lancasteronline.com – Let’s talk, for a moment, about scrapple.
Wait, wait, says author Amy Strauss: Don’t move on to the next story before you hear her out.
And definitely don’t reject scrapple completely before you learn a little more about its history. Because Strauss argues that scrapple, that humble, traditional regional food that, as the saying goes, helps a hog butcher “use everything but the oink,” deserves better than an “ew.”
“The beauty of scrapple is that it has remained the same sound product since its start, barely left untouched through its centuries,” Strauss says. And her new book, “Pennsylvania Scrapple: A Delectable History,” not only revisits scrapple’s role in keeping families fed, but also looks at how contemporary chefs are using scrapple in surprising ways.
As a Berks County native, you surely grew up eating scrapple. … Has the way you prepare it changed from when it was first prepared for you?
I grew up in the small Berks County town of Barto — a hotbed of scrapple makers and eaters. I’ve always been a purist in the sense that I enjoy it the most fried in a skillet, extra-crunchy on its exterior and thrown on a plate with sunny side up eggs (the yolk makes a great “sauce” for the scrapple).
My scrapple-loving heart does jump for joy at the sight of scrapple being used in a newfangled way. Recently, I had scrapple pizza, (with the scrapple) loaded atop a white pizza with pickled radishes and crunchy apples, and it was perfection. I also enjoy when scrapple takes a spin in Asian cuisine, especially on steamed buns with thinly sliced jalapenos and hoisin sauce.
I’m not a pork sweat boy but being Philly raised I have an abiding love and respect for the most questionable of pork products. Now you’re telling me there’s a whole cookbook dedicated to this delicacy? Day 1 purchase.