In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Well, I Never….”

When I first went to college – transplanted from northern New Jersey to Delaware – you would think there would be few cultural and social difference. I mean, it’s just under 2 hours down the Jersey Turnpike. How different could life be?

Well, there was Lacrosse. I’d never seen it before. They don’t play it in northern Jersey. And there was the sea of dock shoes, bobbed hair, pearls and penny loafers. There was the Mummer’s Day Parade, which I had never heard of much to my roommate’s amazement, and there was Scrapple.

I’ll never forget my first encounter with Scrapple. See, I’m a breakfast eater. My dad bought me the full meal plan knowing this, and I was not going to waste his hard-earned money by skipping meals. One morning, rather than sausage links or bacon, the dining hall lady placed a very thin, blackened tile of what I assumed was meat on my plate.

Hello, I am Scrapple. Lovely to meet you.

That photo above? That’s actually attractive looking Scrapple. I’ve never seen it prepared that way. What I was given was wholly unappetizing – like I was almost black. But, like a curious little kitty, I had to give it a try.

originalI cannot describe the taste – the closest I can come is it is very similar to the Slovak sausages my dad used to get from a butcher in Astoria, NY. But that doesn’t help you much, does it?

Well, I hated those damn sausages. Seeing the baking pan filled with those stick-tied monstrosities, black and bursting on the dinner table was one of my childhood heartbreaks…that and boiled pork tenderloin. So the Scrapple really didn’t stand a chance.

Let’s see…Scrapple is very spicy, very ground, and very meaty. It had the texture of pate mixed with sawdust. And it was surround by a crust – a blackened outer coating that on most meats would be delightful.

On most meats. No so much on this meat shingle.

I learned to pass on Scrapple very early in my Freshman year. But I would see that steaming tray of grey/black rectangles all through my four years at college – at least once a week. I’d see lots of kids get it – but for me, Scrapple had joined the ranks of other culinary “I don’t get it” foods – like grits.

Don’t get me started on those.