Scrapple For Everyone: Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market to Expand

The little slice of heaven that is know as Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market is slated for an upgrade.

Business has been booming at Philly’s Shangri-La of gastronomic delights thanks to the overall growth in interest of food and more recently by the expansion of the nearby Convention Center. The folks who run one of the preeminent indoor food experiences in the country are going to shuffle some of the vendors around and move some storage areas underground to free up some space.

Storage areas along “Avenue D,” the aisle closest to 11th Street, will move to the basement to make room for up to five new retailers, which have yet to be named. Veteran tenants – the Spice Terminal, L. Halteman Family Country Foods, Flying Monkey Bakery, Spataro’s, and DiNic’s – will move to new spaces.

New faces are always welcome, but perhaps the biggest impact will be the relocation of a few of the big names. DiNic’s, in particular, is the proud purveyor of what I believe to be the best damn sandwich in Philadelphia.  Yes, I’m a cheesesteak man until I die, but the roast pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe is otherworldly.

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Going Dutch


I would say that my ethnic heritage has a reasonably significant impact on my tastes.  I’ve thoroughly documented my Italian blood, and given you a look at the best of my English background.  And, of course, my prodigious beer intake perfectly illustrates my Irish ancestry.  The one bit of lineage that has always been given short shrift was the German roots of my family tree, though a recent trip to the Pennsylvania countryside had me questioning what that is.

Any time you head north and west of Philadelphia, it’s clear that you’re headed out into Pennsylvania Dutch country.  (Confused as to why we’re talking about Germany and saying Dutch?  Go here.)  The rolling farmland hills and the sight of hex signs on the barns can conjure up thoughts of German-style sausages and some amazing baked goods.  So when Mrs. TVFF and I  worked out a deal for a new car up in Quakertown, I put out word for any food suggestions and our very own ML came through in a big way.

ML pointed me toward Fleck’s a bakery in a flea market that had the best sticky buns in the area.  If you’re not familiar with sticky buns, take a cinnamon roll, drench it in syrup and top it with chopped nuts and raisins.  It’s a triumph of German baking.  I apologize that the photo was a hastily-shot camera-phone picture, but I needed to taunt ML with my bounty and I knew that they’d be half devoured by the time we even got them to the car.  The buns are chewy, the nuts crunchy and the syrup is lick-your-fingers delicious.

It reminded me how simple, rich and satisfying Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine can be, and how many of the dishes made their way onto our table when I was growing up.

It may be true that sticky buns, apple dumplings and funnel cake — three fantastic PA Dutch deserts — can make you think that the best they have to offer comes in the form of sweets, but the savory dishes are fantastic as well.  An assortment of sausages and delicious sauerkraut are some of the more common German dishes that have found a home in the Pennsylvania countryside, but local specialties like scrapple, Lebanon bologna and bot boi are a testament to the kind of down-home country cooking that you don’t expect north of the Mason-Dixon.

Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


– Everybody loves scrapple! (seriously), and everyone’s got their own way of eating it. Don:

Have to make some soon. I cut them between 1/4? and 1/2?, lightly flour to help in creating a nice crust. Medium heat in a lightly oiled skillet until both sides are nicely browned. Delicious! Matches up nicely with eggs of any style but try this next time: scrapple, eggs and grits – yes, GRITS (cheesy grits are best) – a great combination!

Kenneth Moore:

I do love me some scrapple… But I’m mostly vegetarian now. It would take something quite drastic for me to bend so far as to eat scrapple, but it used to be one of my secret delights! My preferred use is about half as thick as yours, TVFF. I like crunch in my meat. :P Then, stack it on an english muffin with an egg, maybe some cheese (and a bit of syrup does make it yummy, yes!). Anything is better encased in carbs!


If you travel in and around the Lancaster, PA area (PA Dutch/German epicenter), the scrapple is served with syrup. You cut those pancakes/waffles up, mix in the cut up scrapple (or bacon or sausage), then pour syrup over the whole mess. That’ll stick to yer ribs!

– modoo works the fifth borough into our Ultimate NYC Hot Dog Crawl:

Skippy’s on Hylan Blvd on Staten Island. It’s a truck, so its not always there. The only better is Nathans.

– And the Washington side of ES has plenty to say about changes in DC’s gayborhood – join the convo!

(Photo: John Donges)

Happy National Scrapple Day!


I think it’s hilarious that today is “National” Scrapple Day, considering: (1) you can only get the stuff in a relatively small portion of the country and (2) in places where it is available, a solid 85% of the people won’t touch the stuff.  But maybe what this horrendously under-appreciated delight needs is a day of observance to boost its reputation.

For those of you who don’t live in the mid-Atlantic states, I suppose that scrapple deserves a little explanation. Essentially, it’s a meat product made using pig offal.  After the butchers have taken the “desirable” cuts off the pig, the rest gets boiled, the meat is minced and grain (cornmeal, usually) and spices are added to thicken the mixture into a loaf.

Once it gets to your kitchen or diner, it’s either pan- or deep-fried and what you get is a wonderful slice that is crunchy on the outside, smooth and creamy on the inside.  There is a rich, meaty flavor here that you’re never going to get from a lifeless cut of meat like a quick-fry pork chop.  Do yourself a favor and stop in a diner during your next trip through South Jersey or Eastern Pennsylvania.

I understand that scrapple can be scary.  Shit, just the word is creepy. There’s the vaguely Germanic sound and the unfortunate inclusion of “scrap” and/or “crap.” But what really gets me is when I tell someone how much I enjoy it and they come back with: “But don’t you know what’s in that?!?”  Yes, I do, which makes me like it even more.  Here’s why…

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