I like scrapple.
Call me crazy, but to me, scrapple personifies the joy of eating my way through the nooks and crannies of America.
Trying the different regional cuisine that teaches you more about geography than gourmet cooking.
But let’s face it. The world is getting smaller.
These days with The Food Network, there’s less and less mystery to regional food and traditions.
I mean, who hasn’t had Buffalo wings, Philly cheesesteaks, or fish tacos? You can get all three at your corner Applebee’s in all 50 states.
That’s why I like scrapple.
It’s considered so unappealing that it still can’t be found more than a 50 miles radius from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
So what is scrapple, your inquiring little minds want to know?
Well, if you ever plan to eat it, you probably don’t want to know actually.
Let’s just say, you have to like pigs to enjoy scrapple.
I mean, really, REALLY like pigs.
Like all parts of pigs.
I’ll put it this way – scrapple is made from the parts of the pig that aren’t considered good enough for even hot dogs or sausage.
Everything but the oink.
Like I said, you have to be really committed to swine to appreciate scrapple.
Mixed with cornmeal and spices like sage and thyme, the piggy parts are ground up and baked into a loaf. Then, slices from the loaf are cut off and fried in a pan until crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside.
And the scrapple served here at Lottsburg Café in Virginia’s Northern Neck is the real deal.
A dot on the map in the most remote county in the Northern Neck, this is the kind of place where everybody knows everybody (except me of course).
Native Northern Neckers can be sure to run into the local farmers, their hairdresser, and the guy wearing rebel flag suspenders—which seems more than appropriate considering Robert E. Lee’s birthplace is just up the road.
Folks, THIS is America.
And this breakfast has got some serious country-grown TLC.
The grits were the creamiest I’ve ever had. The eggs were scrambled to perfection. The polish sausage was sliced and grilled to juicy tenderness.
Best of all, the old-fashioned Southern biscuit came buttered and grilled to a golden brown on both sides.
Wow. I’ve had some good biscuits in my travels but never one with so much effort put into it before reaching my plate!
But no doubt about it, the highlight of this breakfast was my slice of scrapple.
As I polished off my last morsel of pig loaf, I began to get a bit philosophical about the experience I just had.
Was it the scrapple I liked so much? Or just the idea of scrapple?
Hmm. Good question.
While I certainly enjoyed Lottsburg Cafe’s version of this mid-Atlantic delicacy, I had to admit, it was indeed the idea of scrapple that appealed to me so.
The idea that a food item as lowly as scrapple can still have a place in society.
The idea that scrapple isn’t going to make the Applebee’s “2 for $20” menu any point in my lifetime.
And best of all – that there’s still a place left in this country so isolated, so pure, that the natives don’t ever have to wax philosophical about ground up pig parts.
Scrapple was, is—and always will be—in Lottsburg, Virginia.
Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying Shirt.