Have you had your scrapple today? Probably not if you live in Denver.
Any great diner should include local or regional specials on their menu. Just like with green chile in the Denver area, specializing in regional diner food can be a source of bragging rights and also helps to set establishments apart from one another.
When it comes to unique regional diner food, snapper soup in the Philadelphia area definitely fits the bill. Another interesting dish that is most likely unknown to people outside the Mid-Atlantic region is scrapple. This is a Pennsylvania Dutch dish that was created from the need to utilize every part of the pig. Scrapple is made from leftover parts such as skin, liver, heart, tongue, and the meat removed from the pig head. It isn’t hard to understand why the name scrapple comes from words “scraps” or “scrappy.” The parts are finely ground, mixed with seasonings and cornmeal, and cooked into a mush using a broth made from boiling the “scraps.” The resulting mixture is formed into blocks, sliced into thick pieces and fried until crisp. Scrapple is commonly served alongside fried eggs for breakfast, although many enjoy it with butter and syrup, jelly, ketchup, mustard, or honey.
Scrapple is a uniquely American dish and perfect example of regional diner food. Early versions were first made by Dutch immigrants in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries and it has been a staple of diner menus in that region as long as diners have been operating.