National Scrapple Day on November 9 is to celebrate the comfort food that has been swirling around our bellies for hundreds of years. It’s a dish born from humble beginnings as the first pork food invented in America and has become a traditional staple of the Mid-Atlantic states. Scrapple combines pork scraps with buckwheat flour, cornmeal, and spices in what is a great example of taking food that would otherwise have gone to waste and turning it into something tasty and delicious. It’s a breakfast side dish that goes great with ketchup. If you’ve never tried it before then today is the day.
History of National Scrapple Day
Scrapple, also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name, pon haus (which translates literally to “pan hare” or rabbit), is said to have been invented by German colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania. As a result, you’ll find scrapple as a regional favorite around the Mid-Atlantic area.
When the recipe came to America, the buckwheat was often replaced or supported by cornmeal. For the colonizers, using local ingredients like corn was no problem as long as the meal was simple and modest and everything was used.
Created so that hungry, hard-working, prudent rural immigrants could make use of all manner of foodstuffs, scrapple originally consisted of a mixture of pork scraps, offal, and other trimmings, boiled with bones attached to make a broth, then simmered with cornmeal, wheat flour or sometimes buckwheat flour, onions, and spices like sage and thyme. The eventual loaf is then sliced and pan-fried as if it was a patty.
It was a dish born from a perspective of now wanting to see anything go to waste. While today’s scrapple – available primarily in Mid-Atlantic area grocery stores – adheres to different standards using FDA-approved animal anatomy, it is still a tasty tradition popularly served alongside sunny-side-up eggs and toast or in sandwiches. With the current trend in lighter, healthier eating, scrapple is also known to be made with turkey instead of the original pork, or with beef for a different flavor entirely. Scrapple is also appearing more and more on the menus of heritage-based restaurants in Brooklyn, NY, and beyond the Mid-Atlantic area.
National Scrapple Day timeline
Rapa, a Delaware-based company in competition with Habbersett, begins the mass production of scrapple.
The first company
Habbersett, the first brand to market scrapple, is created.
The dish is brought over by German immigrants to Pennsylvania.
- 800 B.C.
The process of making dishes similar to Scrapple can be found in pre-Roman Europe
National Scrapple Day FAQs
How can I get scrapple?
You can ask your local butcher or grocery store and see if they have any. While it is common in the mid-Atlantic area, it may prove a bit difficult outside of it
Can I order scrapple online?
Absolutely. You can look over your local online retailers, such as Amazon, and look over the different brands and kinds on offer.
When is National Scrapple Day?
National Scrapple Day Activities
Learn how to make it on your own
It is a bit of a process but finishes with a very tasty, filling dish. Look over the internet and find the one Scrapple recipe that resonates the most with you. Give it a try.
Pick up a good serving
Both Habbersett and Rapa are companies with years of experience manufacturing scrapple. Check out your local grocery store or online retailer and try for yourself
Look out for that festival
The Apple Scrapple Festival takes place every year in Bridgeville, Delaware. If you live nearby, it can be a fun experience for the whole family.
5 Facts About Scrapple
There is a Scrapple festival
The Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville, Delaware attracts more than 25,000 visitors yearly.
Cities have their own variations.
Goetta is made with ground meat and oats and it’s popular in Cincinnati, while Livermush is eaten a lot in the South.
You can eat Scrapple Raw
Scrapple is fully cooked before pan-frying, according to most recipes.
It’s usually grey
It’s made usually with buckwheat flour, which gives it a grey color and a hearty texture
A slice of pan rabbit
Its original name stems from the words panhaas (“pan rabbit”) and skröppel (”a slice of”).
Why We Love National Scrapple Day
You can thank scrapple for Labor Day
It is said that in 1879, a union member at Philadelphia’s Panhas Packers, Rasher Liverburg, proposed a day where all the company’s workers get the day off to enjoy the scrapple they were making. “Enjoy Your Scrapple Labor Day” soon became a yearly tradition at the plant, and the idea spread across the country as a result.
It celebrates a historic dish
While the more modern roots of the scrapple can be traced to the Philadelphia area by German settlers back in the 17th or 18th century, the truth is that variants of this dish go way beyond, as similar styles of processed dishes can be found dating back to pre-Roman times.
It teaches us to make the best of what we can find
Scrapple is a dish that can teach us to take advantage of food we otherwise would not think of eating.
National Scrapple Day dates