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Reading Terminal Scrapple


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Arielle Quigley



Welcome to the delightful world of scrapple! If you’re a foodie who loves exploring unique and regional dishes, then scrapple is a must-try culinary delight. This delectable treat is deeply rooted in the history and culture of the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.


Scrapple, also known as “pon haus” or “pan rabbit” in some areas, is a traditional American dish that originated centuries ago. It is a type of pork-based sausage that combines finely ground meat, cornmeal, and a blend of savory spices. The result is a crispy, golden-brown slice of heaven that packs a flavorful punch.


While scrapple may not be the most widely known dish, it holds a special place in the hearts and palates of those who have had the pleasure of experiencing it. Its unique blend of ingredients and its versatility in terms of preparation make it a beloved favorite among locals and adventurous food travelers alike.


In this article, we will delve into the history of scrapple, explore the ingredients and preparation process, discover popular scrapple recipes, and uncover where you can find the best scrapple, specifically at the renowned Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. So, buckle up and get ready for a culinary journey that is sure to leave you craving a taste of scrapple!


What is Scrapple?

Scrapple is a unique breakfast meat dish that has its roots firmly planted in the culinary traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. It is a beloved staple that offers a distinctive combination of flavors and textures.


At its core, scrapple is a type of sausage made from pork scraps, including the head, heart, liver, and other trimmings. These parts are simmered until tender, then finely ground and combined with cornmeal, flour, and a blend of savory spices such as sage, thyme, and black pepper. The mixture is then formed into loaves or blocks and allowed to set.


Once set, scrapple is typically sliced and fried until golden brown, resulting in a crisp exterior and a tender, savory interior. The combination of crispy and creamy textures, along with its rich and savory flavor, makes scrapple a truly unique and satisfying breakfast option.


One of the key characteristics of scrapple is its versatility. While it is most commonly enjoyed as a breakfast meat, it can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. It can be sliced and served alongside eggs, paired with pancakes or waffles, or even used as a filling in sandwiches or as a topping for pizza and burgers.


Scrapple is beloved for its hearty and comforting qualities, making it a beloved comfort food in the regions where it is popular. Whether enjoyed on a chilly morning or as a late-night snack, scrapple is a delightful treat that showcases the creativity and resourcefulness of traditional American cooking.


The History of Scrapple

The origins of scrapple can be traced back to the early settlers of the Mid-Atlantic region, particularly the Pennsylvania Dutch community. The dish emerged as a way to utilize every part of the pig during the butchering process, minimizing waste and making the most out of available resources.


Scrapple can be seen as a variation of the traditional European dish called “panhassen” or “panhaus,” which is made from a similar combination of pork scraps and grains. The Pennsylvania Dutch, known for their frugality and resourcefulness, adapted the recipe to include cornmeal, a staple grain in the region.


Over time, scrapple became a mainstay of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, passed down through generations of families. It was traditionally made in large quantities during the fall and winter months when pigs were slaughtered, creating a sustainable and economical way to feed large families.


As the Pennsylvanian Dutch community migrated and settled in different parts of the Mid-Atlantic region, scrapple began to spread beyond its original roots. It gained popularity among locals and became an iconic dish associated with the region’s culinary traditions.


Today, scrapple is not only cherished by the Pennsylvania Dutch community but has also found its way onto the menus of diners, breakfast spots, and farmers’ markets across the Mid-Atlantic region. It has become a symbol of regional pride and a testament to the resourceful and inventive nature of early American settlers.


While scrapple’s roots are firmly planted in the history of the Mid-Atlantic region, it continues to evolve and adapt to modern tastes. Various interpretations and variations of scrapple have emerged, incorporating different spices and grains. However, the essence of scrapple as a hearty and flavorful breakfast meat remains unchanged.


As you delve into the world of scrapple, you are not only savoring a delicious dish but also embracing a part of American history and tradition that celebrates creativity, resourcefulness, and the joy of good food.


Ingredients and Preparation

Scrapple is a simple yet flavorful dish that combines a handful of key ingredients to create a satisfying culinary experience. The exact ingredients and preparation methods may slightly vary depending on regional variations and family recipes, but the basic principles remain the same.


The primary ingredients of scrapple include:

  1. Pork Scraps: Scrapple is traditionally made using parts of the pig that may not be used for other cuts of meat, such as the head, heart, liver, and trimmings. These scraps are simmered until tender, then finely ground to create the base of the scrapple.
  2. Cornmeal: Cornmeal is a key component of scrapple, adding texture and flavor to the dish. It is added to the pork mixture along with other dry ingredients, helping to bind everything together while lending a distinct corn flavor.
  3. Flour: Some recipes call for the addition of flour to help thicken the scrapple mixture. This creates a firmer consistency and aids in the frying process.
  4. Spices: The flavor of scrapple is enhanced by a blend of savory spices such as sage, thyme, black pepper, and sometimes nutmeg or allspice. These spices add depth and aromatic notes to the dish, elevating its overall taste.

The preparation process for scrapple involves several steps:

  1. Simmering: The pork scraps are simmered in water or stock until they become tender and easily break apart. This slow-cooking process ensures that the meat becomes flavorful and easily incorporated into the scrapple mixture.
  2. Grinding: Once the meat is tender, it is finely ground using a food processor or meat grinder. This creates a smooth and consistent texture for the scrapple.
  3. Combining and Cooking: The ground meat is then combined with cornmeal, flour, spices, and any additional seasonings in a large mixing bowl. The mixture is thoroughly mixed until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Setting: The scrapple mixture is poured into loaf pans or molds and allowed to set in the refrigerator until firm. This typically takes a few hours or overnight.
  5. Slicing and Frying: Once set, the scrapple is sliced into thin pieces and fried until golden brown and crispy on the outside. It can be cooked in a skillet, griddle, or deep-fryer, depending on personal preference.

Whether you’re enjoying a homemade version or savoring scrapple at a local eatery, the careful combination of these simple ingredients and the meticulous preparation process result in a slice of scrumptious scrapple that is bursting with flavor.


Popular Scrapple Recipes

Scrapple is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. While the traditional method of frying and serving it alongside eggs is a popular choice, there are numerous ways to incorporate scrapple into creative and delicious recipes. Here are a few popular ways to prepare and enjoy scrapple:

  1. Scrapple and Eggs: This classic combination is a breakfast favorite. Slice the scrapple into thin pieces and fry until crispy. Serve it alongside scrambled eggs, toast, and a side of fruit for a hearty and satisfying morning meal.
  2. Scrapple Sandwich: Transform your scrapple into a delicious sandwich by layering it between slices of bread or roll. Add some cheese, lettuce, and tomato for extra flavor and texture. You can also spread some mayo or mustard for an extra kick.
  3. Scrapple Hash: Use scrapple as the main ingredient in a hearty hash. Dice the scrapple into small cubes and sauté it with potatoes, onions, and peppers. Add your choice of seasonings and cook until the ingredients are golden brown and crispy.
  4. Scrapple Tacos: Give your tacos a twist by using crispy scrapple as a filling. Warm up some tortillas, add a layer of scrapple, and top it with your favorite taco toppings such as salsa, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.
  5. Scrapple Pizza: If you’re feeling adventurous, use scrapple as a topping for your homemade pizza. Spread tomato sauce on a pizza dough, sprinkle mozzarella cheese, and add thinly sliced scrapple on top. Bake it until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Scrapple Benedict: Elevate your brunch game by swapping the traditional Canadian bacon with scrapple in Eggs Benedict. Poach some eggs, fry the scrapple until crispy, and assemble everything on an English muffin. Top it with hollandaise sauce for a scrumptious twist on a classic dish.

These are just a few examples of the many ways you can enjoy scrapple. Feel free to experiment with different recipes and flavors to discover your own favorite scrapple creations. The versatility of scrapple makes it a fantastic ingredient to incorporate into any meal of the day, from breakfast to dinner.


Variations of Scrapple

While the traditional scrapple recipe remains a beloved favorite, there are variations of this delectable dish that cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. These variations add unique flavors and ingredients, offering exciting twists on the classic scrapple recipe. Here are a few notable variations:

  1. Vegetarian or Vegan Scrapple: For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, there are scrapple recipes that substitute pork with plant-based ingredients. Mushrooms, lentils, or textured vegetable protein can be used as the base, along with a mix of herbs and spices to create a savory vegetarian or vegan scrapple.
  2. Regional Variations: Different regions have put their own spin on the traditional scrapple recipe. For example, in New Jersey and Delaware, fresh seafood like crab or clams is sometimes added to the scrapple mixture, imparting a unique maritime flavor. These regional variations reflect the local culinary traditions and availability of ingredients.
  3. Spice Variations: The spices used in scrapple can be adjusted to suit individual preferences. Some recipes may add additional spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or garlic powder to give the scrapple a bit of a kick. Experimenting with different combinations of spices can result in a scrapple with a flavor profile that suits your taste.
  4. Grain-Free Scrapple: To accommodate those following a grain-free or gluten-free diet, alternative grains or flours can be used instead of cornmeal or wheat flour. Options such as almond flour, coconut flour, or quinoa can be substituted, maintaining the texture and flavor of scrapple while catering to specific dietary needs.

These variations showcase the adaptability of scrapple, allowing it to be enjoyed by a wider range of individuals with different dietary preferences and needs. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or have specific dietary restrictions, there is likely a scrapple recipe out there that can fulfill your cravings.


Additionally, as with any dish, home cooks and chefs are always finding new ways to experiment and put their own spin on scrapple. From adding unique spices and herbs to including different meats or vegetables, the possibilities for scrapple variations are boundless.


So, whether you prefer a traditional pork-based scrapple or enjoy exploring different flavors and ingredients, there is a scrapple variation out there that will tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your culinary curiosity.


Serving and Pairing Suggestions

When it comes to serving and enjoying scrapple, there are countless ways to create a delicious and satisfying meal. Here are some serving and pairing suggestions to elevate your scrapple experience:

  1. Breakfast Classics: A classic way to enjoy scrapple is alongside traditional breakfast items. Serve scrapple slices alongside eggs cooked to your preference, whether they are scrambled, fried, or poached. Add a side of toast, biscuits, or English muffins, and complete the meal with some fresh fruit or a side of hash browns.
  2. Sandwiches and Wraps: Turn your scrapple into a tasty sandwich or wrap. Layer thin slices of fried scrapple on bread or a tortilla, and add lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard. For some extra flavor, you can add pickles, onions, or your favorite cheese.
  3. Soups and Stews: Add chunks of scrapple to hearty soups or stews for a savory twist. It pairs exceptionally well with vegetable-based soups like potato or corn chowder, or even in a hearty bean soup. The scrapple will infuse the dish with its rich flavor and add a satisfying meaty texture.
  4. Salads: For a unique twist, crumble fried scrapple over a green salad to add an unexpected crunch and savory flavor. Pair it with ingredients like apples, dried cranberries, and goat cheese for a well-balanced and flavorful salad.
  5. Brunch Benedicts: Replace the traditional ham or Canadian bacon in Eggs Benedict with scrapple for a scrumptious and indulgent brunch dish. Pile poached eggs on a toasted English muffin, top with fried scrapple, and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. The combination of flavors and textures will make for a memorable brunch experience.
  6. Charcuterie Boards: Get creative and include thin slices of scrapple on your charcuterie boards for a delightful addition. Pair it with an assortment of cheeses, crackers, pickles, and olives to create a visually stunning and delicious spread.

When it comes to pairing scrapple with beverages, the choice is subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, some popular choices include coffee, tea, apple cider, or even a glass of orange juice to complement the savory flavors of the dish.


Experiment with different serving and pairing options to discover your favorite way to enjoy scrapple. Whether you’re looking for a classic and comforting meal or want to get creative with new flavor combinations, scrapple is a versatile dish that can be integrated into various culinary creations.


Where to Find Reading Terminal Scrapple

If you’re on the hunt for authentic and delicious scrapple, look no further than the historic Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This bustling and iconic food destination is home to several vendors who specialize in serving up scrapple that will leave you craving more.


Here are a few highly recommended spots within Reading Terminal Market where you can find scrapple:

  1. Basics Market: Basics Market offers a variety of high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients, and their scrapple is no exception. Head to their stall to find scrapple made with a combination of pork and spices, ensuring a flavorful and satisfying bite.
  2. Dutch Eating Place: Located within Reading Terminal Market, Dutch Eating Place is renowned for its scrumptious Pennsylvania Dutch fare. Their scrapple is crafted with care and cooked to perfection, delivering a crispy exterior and a moist and flavorful interior.
  3. John Yi Fish Market: While primarily known for its seafood offerings, John Yi Fish Market also serves a delectable scrapple that adds a unique twist to the traditional recipe. Incorporating fresh seafood into the scrapple mixture, their variation provides a delightful taste experience for adventurous food lovers.

While Reading Terminal Market is an excellent destination for scrapple, it’s worth noting that many local diners and breakfast spots throughout the Mid-Atlantic region also serve scrapple on their menus. These establishments often have their own take on the dish, making for a diverse scrapple experience.


If you’re unable to visit Reading Terminal Market or the surrounding areas, fear not! Many online retailers and specialty food stores offer scrapple for online purchase, allowing you to enjoy this regional delicacy from the comfort of your own home.


So, whether you’re visiting Reading Terminal Market, exploring local breakfast spots, or ordering scrapple online, there are plenty of options available to satisfy your scrapple cravings and experience the unique flavors of this beloved dish.



Scrapple is a true gem of the Mid-Atlantic culinary scene, offering a delightful combination of flavors, textures, and history. This humble pork-based sausage, made from scraps and cornmeal, has stood the test of time and continues to capture the hearts and palates of those who try it.


From its humble origins in Pennsylvania Dutch kitchens to its presence in local diners and food markets, scrapple has become an iconic dish that symbolizes the resourcefulness and creativity of early American settlers. Its adaptability to various dietary preferences and its versatility in different recipes make scrapple an enjoyable and versatile breakfast meat.


Whether you choose to enjoy scrapple alongside eggs, in sandwiches, as toppings for pizza or salads, or even as a part of soups and stews, you’ll find that the unique flavors and textures make it a memorable culinary experience.


If you’re looking to embark on a scrapple adventure, make sure to visit Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, where you’ll find vendors dedicated to crafting scrapple that will leave you wanting more. Alternatively, you can explore local breakfast spots and diners throughout the Mid-Atlantic region or seek out online retailers that offer scrapple for delivery to your doorstep.


So, embrace the history, flavors, and versatility of scrapple, and embark on a delicious journey through the Mid-Atlantic region’s culinary heritage. Whether you’re a loyal fan or a first-time adventurer, scrapple is sure to captivate your taste buds and leave you with a newfound appreciation for this unique breakfast meat.