Robyn Lee

Today is National Scrapple Day, and if you’re already thinking “eeeeeewwwwww,” stop. Scrapple may not be pretty and it may not be healthy. But it’s a great, old-school example of nose-to-tail cooking, and sustainability advocates should embrace it.

Meat’s not exactly the most energy-efficient form of sustenance. So if people are going to eat meat, they should eat every last bit of it that they can. Scrapple definitely fits the bill:

Per chef Andrew Little of Sheppard Mansion in Hanover, Pennsylvania, “Scrapple is affectionately known as ‘everything but the squeal.’ It is traditionally a loaf made with the leftover bits of the butchering of hogs. Spices and buckwheat flour are added while the pork is cooking, and the entire mix is poured into loaf pans to chill and set.”

OK, it’s not the most appetizing when you think about it that way. Serious Eats has a better way to wrap your head around the idea:

Think: a sort of fried polenta, were it injected with as much porky character as possible. (Although scrapple is traditionally made with pork, you could just as well use beef or lamb parts.)

See, that sounds pretty good.