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The Origins Of Meatloaf Come From Scrapple

Scrapple Day

National Scrapple Day is observed annually on November 9th. Scrapple is arguably the first pork food invented in America. For those who are not familiar with scrapple, which is also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name “pon haus,“ it is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour and spices.  (The spices may include but are not limited to sage, thyme, savory and black pepper.)  The mush is then formed into a semi-solid loaf, sliced and pan-fried.

The immediate ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients and, in parts of Pennsylvania, it is still called Pannhaas, panhoss, ponhoss or pannhas.

It was in the 17th and 18th centuries that the first recipes for scrapple were created by Dutch colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania.   Hence the origin of its discovery, it is strongly associated with rural areas surrounding Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula.

    • Scrapple can be found in supermarkets throughout the area in both refrigerated and frozen cases.
    • Home recipes for beef, chicken and turkey scrapple are available.
    • Scrapple is sometimes deep-fried or broiled instead of pan frying.
    • Scrapple is typically eaten as a breakfast side dish.
    • Condiments are sometimes served with scrapple, some of which include apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, horseradish or mustard.
    • Scrapple didn’t get its name because it’s made with scraps
    • Scrapple became available commercially in 1863. Originally located in Media, Penn., Habbersett Pork Products first started selling scrapple to the masses in 1863, and you can still get that same product — with some minor recipe tweaks — in stores today.
    • Other cities have their own variations of scrapple. While Philly may lay claim as the official hometown of scrapple, other cities have their own regional specialties that strongly resemble it: goetta, made with ground meat and oats, is popular around the Cincinnati area, as is livermush (mmmm!!!!), scrapple’s liver-laden cousin popular in the South.
    • There’s a very popular scrapple festival. Yes, you read that correctly. Now in its 25th year, the Apple Scrapple festival in Bridgeville, Del. — a short two-hour jaunt from Philly — celebrates all things scrapple and apples and attracts more than 25,000 visitors each year.
    • Meatloaf is a traditional GermanScandinavian and Belgian dish, and it is a cousin to the Dutch meatball. American meatloaf has its origins in scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since Colonial times. Meatloaf in the contemporary American sense did not appear in cookbooks until the late 19th century.


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