National Scrapple Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Scrapple is an unusual comfort food that has been enjoyed by food lovers since the middle ages and it is also popularly referred as the Pennsylvania Dutch. 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. 

To celebrate the delicious taste of scrapple and promote this dish, the National Scrapple Day is annually celebrated on November 9th in the United 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. 

Event National Scrapple Day
Date November 9, 2022
Day Wednesday
Significance The day celebrates and honors the delicious taste of Scrapple
Observed by United States


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National Scrapple Day History: 

Etymologically, “scrapple” is a diminutive of “scrap”, a reference to its composition. The roots of the culinary traditions that led to the development of scrapple in America have been traced back to pre-Roman Europe. The more immediate culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients, and it is still called “Pannhaas”, “panhoss”, “ponhoss”, or “pannhas” in parts of Pennsylvania. As a result, you will find scrapple as a regional favorite around the Mid-Atlantic area.

The first recipes were created by German colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. 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. Scrapple is known as a mid-Atlantic local food, served as an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish. 

This dish was 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. So basically it was a dish born out of necessity to deal with the living standards. 

While today’s scrapple is available primarily in Mid-Atlantic area grocery stores which 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. National Scrapple Day was made to help convince people to be adventurous in their food while also help people learn about its history.  

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National Scrapple Day Significance: 

Scrapple, also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name Pannhaas, is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple and panhaas are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish. Scrapple is found in supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases. 

Scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other trimmings, which are boiled with any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are removed, the meat is reserved, and (dry) cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned to the pot and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, black pepper, and others are added. The mush is formed into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until set. The proportions and seasoning are very much a matter of the region and the cook’s taste. 

Scrapple is usually eaten as a breakfast side dish. It can be served plain or with either sweet or savory condiments: apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, or mustard. It is sometimes first coated with flour. It may be fried in butter or oil and is sometimes deep-fried. Scrapple can also be broiled, which gives the scrapple a crisp exterior. The two largest brands of scrapple in Philadelphia are Habbersett and Rapa, controlling approximately half and one-quarter of the market respectively. Rapa accounts for about three-quarters of the Baltimore market. 

While scrapple is available in the mid-Atlantic region, a solid 85% of people in the region say they won’t eat it because of what it’s made of. Scrapple, even if its made out of the scraps of livestock, can be tasty for the adventurous of heart. While the dish itself can be made with a wide variety of ingredients, it is traditionally made with the leftovers of pigs and spiced with herbs like sage, black pepper, and thyme. It can be adjusted to whatever meat you want, whatever filling you want, and whatever spices you think would work. 

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National Scrapple Day Celebrations: 

What can be a better way to celebrate National Scrapple Day than having some of the scrapple yourself and if it is gonna be your first time tasting it then it will be even more exciting and memorable for you. 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. 

If you like to challenge yourself then we would recommend you to try your hands at cooking this scrapple as well! 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 and start making your own scrapple without having to think again as a way of celebrations. 

The Apple Scrapple Festival takes place every year in Bridgeville, Delaware. If you live nearby then do try to attend it as it can be a fun experience for you and your family and friends. By attending this festival you will also get to know more scrapple like its different variations and also about its history and cultural significance. So on this occasion of National Scrapple Day pay tribute to thus unusual but amazing dish. 

Most Searched FAQs on National Scrapple Day: 

1. When is National Scrapple Day celebrated? 

National Scrapple Day is annually celebrated on November 9th in US. 

2. 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. 

3. What does scrapple taste like? 

Scrapple can taste like liverwurst or French country paté, depending on the mix of ingredients. Some scrapple is made without liver, and depending on how much sage is in the recipe, can taste like breakfast sausage. 

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