The first pork byproduct to grace American plates (long before SPAM) is showing up on some Toronto menus. Before it closed, The Hoof Café served scrapple for brunch, decking it out in a fried egg and greens. Grand Electric has used it in tacos and, at The Whippoorwill, it comes alongside the egg breakfast in place of bacon. So what exactly is this strangely named meat made of? Exactly what its name suggests—scraps. Pig scraps, to be precise.Otherwise known as pon haus by the Pennsylvania Dutch (who are responsible for the original recipe), scrapple is made by boiling a whole pig’s head (or whatever offal you have lying around) with cornmeal and spices. Once the bones are removed, the meat is minced, sculpted into a (greyish) gelatinous loaf, and voila—scrapple.
Chef Tyler Cunningham of The Whippoorwill serves the bacon alternative in its most traditional form: sliced, fried, and as an accompaniment to eggs. Cunningham says that most customers don’t know what the mystery meat is when they order a helping, but everyone seems to enjoy it. Over on Ossington, Leemo and Leeto Han of OddSeoul plan to stay true to their Philly roots by incorporating scrapple into their proposed breakfast menu—chances are it will take the form of a sandwich.
Scrapple is economical (what else are you going to do with all that leftover pig’s head?), but it also happens to fit into a predicted food trend for 2013 (salumi 2.0!), so it’s doubtful this is the last we will see of “the other grey meat.”—Rebecca Fleming