This past weekend while visiting The Butcher & Larder to pick up a few night's worth of meat, I spotted something you don't see very often in Chicago:
Beautiful, isn't it? It's called scrapple, and it's a fantastic breakfast snack. Very popular in Pennsylvania, scrapple is traditionally a mush of pork scraps (hence the name) and trimmings combined with cornmeal, flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a loaf and served pan fried with eggs.
So what are the "scraps" in the scrapple? Traditionally it's made of hog offal, like the head, heart, liver, and other parts. The meat and bones are boiled to make a stock/broth. Once the meat is cooked, it's removed from the bones and cornmeal is added to broth to make a mush. The meat is minced and returned to the mush before making a loaf. At The Butcher & Larder...it's only $4 a pound!
While it doesn't look particularly yummy sitting on the butchers paper, once fried and served with eggs and ketchup...it's really good. It has the consistency of a hash, but there is a great sausage/meat flavor that goes perfectly with the yolk of the egg.
Here it is cooked up:
If this isn't a perfect example of sustainable eating I don't know what is. The butcher takes the meat that is many times thrown away, and finds a vehicle for them. In the end almost all of the animal is used. Considering the quality of the meat sold at Butcher & Larder, if you're going to eat the "questionable" meat from a pig, I would much rather it be from a high quality local sustainable farm.
Next time you're at your local butcher, ask if they have any scrapple. You might be surprised how much you enjoy it. If you don't? You're only out a couple dollars.