It was usually served thinly sliced, about a quarter inch or slightly more in thickness and grilled to a thin dark golden brown crust on the surface, but still a little soft on the inside. I would eat it usually plain or with ketchup.
During that time of my life, I was not aware of, nor concerned about, what scrapple was made of -- just that it tasted good, especially with eggs "over easy" or as a sandwich (thinner, more crunchy, not very soft on inside).
Later in life I started asking more thoughtful, philosophical questions, such as why do we have scrapple, where did it come from and more importantly, "what's it made of"?
Most people I've run across, who know what it is and have eaten it, either love it or hate it, with very few in between or indifferent.
I've since come to learn that scrapple has been part of our Pennsylvania / Delaware Valley heritage for over 200 years. Even Benjamin Franklin wrote about it. And George Washington liked it, having been introduced to it by his Pennsylvania Dutch cook. It was brought over by German settlers who established communities in areas that are now part of Chester County and it's use spread throughout the area.
Today it is often called Philadelphia scrapple, although it did not originate from within the City of Philadelphia nor is scrapple produced inside the city but in areas around the city. It is usually on the menu of most local diners and breakfast-serving restaurants in the Southeastern Pennsylvania / Delaware Valley area and especially in what we now call the Pennsylvania Dutch area because of it's strong German cultural heritage. (Remember: "Dutch" in this case has nothing directly to do with the Dutch or Holland, it's a corruption of "Deutsch", which is the German language word for "German". They don't call their country the same as we call it in English, "Germany", they call it "Deutschland", which we again corrupted to "Dutchland". That being said, some of the Low Germain areas from where they immigrated from to Pennsylvania are near or overlap the Neatherlands and included Dutch speaking groups.)
There is not absolute agreement of how scrapple as we know it was started in this area, but most agree it was German and Dutch settlers in and around the Chester County area that created our American version of scrapple in order to not waste the usable remnant "scraps" that were left over from preparing pork products, such as liverwurst. They added cornmeal, spices and cooked it into a jell-like consistency. The jelled scrapple, which stored very well in tin cans prior to refrigeration, was then thinly sliced and fried when ready to be eaten. It was very popular.
Scrapple is called panhas in German. The Pennsylvania Dutch call it pawn haas or pon haus. These include the Amish (pronounced aahh'-mish) and Mennonites, among others.
Today scapple is commonly eaten plain, with ketchup, or as is more common in Pennsylvania Dutch county, it is eaten with syrup (or sometimes apple butter).
NYTimes Article: Sampling Scrapple At The Source
Habbersett Scrapple Corporation: History
Copyright 2008 by Lawrence Yerkes. All Rights Reserved.