Here are some ScrappleFest 2011 pictures:
Please click more for more. Cause there’s more.
They set up ScrappleFest in the middle of the back of Reading Terminal Market, right in front of Flying Monkey Bakery. There were 4 scrapple vendors, two on either side. The “line” for samples was basically a giant circle that went around and around and around, with no end and no beginning. You just snuck in wherever anyone would let you. Luckily, the boy and I were immediately let in by a nice guy who said he’d been going in the circle for a while, hitting each vendor a few times. Impressive, considering how slow it was going. The crowd was varied and including a man who, upon looking at the line, yelled, “A line like this for scrapple!? It’s not like it’s anything new. I can get scrapple any time WITHOUT a line!” This was ignored.
There were also things to keep your kids occupied while you sampled the scrapple multiple times:
There was a band playing scrapple tunes. Well, I’m not sure it was actually scrapple themed tunes, but they were keeping us all happy with awesome music. They were dressed like a barber shop quartet, only pinker.
Here is a picture of my first scrapple:
It was West Coast Scrapple:
What is West Coast Scrapple? West Coast Scrapple is a “healthier” version of traditional scrapple (hence West Coast). It’s a brand new company and made it’s first appearance at ScrappleFest this year. Rather than being made with organ meat, it’s made with ham hocks, so there is less fat in the product.
“West Coast Scrapple has the disctinct feel, flavor and texture of traditional scrapple but with less fat and no organ meat or waste products. The nice part is you no longer have to wait for a special occasion to have some of your beloved scrapple.”
(Scrapple never used to be a special treat. It was a daily part of breakfast. Still is with the Pennsylvania Dutch. Ah, how times change. Now go have your protein shake.)
The creator of this particular type o’ scrapple, Grandpa WAD, altered his recipe to contain less fat after he had heart surgery and needed to cut back on his bad cholesterol. The company is now run by G’Pa’s son, Steve, and nephew, Mike. I couldn’t figure out where the company is located. I think it’s around here, but I can’t be sure.
Then we tried Leidy’s Scrapple:
What is Leidy’s Scrapple (abridged)? Leidy’s is a much older scrapple company. It was established in 1893 in Souderton, PA. Leidy’s brand is not owned by any other company and works with “small family farms that are committed to raising hogs in a stress-free, humane environment with an all-natural diet.” The original farm started on a Philadelphia land grant in 1753 by Jacob Leidy, a German Mennonite immigrant. The company began by selling it’s products (meat products as well as produce) at markets in Montgomery County, and with the addition of the railroad in the 1860′s, the family was able to sell it’s products in Philadelphia as well. Leidy’s was turned into a commercial business by Jacob’s son, Milton Leidy, in 1893. Eventually, they began selling their products directly to stores so there was no need to take part in the actual retail experience (can you blame them?). Around 1948, the company decided to focus mainly on pork products and packaging and stopped selling produce. Over the next 60+ years the company continued to grow into a multimillion dollar business. Leidy’s also makes sausages, bacon, and hams. For a more detailed description of their business history, check here.
The recipe is based as closley upon the original recipe used in 1893 as possible. According to the website, the ingredients are as follows: water, pork with skin, corn meal, pork livers, pork skins, pork tongue, pork hearts, whole wheat flour, salt, onions, and spices (probably sage and savory, maybe cloves). There are no preservatives. Cooking directions: slice the scrapple and sprinkle each side with flour. Heat the skillet or griddle with butter or oil until it is very hot or the scrapple will fall apart while cooking. Fry on each side for about 5 minutes, until it is crispy. Or it will fall apart.
Then we tried the boyfriend’s all time favorite scrapple of all time ever in his life that he’s ever eaten ever. Habbersett Scrapple:
I wasn’t really given time to take a picture of the piece I got. Partially because my mouth gobbled it up so fast. Stupid mouth.
What is Habbersett Scrapple (abridged)? Habbersett Brothers is often given the credit for industrializing scrapple production. The firm was started in 1863 by Joshua Habbersett in Middleton, Delaware County, PA. While not the first company to produce scrapple, it was the first company to mass produce scrapple. The company was started during the height of the Civil War when there was a surplus of pork products as well as a shortage of farm hands. During that time, scrapple had the role that SPAM took on during World War II as an inexpensive meat product (imagine, one day SPAM might be the new scrapple. Or not.). The pigs used were not locally raised and were brought in by railroad from farms in the west. In 1985, due to fights between members of the Habbersett family over the management of the business, the company was sold to Johnsonville Foods of Sheboygan in Wisconsin, then resold to Jones Dairy Farm (started in 1889) at Folcroft, PA in 1988. It operates independently from Jones Dairy Farm, but lost popularity due to the perception that the recipe must have been changed. According to Habbersett’s, it has not. Nevertheless, Philadelphians still complain that “It just doesn’t taste the same” but the texture is still good. The company also makes sausages, smoked meats, liverwurst, and beef scrapple and is now located in Delaware, where it ships it’s product out to supermarkets and other stores.
The ingredients, according to the Habbersett website, are these guys right here: pork stock, pork, pork skins, corn meal, wheat flour, pork hearts, pork livers, pork tongues, salt, and spices (probably sage and savory again). Cooking directions: slice 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and don’t let them touch in the pan. Heat the pan to medium heat (about 375F) and cook on each side for about 10 minutes.
This was also there:
Make sure to check out their (currently empty) Etsy store.
In conclusion, even though I know what’s in it, I’m a convert. We got breakfast at the Dutch Eating Place afterwards, and look what I got:
The biggest slice of scrapple you’ve ever seen in your life. And, in case you’re wondering, they use Leidy’s.
Keep eating and asking, my friends.