect to it as you can see from the photos, and of course, the cooked organ meat was carefully handled and diced into appropriately sized morsels.

I politely declined tasting any of the “yummy bits” during the process, preferring to defer the pleasant surprise that surely awaits until the dish was fully prepared. Now, with a dozen or so tubs in the fridge, I’m still wondering whether we will eat any…although I have three or four neighbors signed up for tubs, and some friends in Luray are known partakers.

What's cooking?  "I don't know the word for
it in English."
Why the hesitancy? I suppose it is because my family never really ate any of the foods – separately, or in a single recipe – that are part of this dish, so it’s something I’m not used to eating. Maybe salvation lies further on down in the Wikipedia article, though:

Scrapple is usually eaten as a breakfast food, and can be served plain or with apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, or even mustard, and accompanied by eggs, potatoes, or pancakes. In some regions, such as New England, scrapple is mixed with scrambled eggs and served with toast. In the Philadelphia area, scrapple is sometimes fried and then mashed with fried eggs, horseradish and ketchup.

Scrapple is a community food - this is only part of
the yield, which was shared amongst all of us.
With enough condiments, one could probably disguise the strong tastes and make it through the first time. After that, my butchering friends assure me, I’ll be hooked.

(Note: It was my plan to conclude the butchering posts today, but there have been a number of comments on Facebook that I think I will compile into a wrap-up. Plus, one of my colleagues from the experience has sent a link to his photos of the two days, and I’d like to share that. So look for that extra post on Monday.)

The Wikipedia article on scrapple is here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrapple

1 comment:

Rache said...

Oh, my. I love scrapple, but I have not looked for it in my Arlington neightborhood - - always associating it with rural towns. My sister in Hagerstown buys it at the local farmers market.
Try a slice, straight off the griddle, still hot, with honey, or even better, with maple syrup.