It's scrapple. By a country mile.
The funny thing, of course, is that many meat eaters despise or refuse to try this Pennsylvania Dutch treat — pork scraps and offal mixed together with cornmeal, flour and spices and then formed into a loaf that's cut into slices and fried in a pan. Depending on the thickness of the slice and the frying time, you can get mushy pieces or extra-crispy pieces. They're both wonderful.
But no more pigs for me, since 2013. And I'm OK with that.
But I did get curious and wonder if anyone had tried, improbably, to create a vegetarian version of scrapple.
As it turns out, numerous chefs have gone down that road.
There's Katie Cavuto's Curried Root Vegetable Scrapple, which uses sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
There's Delishytown's Vegetarian Breakfast Scrapple, which includes mushrooms, celery, carrots and oatmeal.
There's Sarah Cain's "Vrapple," which contains seitan (wheat gluten), cornmeal and buckwheat and finished second — ahead of seven pork-based versions! — at ScrappleFest 2009 in Philadelphia. There was once a www.vrapple.com, but, alas, that website has vanished.
a 2013 interview with Mary Bigham of The Town Dish, Ternay, a flexitarian, said, "I grew up on scrapple, so I’m familiar with the taste and texture of it and I kind of messed around with the mushroom-based recipe while using friends and family as guinea pigs."
I mentioned that Ternay's Vegan Scrapple was sold by Long Cove Foods. But no more. And I never found time to acquire it and try it. When I went to www.longcovefoods.com, I found this bummer of a message: "Hello friends, It is with great sadness that I must impart to you, the news that as of the final week of May 2015, I will no longer be producing my vegan scrapple."
I'm going to post Ternay's entire farewell message, plus his instructions for cooking his own brand of meat-free scrapple, so that they are saved for posterity. It's another Lost Corner of the Internet that I fear will soon be 100% lost, just like vrapple.com. So I'm going to do my small part to extend its shelf-life in cyberspace...
It is with great sadness that I must impart to you, the news that as of the final week of May 2015, I will no longer be producing my vegan scrapple.
The journey has been full of fascinating conversations with awesome people; from the farmers markets, special events, demos, suppliers and businesses, to the phone calls and emails I received. To those who purchased our product, I am glad we were able to make a difference in how you looked at food and took the right path to a kinder form of eating for yourself and sparing our friends who share this planet with us. Through your purchases, you helped to support a great group of people along the way, that are our local farms, mills and businesses– most humbling indeed and a treasure of life experiences to keep forever!
My wife and I give thanks to all of you from the depths of our hearts, to those who supported us throughout this very magical journey that has been “Long Cove Foods”. I wish I could personally thank all of you individually, who gave advice, believed in us and were avid purchasers of our vegan scrapple, but the list is just too long and I must give a blanket of thanks to all – THANK YOU MANY TIMES OVER EVERYONE! I hope our paths will cross again.
If anyone knows of someone looking for a helping hand or full time support in a similarly likeminded business as Long Cove Foods, one with a mantra in support of local sustainability, please reach out and let me know via my email address above. I would love to hear from you, as I’m looking for my next steps in life.
Thanks again and with kind regards and safe journeys to all,
PS: For anyone still able to purchase what remains, I have kept the cooking process, for your information.
HOW TO COOK VEGAN SCRAPPLE:
THE PAN — Traditionally, a well seasoned cast iron pan is the pan of choice, but don't worry if you don't have one. Use your best non-stick sauté pan.
THE OIL — I recommend using "high heat" rated oils, such as an Avocado Oil or "Refined" Coconut Oil. DON'T USE OLIVE OIL - It is a finishing oil and not good for cooking at medium to high heat levels for periods of time. Whatever oil you use, research it to make sure it is rated as a safe to use "High Heat" oil, as some nut and seed oils develop free-radicals, which when heated too high, have been shown to aid in the growth of certain cancers.
— Cut scrapple to desired thickness. I recommend a cross-cut of about a 1/4" to a 1/3" thickness.
— Add enough oil to the pan so that it coats the pan. Put scrapple in the cold pan and place on medium high heat.
— Cook about 6-8 minutes on one side, undisturbed, till you see the bottom edges become dark golden brown.
— Nudge with a spatula - if sticking, give a little more time, but if it moves freely from pan, flip it and repeat the cook time of about 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately.
— The scrapple should be crispy dark golden brown on the outside, just like the picture to the left and smooth and somewhat creamy on the inside.