Scrapple NOT German?

kingsyrup.jpgI’ve been talking quite a bit about that meat-which-I-hate, scrapple.

Well, one of my readers, Mark, chimed in with some really amazing information on what I had assumed was a Pennsylvania Dutch (and therefore German in origin) food:

Short background, I was born and raised in York, graduated from Central and now live in Austria. I love this blog to keep me somewhat up to date on York. To the ‘meat’ of this post…Believe it or not, even though the German settlers are credited with ‘bringing’ the scrapple recipe with them, no one, and I mean NO ONE here in Austria or those I know in germany for that fact,know of or even ever heard of scrapple. I even mentioned pon haus and they looked at me like I was crazy. This being said, I finally found a few good recipes to try and after my first batch, actually have some converts here. Amazing isn’t it? A Yorker, introducing an assumed German dish to German/Austrian folks…and they love it!!! Thanks for the blog. I think I am going to make my next batch this weekend and eat it the way it is supposed to be eaten, thin, crispy and with King Syrup!

King Syrup? Wow, as much as I loved Mark’s comment, I don’t love his taste… I think he just made a bad thing worse!

So, scrapple fans… what IS the cultural origin of your mixed meat? And what on earth do you put on it? Ketchup? Syrup? Something equally gross? Discuss.

About Joan

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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15 Responses to Scrapple NOT German?

  1. Doug says:

    Scrapple is good as-is. It is also good when eaten for breakfast with eggs and pancakes…some maple syrup as well. But honestly sometimes I just eat it without any other foods. It just tastes soooooooooooooo good!

  2. Jo Ott says:

    Au contraire. Check out what Global Gourmet has to say about Rhineland, Germany farmers who “worked hard and ate heartily.” And the German immigrants who combined their German heritage with “New World” ingredients. And this from http://www.answers.com: “The culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called Panhaus.” WIKIPEDIA: Pan haus was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients. It may be one of the first pork foods created in America.
    Did they not have pigs in Germany? Did the German immigrants come to Amnerica so they’d have pigs to butcher so they could add scraps to their meatless pan haus? Although scrapple itself may not have originated in Germany it is German in every way.
    As for what goes with scrapple or how to eat it–just about anything goes. Even, of all things, ketchup! Personally, I like mine with Giant Food’s own brand of syrup that has a tad of pure maple syrup in it.

  3. Adriane says:

    I couldn’t agreemore with Doug. Scrapple does not need any enchancements. Cook it crispy on the outside, slightly soft on the inside. Nothing more, nothing less. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  4. Hubby says:

    Scrapple rocks. I could eat Scrapple every day.

  5. Mark Grubic says:

    Ok, I found out some more about Scrapple!
    Doing a Wiki-search for Panhas and translating the info, I have some very interesting info for all of you that are interested! Panhas IS a German recipe from the Westfall/Rheinland regions, includes (regionally) pork, bacon and/or beef ‘bits’ and is cooked with salt, papper, spices and flour to a slurry. The slurry is cooled but not gelled and then, hold your nose, blood is added. This slurry is then introduced into a sausage skin. The result is called a variety of names here – Blutwurst (blood sausage), Hackfleisch (ground meat (without the skin – kinda like puddin) or Leberwurst (literally liverwurst). It is eaten cold or cooked (like scrapple is cooked) and served with grilled onions, salt potatos (kinda like a potato salad) and or sauerkraut.
    So in reality, the origins are German. This is an old recipe, and not normally favored by today’s generations. Blutwurst is readily available at butchers but the name Panhas has somewhat been phased out (atleast in Austria and parts of Germany).
    I apologize for any unsettling chills I caused by saying scrapple was not German. In origin, it is and yes the immigrantsmodified it with what was available to make it what is is to us today. I hope this clears the air a little for you all and will be chiming in from time to time.
    Lastly, King Syrup and scrapple, salty and sweet, gotta love our tastes!!!
    Mark

  6. Bill Flis says:

    According to Habbersetts, a well-known manufacturer of scrapple, it was invented not by Pennsylvania Dutch (who were really German) but by true Dutch, from Holland, who were the earliest settlers of the region around Philadelphia (Cf. New Netherland).
    http://www.habbersettscrapple.com/history.html

  7. Barry says:

    I a descendant of (also a chef by trade) people who fled from of Eisenhart, Germany in the early 1700′s. They settle north of Philly, in the Leigh Valley. These people brought with them recipes for(head cheese) sous. Which is found all over Europe and Canada.
    My Great Grammy Eisenhart would make sous and then split the batch in half. The one half she would mix corn meal and buck wheat flour into to make scrapple. They probably did this to keep it preserved longer in the early day without refrigeration.
    I doubt you will fin this in Europe since corn meal and buck wheat flour are pretty much American. Currently I live in upstate NY and I miss scrapple. So I make my own

  8. Julie Felderhoff says:

    I live in a German town in Texas called Muenster.
    My husbands ancestors are from Germany. Every New Years Day we eat panhas (in fact my husband is making it right now). It is made with pork and oatmeal. His mother grew up eating it and it was made with a hog’s head. His father grew up eating it too, but it was made with corn meal. We slice it and fry it very slowly til’ it is real crispy, then we serve it with syrup.
    The first time I tried it, I didn’t like it at all, but now I love it!

  9. Tracey says:

    I have never eaten it, but my entire PA Dutch family will eat it plain, but the preferred method is with Kings syrup!

  10. robert says:

    my family has eaten panhas for years every Thanksgiving. My ancestors were as German as as you could get with a name like Zahnhizer. THis meat product was traditionally very simular to head cheese, but now has been modified a bit. My mom uses a bit of black pepper as the seasoning and it is fried crispy outside, soft on the inside and eaten WITHOUT and other additions. This is a meat product not fried corn mush!

  11. Christine says:

    I was first introduced to scrapple while I was working on my Masters in German at Millersville University – I must admit, I viewed it with some skepticism and only tried a tiny piece – although I usually am quite adventurous in expanding my culinary horizons. I returned to Germany 5 years ago to teach English here. In the Lüneburger Heide (home of the famous heath and the Heidschnucken sheep, where I lived the first 2 years), as well as in other parts of Northern Germany, one of the local specialties is “Knipp”, which is quite similar to scrapple, and is made from oatmeal, pork belly, pork offal, beef liver, and broth and is seasoned with salt, pepper, and allspice. In the Lüneburger Heide, “Heidschnucke” mutton or lamb is used in place of the pork. Here in North Hessen, a similar local specialty is “Weckewerk”, which may also be prepared with soaked stale white bread and seasoned with marjoram, garlic, onion, and caraway seeds. Usual accompaniments are steamed, boiled or fried potatoes, beets, and pickles.
    Such methods have always been common among farmers at slaughtering time, who make use of as much of the animal as possible. Almost nothing goes to waste.
    This evening I finally tasted my first slice of Weckewerk, browned in the iron skillet, and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. It reminded me a bit of scrapple, so I googled and found your web site. Makes me a bit nostalgic for the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch countryside!
    Nice spending time with you!
    Grüße from Germany!
    Christine

  12. Christine Silvio says:

    I was first introduced to scrapple while I was working on my Masters in German at Millersville University – I must admit, I viewed it with some skepticism and only tried a tiny piece – although I usually am quite adventurous in expanding my culinary horizons. I returned to Germany 5 years ago to teach English here. In the Lueneburger Heide (home of the famous heath and the Heidschnucken sheep, where I lived the first 2 years), as well as in other parts of Northern Germany, one of the local specialties is “Knipp”, which is quite similar to scrapple, and is made from oatmeal, pork belly, pork offal, beef liver,and broth and is seasoned with salt, pepper, and allspice. In the Lueneburger Heide, “Heidschnucke” mutton or lamb is used in place of the pork. Here in North Hessen, a similar local specialty is “Weckewerk”, which may also be prepared with soaked stale white bread and seasoned with marjoram, garlic, onion, and caraway seeds. Usual accompaniments are steamed, boiled or fried potatoes, beets, and pickles.
    Such methods have always been common among farmers at slaughtering time, who make use of as much of the animal as possible. Almost nothing goes to waste. This evening I finally tasted my first slice of Weckewerk, browned in the iron skillet, and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. It reminded me a bit of scrapple, so I googled and found your web site.Makes me a bit nostalgic for the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch countryside!
    Nice spending time with you!
    Greetings from Germany!
    Christine

  13. Christine Silvio says:

    I was first introduced to scrapple while I was working on my MA in German at Millersville – I must admit, I viewed it with some skepticism and only tried a tiny piece (although I usually am bold in expanding my culinary horizons.) I returned to Germany 5 years ago to teach English. In the Lueneburger Heide (home of the famous heath and Heidschnucken, where I lived the first 2 yrs.), as well as in other parts of Northern Germany, one of the local specialties is “Knipp”, which is quite similar to scrapple, and is made from oatmeal, pork belly, pork offal, beef liver, and broth and is seasoned with salt, pepper, and allspice. In the Lueneburger Heide, “Heidschnucke” mutton or lamb is used in place of the pork. Here in North Hessen, a similar local specialty is “Weckewerk”, which may also be prepared with soaked white bread and seasoned with marjoram, garlic, onion, and caraway seeds. Usual accompaniments are steamed, boiled or fried potatoes, beets, and pickles.Such methods have always been common among farmers at slaughtering time, who make use of as much of the animal as possible. This evening I finally tasted my first Weckewerk, browned in the iron skillet, and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. It reminded me a bit of scrapple, so I googled and found your web site. Makes me a bit nostalgic for the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch countryside!
    Nice spending time with you!
    Greetings from Germany!
    Christine

  14. Christine Silvio says:

    Sorry, guys! I’ve been having such a hard time posting my comment – I keep being told I made an unspecified mistake and to try again. Now it looks as if my comment got posted 3 times.
    Sigh…..
    Attn: Barry
    I just wanted to mention that buckwheat – or in German: “Buchweizen” – is indeed common in Germany and is used in the preparation of some of the items described above. It was originally cultivated in China and expanded westward, arriving in central Europe in the Middle Ages. (acc. to Wise Aunt Wiki, the first written record of buckwheat cultivation in Germany was in the 14th C.)
    I once tried a specialty of the Lüneburger
    Heide called Buchweizentorte, which is made with buckwheat flour, lingonberries, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. Heaven!
    Greetings and salutations!
    Christine

  15. Larry says:

    This food was a natural at butchering time as some of the leftover bits could be made into a thick gruel with a grain such as oats buckwheat boiled in water.
    When the first Europeans arrived in America they substituted ground corn, calling it scrapple.
    In Cincinnati there is a tradition very much alive – Goetta. This is a hold-over from the area’s strong Germanic influence. Cincinnati actually has a Goetta festival every summer.
    See http://www.goetta.com/

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