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Scrapple Review

I was first introduced to scrapple at my boarding school in Middletown, Delaware. I was told, that it had been brought to the school, by a faculty member who grew up in western Pennsylvania.

When scrapple was served, it was on large baking sheets, thrown into the oven to broil until the surface was brown… any number of shades of brown, venturing into black upon occasion.

When presented, there were generally few takers of these darkened trapezoids, but for a few, this mystery meat was very welcomed!

Over the years, and mostly through social media, I have been engaged in many conversations about this ridiculed ‘food’, and have decided to stand up for this wonderful treat brought to us by the Pennsylvania Dutch, also known as panhaas or “pan rabbit”.

The following is my Review of the various Scrapples that I have been able to find, and I look forward to try more!


There are several different ways to cook scrapple, and as mentioned earlier, I was first introduced to oven baked, which if not done right, one is trying to eat brick slabs.

For these reviews, I took a scrapple loaf, and cut into 4 equal slabs, roughly 1/2 inch thick, and pan-fried them.

Over the years, I have switched from a dry pan, to either margarine, oil (corn & olive) or butter, depending on what else I am eating or how decadent I am feeling.

In these reviews, I have used margarine and half of a loaf, including side piece.

Why a side piece? – Try it with a lot of butter in a small pan some time! The uneven shape can cook very differently! (I did mention decadent…)

Habbersett Scrapple

“Habbersett brand has been around since 1863. The original facility was located in Media, PA” – Habbersett website

I have eaten, by far, more Habbersett then any other.

I have cooked, grilled, broiled pan and deep-fried this stuff!

It is my “bread ‘n butter” scrapple.

In terms of the loaf, Habbersett reminds me more of a bread loaf than others I have seen, and when cut-up there are more trapezoid shapes. This is the inter geek in me speaking.

Side Piece – Most folks aim for uniform slabs, and miss one of the more tricky parts to cook, but if done right, you can more textures with the finished piece!

Spices – For most, Habbersett seems to be the most peppery of the three that I have tried so far, and because of this, goes very well with scrambled eggs or cheddar cheese!


One reader commented –

I found Habberset to be very greasy and “popped” a great deal when I cooked it. Maybe the grease is what gives it the extra flavor that you like, but I found it to be a mess.” – Peter S

I agree there does appear to be more fat/greasy, which would add to the flavor, but no one can say eating scrapple is healthy! With my 50th right around the corner, I can’t be eating this stuff everyday!

Rapa Scrapple

“In 1926 two brothers from Bridgeville, Delaware founded the RAPA Scrapple manufacturing plant.” – Rapa website

Several of my Delaware based friends have mentioned Rapa, and when I tried this, the first thing that struck me, was how square the loaf was, and a course texture on the outside.

The squareness of the loaf, made cutting the 4 slabs equally, very easy, but for some reason they did seem smaller.

Noting to mention about the pan frying, and I was easily able to get a golden brown crust.

Taste test – The general flavor was rather bland to me, and I did eventually add more salt and ground black pepper to it, but I did like the courser grade of cornmeal.

Hatfield Lean Scrapple

Over 110 years ago John C. Clemens began Hatfield Quality Meats’ tradition of satisfying customers with quality, delicious pork products in the Philadelphia farmer’s markets. ” – Hatfield Quality Meats

I have seen the Hatfield name most of my life when shopping, and they do have some good meats, but I can not say the same for the scrapple.

One of the first things you notice about the package, is “Lean”.

When I first mentioned I was trying Hatfield, a Facebook friend commented “What’s the point in scrapple?!”

I have to agree.

When I unwrapped the loaf, it was also fairly uniform, but with rounded edges. Cutting into quarters was easy, with the cut edges a little but rougher then normal.

Cooking time seemed longer to get the medium brown crust I like, but it could have been that I was hungry.

Finally when I tried my first bites, the spices mixture was very nice, with my pepper than Rapa, but not as much as Habbersett, a nice middle ground for some.

The cornmeal mixture was smaller than Rapa, but for some reason the interior texture did not seem to firm up during cooking, there for a little bit more mushy than the other three.

What did get me was the interior texture, that had not firmed up during cooking.

Stoltzfus Meats

I was on my way back from my parent in Lancaster, and first stopped at Intercourse Canning Company to pick-up some items, and right across the street is Stoltzfus Meats & Deli.

The Stoltzfus Scrapple is as Homemade that you can get, and to say it is fresh, is such an odd statement!

What was also odd to see, were the huge slabs of scrapple (20+ lbs?) just sitting there in the refrigerator case.

I bought a simple pound, namely because I’m only about 30 minutes away, and I don’t think they are going to run out any time soon!

Anyhow, how was it?

I liked it!

I was easily able to get a nice even crush on both sides, mostly from a higher fat content.

As for taste, it is a top contender to Habbersett, with a little less black pepper.

Conclusions (so far)

The single biggest difference between the various scrapples I have tried in the Black Pepper amount.

I also have to tell you, I like Black Pepper a lot, and I’ve been known to unscrew pepper shaker tops because it does not come out fast enough…

So your personal Black Pepper level is going to be your guide.

Another factor, is the dryness of the loaf, and this seems to be due to the coarseness of the grinding of the ingredients, the denser loaves, with a finer mush seems to hold up better during pan fry cooking.

Scrapple Hunting

With this elementary Review of Scrapples done, I have more to seek out.

So far, the single biggest difference that I have tasted is the black pepper level. I for one like, so…

I’m also learning to refine my pan frying techniques to be more consistent, but I have learned the corn to fats & water ratios play an important part when preparing!

In my refrigerator, I have an unopened Kunzler scrapple loaf…

And friends suggesting some of the following:

  • Hershey farm market
  • Shady Maple in East Earl
  • Hughes Delaware Maid Scrapple
  • Greensboro
  • Kirby & Holloway

More Scrapple Info



If you know more, please let me know, and if you are a maker of scrapple and would like to be added to my review, please contact me!!

BTW – It should be noted, that some of these scrapple producers, do NOT make it easy to find their scrapple products on their websites!

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Blogging Chester County Coatesville Covered Bridges Photo Essay Photo Journal Photography Projects Reference

Speakman #1 Covered Bridge – 4 years later

While I was out on a GPS drive yesterday, I found myself very close to Speakman #1 Covered Bridge, and having several hours before the kids got home, I decided to stop by and do a follow-up session.

The last time I was at the bridge was back in 2010, and as I got closer, I started to notice signs saying the bridge was closed.

This made me very concerned, especially since we’ve had several harsh winters since I was last there.

As I approached the bridge, I felt rather depressed when I began to see barriers in front of the bridge opening.

Bridge Closed signs at Speakman #1
Bridge Closed signs at Speakman #1 in Chester County PA.

While I was getting out of the car, I was wondering what kind of damage had happened, when I was shaken from my thoughts by a man in a pickup truck.  He asked if I was fishing to which I raised my camera.

The truck pulled into the area in front of the bridge and the man got out and started chatting about the bridge in general.

I explained to him that the last time I’d been down here was in 2010, and that I was rather shocked to see the general appearance of the bridge.

At this point, Lawrence introduced himself and said the bridge had been closed for about two years due to damage by a truck hauling steel plates through the bridge.

Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.

Apparently, a driver was heading southbound on Frog Hollow Road, when a steel plate shifted as he turned right onto Covered Bridge Road, severely damaging the South West entrance post.

Lawrence continued to tell me stories about the local area and the bridge as we walked around, inspecting the damage.

In this picture, you can still see some of the fire damage cause by some local boys.  Notice the char in the diagonal crossbeam.

Arson damage at Speakman #1 in Chester County PA. - Notice the 'new' siding.
Arson damage at Speakman #1 in Chester County PA. – Notice the ‘new’ siding.

From the outside, looking upstream, you can see the boards that were replaced.

Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.

I asked when the bridge was going to be fixed, but that remains to be seen. There appears to be an argument between the local townships and the state about who is going to pick up the restoration cost.

When you go to the upstream side of the bridge, you can see where the tall grass has gotten stuck between the boards during several recent floods.

Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.

If you look very carefully at the above image, you can see how the left vertical steel I-beam is bent from all the ice and trees hitting it.

Needless to say, it is easy to see that Speakman #1 Covered Bridge needs some major restoration if it is going to last into the future.

I hope by posting these images, I can make other people aware of what needs to be done.

If you have any contacts, please let me know!

Thanks in advance,

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Announcements Blogging Online Life Photo Journal Projects Website

Welcome Kathryn Nevin

I would like to welcome Kathryn Nevin as Editor to!

This is a new adventure for the both of us, and I can only hope that it will propagate into something more adventurous!

Kathryn & I meet 30+ years ago at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown DE, and we recently reconnected via Facebook, and after some chatting, we are here.

Kathryn will be working on starting up her Eagle-Eye Editing business and adding her prose to the website, while she helps me clean up after my many grammatical and spelling viruses!

Now I can also offer my clients in the mental health and social justice industries a Professional Editing Services through Seymour Digital Consulting!

Welcome again, Kathryn Nevin!

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Announcements Blogging Information Networking Online Life Projects Website

Eagle-Eye Editing is in the House of Seymour!

Hello and welcome to the joint venture of Eagle-Eye Editing and Seymour Digital Consulting. It’s a venture infused by the great harmony of the written word and the visual text. It’s also great when childhood bears good fruit; I am grateful to St. Andrew’s School for my connection to Andrew Seymour and for so many other good people and experiences. It was at St. Andrew’s where I first caught two serious viruses that have shaped my life forever — the Poetry Virus and the Editing Virus. They are formidable bugs, but entirely manageable and I expect they will produce even more good in the near future. So — I am happy to be here, happy to be the House Editor and happy to have another place to kick off my shoes. Please stick around for new posts about me, my editing business, and my work here with Andrew. Thanks for your time!

Kathryn’s Other’s Site:

Contact me here too!



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Announcements Chester County Downingtown Featured Photo Journal Photography Projects

County Lines Magazine Proofs OK’d!

As Seen In - County Lines Magazine
As Seen In – County Lines Magazine

Just finished reviewing the Proofs for an up coming article on Downingtown that will be appearing in the April 2014 issue of County Lines Magazine!

In the issue, 5 of my images will be appearing, including a two-page article feature spread!

Needless to say, I am very excited for this type of exposure!

I am not sure when issues are mailed to Subscribers, but look for the Annual Wedding Issue!

Thanks again to the wonderful folks at County Lines Magazine for this!

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