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.
- scrapple is said to have been invented by 17th and 18th-century German colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania.
- Scrapple is typically eaten as a breakfast side dish.
- First, let’s get the exact definition of scrapple out of the way. Pork meat (sometimes, but not always, along with offal including the head, heart, and liver) is boiled until falling apart, finely minced, and combined with cornmeal and flour into a slurry.
- The name “scrapple” most likely originated as a shortened version of panhaskröppel, which stems from words panhaas or panaas (“pan rabbit”) and skröppel (”a slice of”). Translated, panhaskröppel is a slice of panhaas. Since that’s both gross and hard to pronounce, over time it was simplified to scrapple.
- In 1863, the first mass-produced version of scrapple arrived via Habbersett, which is still making the product today.
- Delaware is home to the country’s oldest—and largest—annual scrapple festival. Originating in 1992, the Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville, Delaware is a yearly celebration
- 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, scrapple’s liver-laden cousin popular in the South.
- Possibly an urban legend, but the story goes that in 1879, a man named Rasher Liverburg — a union member at Philadelphia’s Panhas Packers — proposed a day in September where all the company’s workers get the day off to enjoy the scrapple they were producing. “Enjoy Your Scrapple Labor Day” soon become a yearly tradition at the plant. Eventually, the idea of a yearly day off of work spread, and Labor Day became an official US holiday in 1894.