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.
- 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.
- Also in Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food festival has a now-annual Scrapplegasm dinner, a high-end three-course meal. This past year’s menu was veal cheek scrapple, venison-jalapeno scrapple and dessert scrapple.
- And the Reading Terminal Market puts on ScrappleFest Philadelphia every two years, with the last one was scheduled for November 7.
- 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.
- Last year, the “scrapple waffle” at Ivan Ramen’s Lower East Side noodle shop prompted Eater NY’s Robert Sietsema to declare it “one of the city’s best dishes of the year.”
- The etymology of the term scrapple is complex, varied and debated. The short version: It either definitely is or definitely isn’t related to the German word for “scraps.” But these days, “scrapple” is used generically, almost like “hash.” Which is to say, all of these things are a type of scrapple, but scrapple is not all of these things.
- Livermush…The Southern version of scrapple has its origin in the Great Wagon Road migration, which brought Pennsylvania Dutch farmers down to the other end of Appalachia.
- Livermush is all pork, with cornmeal as the only grain — which seems suitably Southern. Needless to say, the inclusion of pork liver is mandatory, whereas scrapple may or may not have it, and in no particular quantity.
- Naturally. Where else would you get deep-fried livermush-on-a-stick? By order of North Carolina Assembly statute 145‑39, enacted in 2012, there is “an official fall livermush festival of the State of North Carolina, and an official spring livermush festival of the State of North Carolina.”
- In June (that would still be spring), visitors to Asheville can head 40 miles east to Marion for the Marion Livermush Festival, where they’ll find all the Hunter’s they can eat. Come October, Cleveland County’s livermush takes over for the Mush, Music, and Mutts festival in Shelby, which — as if pork products, bluegrass, and dogs weren’t enough — also includes the Little Miss Livermush pageant.