Despite what the supermarket aisle may lead you to believe, there's more to an animal than neatly wrapped styrofoam trays of meat. From tongue to tail, offal (pronounced awful) encompasses all those taboo edibles that don't make the cut at your local grocer. Just Offal is here to explore these oft-neglected byproducts of butchering, featuring different offal meals from establishments across the valley.
This week: Scrapple served up by Schreiner's Fine Sausage.
The Ick Factor: Scrapple is the regional breakfast "meat" of choice in Pennsylvania, and is composed of all sorts of pork offal. All of those piggy bits are suspended in a seasoned corn meal mush that is then compressed into a dense gut bomb brick, packaged for your hot little hands by Schreiner's.
The ingredients are listed right on the package, and include mouth-watering pig snouts and pork tongues. And while "ham ends" and "bacon ends" are really just the result of shaving down and evening out a block o' pork product, we can't help but think lips and assholes.
(bite into all the juicy details after the jump)
The Offal Choice: One block of frozen scrapple from Schriener's Fine Sausages. Enough for your entire family to enjoy a slice or two of fried scrapple, or scrapple crumbles in scrambled eggs.
Tastes Just Like: Bacon-flavored hushpuppies. Scrapple is first and foremost a seasoned corn meal mush, and it can be packed with all sorts of porky bits. There's even vegetarian versions of this offal treat on the market.
The flavor of scrapple is similar to a corn meal polenta studded with scraps of pork. It's primarily corn-flavored with undertones of spicy sausage and smoky bacon. Not a hint of musky offal weirdness could be detected amid that hushpuppy substitute. The scrapple was a bit on the fatty side though, so it's certainly not an everyday indulgence.
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When dredged in flour and fried, the exterior of the scrapple was super crispy with a slightly creamy center. The texture was just a bit on the crumbly side, and we'll admit to being total scrapple converts after this delectable down-home country treat.
You Know It's Cooked Improperly When: If your scrapple turns into a gray pile of mush, you done messed up. Start with a hot and greasy pan, dredge your scrapple in flour to create a crispy outer crunch, and just leave that block o' weird alone for several minutes before you even think of flipping it. If you don't, you'll be left with nothing but crumbly scrap.
Always been a DIY-er? Brave the offal and make your own scrapple, or pick up a block of frozen scrapple from Schreiner's. Bonus! They make everything on site so you know you're getting nothing but the freshest pork snouts and tongues. Follow the frying directions above, add your other breakfast fixins and dig in! We'll leave the heated discussion of whether maple syrup, apple butter, or (blaspheme!) ketchup is the scrapple condiment of choice to the Pennsylvanian pros.
Know of some offal that we just have to try? Let us know in the comment section.