Is Scrapple Good or Bad for You?
Popular in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering if you should also welcome scrapple to your kitchen. The name may be intimidating you to a certain extent, but the wonderful reviews about it may be drawing you to it.
Despite having fillers and the word “crap” on its name, scrapple is healthy. As a matter of fact, it meets the definition of a balanced meal and generally contains less sodium and saturated fat than most other breakfast meats. Still, the importance of consuming scrapple in moderation cannot be stressed enough.
Often called Philadelphia scrapple or pannhaas, scrapple is nicknamed poor man’s bacon.
Whether it’s your first time to consider adding scrapple to your shopping cart or you have been enjoying it for some time now, continue reading this post.
By the time you are through reading this, you will be acquainted with scrapple so much better.
What is Scrapple?
Scrapple is a meat product out of cooked pork scraps. They are then mixed with cornmeal and buckwheat flour to turn them into a brick, which can be sliced easily. While scrapple is a breakfast food traditionally, there is no rule that says it cannot be enjoyed at any other time of the day, including dinnertime.
It was mentioned earlier that scrapple is popular in Pennsylvania. However, it’s not unlikely for you to come across lots of people eating it in Delaware and Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states.
Other states also consume scrapple often, although it is often referred to by other names.
Scrapple originated in Germany, where people collected scraps of pork not used for other purposes or sold elsewhere and then thickened and seasoned them in order to save money and avoid food wastage. It was then brought to the US by means of underprivileged German immigrants back in the 17th or 18th century.
It’s not uncommon for some people to be confused as to the differences between scrapple and a bunch of other meat products. Let’s set some things straight by answering these questions:
Scrapple vs. sausage: what’s the difference?
While some sausages contain organ meats, most of them are simply ground meat with seasoning and, in many instances, fillers. They are also packed in sausage casing. Meanwhile, scrapple contains meat scraps and trimmings that are not commonly used for making sausages. Also, they are sold in loaves, not in casings.
Scrapple vs. liver mush: what’s the difference?
Like what the name suggests, the primary ingredient of liver mush is pork liver. However, it can also have other ingredients, including pork scraps. On the other hand, while scrapple has pork scraps, too, it may or may not contain liver. Scrapple is still scrapple without any liver, but liver mush is no longer liver mush without any of it.
Scrapple vs. pork roll: what’s the difference?
There are many things that scrapple and pork roll share. For instance, both of them are pre-cooked and can be cooked at home in the same manner. They are also sold in one big piece, although in different shapes. However, pork roll is cured with a sugar solution as well as by smoking. On the other hand, scrapple isn’t.
Is Scrapple Good For You?
Time for the question of the hour, just how much scrapple should you be eating, and should you be eating it at all?
The truth is, in moderation, scrapple isn’t terrible for you. This is because scrapple contains a large amount of vitamin A, which your body derives from the pig liver and kidneys. If you eat one serving of scrapple a day, it will provide you with 40% of your daily recommendation of Vitamin A.
But, before you go out and buy a ton of scrapple, it’s also important to note that this product is very similar to having a serving of bacon with your breakfast. This means it contains fat, sodium, and of course, lots of calories.
The good news is, scrapple contains fewer calories and sodium than bacon. This means it is generally a healthier breakfast meat choice than the alternatives. It also
How is Scrapple Served?
Besides just looking at the health content of the scrapple itself, it’s also critical to look at how scrapple is served. This is because the way you serve it could affect how good it is for you.
Usually, if scrapple is served plain, it will be complemented by a sweet or savory condiment. This can be ketchup, maple syrup, or jelly. If it is served with a meal, it is usually mixed in with a breakfast dish like eggs or hash browns, or placed on bread to make a sandwich.
Although scrapple itself isn’t that bad for you, if you eat it with one of the aforementioned condiments, you are definitely adding lots of sugar to the dish. This means that the calories you may have saved choosing scrapple over bacon are still consumed when you drench it in ketchup or syrup.
The same goes if it is served on bread. While there are many healthy bread options out there, the minute you place scrapple on a white or French style slice of bread, you add to the dish’s calorie and sugar content. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat scrapple with bread; you just need to choose the type of bread you eat it with wisely.
What is Scrapple Made Of?
Scrapple is made of scraps of pork meat and various other pig parts — pig skin, pig tongue, pig heart, pig liver and pig kidneys. Just about any part that cannot be used for making sausages and most other processed meat products can be used for making scrapple. Scrapple also contains fillers and herbs and spices.
The reason why scrapple is called scrapple is that it’s from scraps of pork.
It’s true that scraps of pork are usually those that aren’t used for whipping up all kinds of meat products or served at the table when family and friends arrive, But the parts used for making scrapple doesn’t mean low-quality.
When making scrapple, manufacturers, chefs and home cooks use pork scraps collected immediately after the hog butchering took place. This is essential in coming up with scrapple that’s not only fresh and nutritious but also tasty. Failure to use good-quality pork scraps can result in scrapple that’s not a delight to look at and consume.
Although pork scraps used in making scrapple remain the same, the rest of the ingredients, especially the herbs and spices, may vary slightly from one recipe to the next.
Here’s an example of a traditional or authentic scrapple recipe:
- 1 pound of pork scraps
- 4 cups of cornmeal or buckwheat flour
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground clove
- Place pork scraps in a large pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
- Turn off the stove.
- Leave cooked pork scraps in the covered pot for another 20 minutes.
- Drain and save meat stock.
- Allow pork scraps to cool and chop finely.
- Bring meat stock to a boil.
- Add herbs and spices once boiling.
- Reduce heat and gradually add cornmeal or buckwheat flour.
- Keep stirring for 15 minutes.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The consistency should be thick enough to allow a spoon to stand.
- Add a little meat stock if too thick or some cornmeal or buckwheat flour if too thin.
- Stir in chopped pork scraps and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Switch off the stove.
- Grab a deep baking pan and line with wax paper.
- Transfer the mixture to the lined baking pan and let it cool completely.
- Cover with aluminum foil and allow to solidify in the refrigerator.
Wondering what a turkey scrapple recipe or beef scrapple recipe would look like? Traditional ones will look like the recipe above, although the scraps will be from a different source and the boiling time will either be shorter or longer. Pork, turkey, beef — the best kind of scrapple is completely dependent on an individual’s preference.
Before we proceed with the rest of the topics, let’s answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about serving, consuming and storing scrapple:
What does scrapple taste like?
Many people agree that scrapple tastes like liver pate or liverwurst. However, the taste of scrapple depends on the ingredients used. For instance, some scrapples do not contain liver, while others tend to contain more of a particular herb or spice. Whether fried or baked, scrapple is crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.
How do you eat scrapple?
Traditionally, scrapple is breakfast meat. Needless to say, it’s typically eaten during the first meal of the day. Some people place slices of scrapple between two slices of bread, while others mix or serve it with scrambled eggs. Despite being a popular or staple breakfast meal, scrapple can be eaten at practically any given time of the day.
What can I eat with scrapple?
Scrapple is commonly consumed with an assortment of condiments, both savory and sweet ones. Some of the most popular ones include ketchup, mustard, applesauce, maple syrup, grape jelly and mustard. For breakfast, it’s not uncommon for scrapple to be consumed with eggs, hash browns, oatmeal and toast.
Can you eat raw scrapple?
Store-bought scrapple is already cooked, which means that it can be eaten without cooking beforehand. As a matter of fact, even homemade scrapple recipes require the main ingredients, which are pork scraps, to be boiled in water for several minutes. However, most people who love consuming scrapple prefer to cook or heat the meat dish first.
How do you cook scrapple?
To cook, cut scrapple into half-inch slices before pan frying or baking. Put enough oil in a skillet and cook scrapple until it forms a crispy shell. Slices of scrapple may also be placed on a greased baking pan and baked at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes. It’s also possible to heat scrapple in the microwave for 5 to 10 minutes.
How do you store scrapple?
Scrapple should be stored in the refrigerator. As a matter of fact, it should be refrigerated after opening the packaging or within 60 to 90 minutes of cooking. Scrapple can be stored in the freezer, too. Whether still as a loaf or already sliced, scrapple should be placed in a freezer-safe bag or container before freezing.
How long is scrapple good for?
In its original packaging, scrapple stored in the refrigerator can last for as long as 90 days. When opened or cooked, refrigerated scrapple should be consumed within 5 to 7 days. Cooked scrapple should be consumed within 2 hours if stored at room temperature. Scrapple can last anywhere from 7 to 9 months in the freezer.
How can you tell if scrapple is bad?
Because of the gray color of scrapple, it can be difficult for some people to tell whether it’s still good or already bad. The presence of discoloration, such as dark splotches, and a questionable odor means that scrapple should be discarded. Scrapple should be thrown away if it smells like rotten meat or has mold.
Is Scrapple Healthy?
Especially if you are a health- and weight-conscious individual, it’s perfectly understandable why you would want to determine first whether or not a food product is good for you before you eat it.
Here’s the deal about scrapple:
- Is scrapple good for you? Thanks to the ingredients that go into its making, scrapple is one of the healthier meat products out there. Compared to bacon, for instance, it has less sodium and saturated fat content. Scrapple has good amounts of protein and some iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamins A, B and C.
- Is scrapple bad for you? One of the things that make scrapple bad for the health is that it contains fillers, which can have very little to no nutritional value to them. What’s more, in excessive amounts, scrapple is considered unhealthy because the sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol content can easily pile up.
Knowing which nutrients and how much of each one you can get from a food product can help you have a much better idea of whether or not you should add it to your diet.
Take a look at the following scrapple nutrition facts per 3.5 ounces (100 grams):
- Calories: 213
- Calories from fat: 123
- Saturated fat: 4.7 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 14.1 grams
- Protein: 8.1 grams
- Cholesterol: 49 milligrams
- Sodium: 659 milligrams
- Potassium: 158 milligrams
- Vitamin A: 42%
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 17%
- Niacin (vitamin B3): 11%
- Iron: 10%
- Phosphorus: 8%
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 8%
- Zinc: 7%
- Copper: 6%
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6): 6%
- Cobalamin (vitamin B12): 5%
- Vitamin C: 4%
- Magnesium: 3%
- Calcium: 1%
Before we get to know other things about scrapple you need to know as a consumer who is interested in the meat product, here are some health-related FAQs about it:
Is scrapple good for your heart?
Vitamin A is one of the most abundant nutrients in scrapple. According to scientists, vitamin A’s antioxidant properties may help in the inhibition of the development of heart disease. But it’s also important to note that scrapple also contains saturated fat and cholesterol, too much of which can increase heart disease risk.
Is scrapple healthier than bacon?
Generally speaking, scrapple is healthier than bacon. That’s because it contains fewer of the bad stuff such as sodium and preservatives per serving. In addition, scrapple offers a number of nutrients that aren’t present in bacon. Such can be attributed to the fact that scrapple also contains nutritious organ meats.
Is scrapple processed meat?
Because scrapple contains meat that has been treated in order to improve the taste of the end result, the product is considered processed meat. That is why consumers must head to the processed meat section to find scrapple. But the good news is that scrapple isn’t as loaded with preservatives as most other processed meats.
Is scrapple gluten-free?
Good news for people with celiac disease or those who steer clear of gluten for health purposes: most scrapples are free of gluten. Cornmeal and buckwheat flour added to scrapple are gluten-free. Despite the presence of the word “wheat” in its name, buckwheat flour is not a wheat product, which is why it’s naturally devoid of gluten.
Is scrapple good for weight loss?
Those who are on the ketogenic or keto diet should limit their daily intake of carbohydrates to 15 to 30 grams of carbs per day. Since 100 grams of scrapple contains 14.1 grams of carbohydrates only, adding it to the diet leaves plenty of room for keto dieters to consume other low-carb foods in order to lose weight or maintain their current weight.
Is turkey scrapple healthy?
Especially among health-conscious individuals, it’s no secret that turkey is healthier than pork or any other red meat. That’s because the said poultry is generally lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. Still, it’s important to keep the consumption of turkey scrapple in moderation as the unhealthy nutrients in them can quickly add up.
Where To Buy Scrapple
Scrapple is available at most grocery stores in the processed meat section. The product is widely available in the US, most especially in the Mid-Atlantic states — Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Scrapple can also be purchased online, with some brands more preferred by consumers.
Making scrapple from scratch is rather easy. However, it can be challenging for some people to get their hands on the most important ingredients for whipping up homemade scrapple. And they’re none other than pork scraps.
The good news is that visiting the grocery near you can let you have ready-to-consume scrapple.
Or you can also order the meat product online just in case the grocery store near you doesn’t seem to carry any scrapple or you’re not happy with the available selections. Below, you will come across some of the scrapple brands that you can purchase on the internet:
Philadelphia’s Favorite Scrapple
Many of those who grew up having traditional scrapple agree that this product is as close to the real deal as possible. Cooking the product the right way, despite it already being pre-cooked, can make it taste its best. A 4-pack package of Philadelphia’s Favorite Scrapple, amounting to 4 pounds in total, costs almost $45.
The majority of consumers who were happy with the purchase of this brand of scrapple said it reminded them of authentic scrapple prepared in the Mid-Atlantic. But be wary if you are on a gluten-free diet. That’s because the product contains wheat flour. Online, you can buy a 4-pack (1 pound per pack) of RAPA Scrapple for less than $50.
Leidy’s Pork Scrapple
Boasting of a signature artisanal recipe, the product screams of high quality since its manufacturer says it’s made in small batches. People with celiac disease rejoice — Leidy’s Pork Scrapple is one of the brands of scrapple on the market that’s free of gluten. The product costs nearly $75, but you get as many as 6 1-pound packs of it.
If you want no-frills scrapple with a classic taste, you might want to give Hatfield Scrapple a try. Like most scrapples around, the product is fully cooked, which means you can quickly heat it in the microwave if you’re in a hurry. This scrapple is from a meat product manufacturer that came into being more than 100 years ago.
Greensboro Brand Premium Scrapple
A lot of those who purchased Greensboro Brand Premium Scrapple claim they grew up eating the very same brand of scrapple. The manufacturer recommends slicing the product into half-inch thick pieces, sprinkling both sides with flour and frying them in a little butter. It also suggests serving them with eggs.
Just Before You Add Scrapple to Your Diet
The way it’s called may leave you with some doubts and fears, but scrapple is far from being made out of bits and pieces that belong more to the trash bin than to your growling belly.
It has an impressive nutritional profile, especially when compared with bacon and most other processed meat products out there. Needless to say, scrapple is good for you, especially if you want something different on the table from time to time. But consuming it in moderation is important even though it’s generally lower in sodium than the rest.
Read Also: Smoked Bacon – Is it Cooked or Not?