Ode to Scrapple

Sing scrapple: buckwheat-
& cornmeal mush-stuffed
relative of head cheese,
the hog’s gray matter.
Plus every part
that couldn’t be cured
into ham or crammed
into sausage casings —
some good foot meat, perhaps,
a corkscrew piece of tail —
up to & including
the oleaginous grunt.
Always the butt of jokes
for the ignorant mass
of weiner-eaters who prefer
their pig scraps pink
& prefitted for the throat.
This is a square meal
the color of earth.
It’s what’s for supper
when you haven’t eaten
since breakfast, & want
something you can
slap in the hot
fat of a griddle & fry
until it grows a thick
brown skin. Then
serve with Grade-A
maple syrup, go hog-
wild, wallow in the gray
& gritty mush.

17 Comments


  1. I’m starting to cry. There’s no scrapple to be had for hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles.

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  2. quiet regular – Go on…

    Brett – Upton Sinclair? Dude, that was praise! Scrapple is not only health food, it shows respect to the spirit of the pig by using every part.

    Rose – Really? Bummer. Maybe you could order it online.

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  3. Hmmm, remind me to bring my brothers home made scrapple next time. I think my next piggy will be sometime in December.

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  4. You are making me hungry. The grocery store that i go to always has a few whole ho’s heads for sale…right next to the whole cow’s tongue, tripe , chicken feet nad various livers and brains. I tried to read it all in one breath. Made me even hungrier.

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  5. Yum!
    Do you really say head cheese? That’s what it’s called here.

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  6. Yeah, though I don’t know how common it is anymore, outside of Fred’s grocery store. Even scrapple, as you may have gathered, is restricted to the northeast – basically Pennsylvania and the neighboring portions of adjacent states.

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  7. The “oleaginous grunt” — Eew! I was in a house where chitlins were boiled — that is, until I went back outside.

    “mush-stuffed”: now that’s a great word!

    Wiener-eaters as poop — hot-dog eating poop!

    “Square” is herein invested with practically crawling, steaming meaning. I like the earth thing. Carpentry with a dirt floor.

    “something you can slap in the hot fat”– o do I like to slap those somethings.

    Damn! I want to get in that wallow.

    Sue Coe’s sujbect, but with gustatory affection.

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  8. Was my pleasure — thanks for indulging me my comments. I doubt I got very close. I’ve been away. Every thing seems a bit upside down right now. In the exercise of appreciating your art something is made to which I can orient myself. Things get too heavy and a countering equivalence is needed in words. Via Negativa be darned — I think you are making worlds. Maybe it’s that double negative effect that another reader mentioned. Maybe it doesn’t take a double, but just one. One slicing negative. Is there such a knife?

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  9. well i must say,, i have never indulged,, and since i am not much for a hot dog either,, after this i do believe i will abstain…

    the writing was excellent,, the word choices precise… loved it…..

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  10. Thanks, paisley and Linda. Glad you found it to your taste. :)

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  11. I read this one back when.

    It still makes me laugh and not know quite what to say, being a westerner and all. An “ignorant…weiner-eater…who prefer[s]…my…pig scraps pink/ & prefitted for the throat.”

    :-)

    I ate it once, in Virginia, in the 80s, just to tell. The color turned me, so to speak.

    Reply

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