Sunday, July 13, 2008

Adventures In Cooking: Scrapple Edition

Earlier I lamented my inability to get scrapple on this side of the country. It's always been a regional dish mostly available in the Northeast part of this country, so buying it's never been overly convenient. Back in Fresno they used to sell it at the supermarket on the local Naval base, and that was the only place you could find it. Down here I've never seen it anywhere, so if I want scrapple I have to make it. Fortunately it's pretty easy and cheap to make.

Traditional scrapple's made with discarded bits of butchered pig, which I don't have. The next best thing to that is sausage which, while not made of discarded bits certainly isn't the highest quality meat in the pig. Boil the sausage in a couple cups of water until cooked, add poultry seasoning, some bullion, and any other spices, then thicken the mixture up with cornmeal. Let it cool and congeal in the fridge for a few hours, then slice thin pieces from the loaf and fry it up. It's almost like a thick fried meat pudding; divine. My dad always liked eating it with ketchup (blasphemy!), while I always mixed it together with eggs over easy.

Today's experiment was my first time using sausage in the recipe. A couple weeks ago I tried making it with ground turkey; I'll never be doing that again. The turkey didn't give a strong enough taste, so I mostly ended up tasting the poultry seasoning and corn meal. And it wasn't nearly greasy enough to fry well. In short, it was nothing like the scrapple I grew up eating. Today's sausage scrapple tastes and cooks quite a bit like the scrapple I grew up with, which was a pleasant surprise. I hereby declare the recipe a keeper.

Historians will surely look back on this day as the decline and fall of my health. Just as easy access to high quality drinking water increases the overall health and well-being of a society, so easy access to scrapple is sure to decrease the health of my society of one. I fully expect a British historian to write a six volume tome about it after my death.


Blogger staticfoo said...

And easy access to Saccharomyces cerevisiae increases the overall intoxication of a society, no?

7/14/2008 2:18 AM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

In a way, yes. It increases the availability of alcoholic drinks, which lowers the cost, which means more people can buy and drink more of them. And having read that the natural yeasts available in California are of much lower quality and consistency than those available in parts of Europe, I'm glad to have and directly benefit from easy access to high-quality yeast. Of course alcohol isn't necessary for survival like water is, so it's a bit of a different scenario (and probably a more accurate one than mine).

7/14/2008 9:02 PM  
Blogger staticfoo said...

Yeah, I've heard the same thing about California yeasts, although they seem to be pretty good at lactic acid fermentation in order to produce sourdough.

At one point, however, alcohol was much more vital than it is now. It is, after all, a great way to store some variant of food for extended periods of time, while also providing a source of water that is relatively free of harmful microbes.

7/15/2008 12:05 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/16/2009 9:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home