A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 01, 2008
Big Scrapple (Philadelphia nickname)

"The Big Scrapple” is sometimes said to be a nickname for Philadelphia, but no one really calls it that. When a Philadelphia newspaper story involves scrapple or New York City (or both), “the Big Scrapple” is sometimes used. However, the nickname “Big Scrapple” is too obviously derivative from “Big Apple”—and scrapple itself somewhat obscure these days—to be considered a Philadelphia nickname.

“Scrapple” (from “scraps") is a dish of pork scraps, cornmeal and flour that is cited from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area since the 1840s and 1850s.


Wikipedia: Philadelphia
Philadelphia (pronounced /ˌfɪləˈdɛlfiə/) is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth most populous city in the United States. It is the 5th largest metropolitan area by population in the United States, and the fourth largest consumer media market as ranked by the Neilsen Media Research Co. It is the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. Its name literally means “the City of Brotherly Love” (from Greek: Φιλαδέλφεια, [pʰi.la.ˈdel.pʰeː.a], Modern Greek: [fi.la’ðɛl.fi.a], “brotherly love” from philos “love” and adelphos “brother"), though many people may think this is just a nickname. Tourists and media often informally call the city ”Philly.” The city is recognized as a strong candidate global city.

In 2005, the population of the city proper was estimated to be over 1.4 million, while the Delaware Valley metropolitan area, with a population of 5.8 million, was the fifth-largest in the United States. A commercial, educational, and cultural center, the city was once the second-largest in the British Empire, (after London) and the social and geographical center of the original 13 American colonies. During the 18th century, it eclipsed New York City in political and social importance, with Benjamin Franklin taking a large role in Philadelphia’s early rise to prominence. It was in this city that some of the ideas, and subsequent actions, gave birth to the American Revolution and American independence, making Philadelphia a centerpiece of early American history. It was the most populous city of the young United States and served as the the nation’s first capital in the 1790s.

Wikipedia: Scrapple
Scrapple is a savory mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour. The mush is formed into a loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then fried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, too small to be used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is best known as a regional food of Delaware, South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Composition
Scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other scraps, which are boiled with any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and (dry) cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned, and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, and others are added. The mush is cast into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until gelled. The proportions and seasoning are very much a matter of the region and the cook’s taste.

Commercial scrapple often contains these traditional ingredients, with a distinctive flavor to each brand. A few manufacturers have introduced beef and turkey varieties and color the loaf to retain the traditional coloration derived from the original pork liver base.

Vegetarian scrapple, made from soy protein or wheat gluten, is offered in some places. It is seasoned to be much sweeter than typical meat scrapple.

Preparation
Scrapple is typically cut into quarter-inch slices, and pan-fried until the outsides form a crust. It is sometimes coated with flour or fried in butter or oil. Both in composition, preparation, and taste, scrapple is quite similar to white pudding, which is popular in the British Isles. Scrapple is usually eaten as a breakfast food, and can be served plain or with apple butter, ketchup, pancake syrup, or even mustard and accompanied by eggs.

In some regions, such as New England, scrapple is mixed with scrambled eggs and served with toast. In the Philadelphia area, scrapple is sometimes fried and then mashed with fried eggs, horseradish and ketchup.

History and regional popularity
Scrapple is arguably the first pork food invented in America. The culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called Panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients. The first recipes were created more than two hundred years ago by colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Scrapple is strongly associated with Philadelphia and surrounding eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch and in Appalachia, scrapple is known as pawn haas or pon haus, a term hailing back to the old German dish. It can be found in most supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases. It can sometimes be found in frozen form in cities as far away as Los Angeles.

(Dictionary of American Regional English)
scrapple n [Dimin of scrap; cf EDD scrappling “pl. Scraps, odds and ends...The renderings of lard."]
scattered, but chiefly Midl, esp PA, MD, CAtl
Cf panhas, souse
A dish of meat scraps, usus pork, boiled with corn meal or flour, shaped into loaves, and freq. sliced and fried.
1855 Moore’s Rural New Yorker 10 Feb 47/3 PA, I observe a call for a recipe for making “Scrapple,” and some other homely dishes.
c1870 Chipman Notes on Bartlett 387 (DAE) PA, Scrapple, equal parts of buckwheat flour and wheat flour boiled in the liquor produced in making “Head Cheese,” and used as “Hasty Pudding” is after cooking.
1890 Dialect Notes 1.75 PA, Scrapple: a favorite Philadelphia dish, consisting of bacon chopped up and mixed with cornmeal, and fried in cakes.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: scrap·ple
Pronunciation: \ˈskra-pəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: diminutive of 1scrap
Date: 1852
: a seasoned mixture of ground meat (as pork) and cornmeal set in a mold and served sliced and fried

(Oxford English Dictionary)
scrapple, n.2
U.S.
[dim. of SCRAP n.1]
An article of food made from scraps of pork, etc. stewed with meal and pressed into large cakes.
1855 Rural New Yorker 10 Feb. 47/3, I observe a call for a recipe for making ‘Scrapple’, and some other homely dishes.
1871 G. H. NAPHEYS Prev. & Cure Dis. I. ii. 59 The sausage and scrapple of New Jersey.
1881 Harper’s Mag. Jan. 181 Milk, eggs, sausage, scrapple, vegetables, and poultry, all fresh from the farm.
1910 ‘O. HENRY’ Whirligigs x. 130, I never cared especially for feuds, believing them to be even more over~rated products of our country than grapefruit, scrapple, or honeymoons.

29 December 1841, Philadelphia (PA) National Enquirer, pg. 3:
...Rachael H. Jones, 4 pr. fowls and lot of scrapple;...

April 1848, Godey’s Lady’s Book, volume 36, pg. 233:
There were plates of coarse dough-nuts, crullers, and waffles, all children of the same family. Also, hogs-head cheese, smeer-case and scrapple; cucumbers pickled yellow, and cabbage pickled purple; a saucer of large black lumps, which were quinces, preserved hard; and another of small black ...

(North American Women’s Letters and Diaries database)
Holley, Sallie. “Letter from Sallie Holley to Caroline F. Putnam, 1852”
Page 99:
...the air two or three times; introduced to a tall, unshaven, uncombed unwashed man with terribly dirty clothes and boots thick with mud and manure; your things taken off, you are presently invited out into a dirty, dingy kitchen to sit down to highly-spiced sausages, or a dish here denominated `scrapple,’ and hot, thick, heavy pancakes, picking out two or three flies from your drink whatever it may be.
Results Bibliography
Holley, Sallie, 1818-1893, Letter from Sallie Holley to Caroline F. Putnam, 1852, in A Life for Liberty: Anti-Slavery and Other Letters of Sallie Holley. Chadwick, John White, ed.. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1899, pp. 292.

6 June 1853, New York (NY) Daily Times, “Philadelphia,” pg. 2, col. 5: 
Fish, vegetables, fruits, milk, cider, creams, pepper-pot, smear-kase and scrapple, are hawked.

12 November 1853, Defiance (OH) Democrat, pg. 3, col. 1 ad:
...SAUSAGE, SCRAPPLE, HEAD CHEESE, and LARD,...

Google Books
What I Know;
Or, Hints on the Daily Duties of a Housekeeper

by Elizabeth Nicholson
Philadelphia, PA: Willis P. Hazard
1856
Pg. 30:
Scrapple.—Take a pig’s haslet and as much offal lean and fat pork as you wish, to make scrapple; boil them well together in a small quantity of water until they are tender; chop them fine, after taking them out of the liquor; season, as sausage; then skim off the fat that has arisen where the meat was broiled, to make all soft, throw away the rest of water, and put this altogether in the pot; thickening it with 1/2 buckwheat and 1/2 Indian. let it boil up, then pour out in pans to cool. Slice and fry in sausage-fat, after the sausage is done.

Penn State University Libraries
25 October 1858, Philadelphia (PA) Press, pg. 3 ad:
GRISCOM’S HOME-MADE SAUSAGES and SCRAPPLE, to be had fresh, at CALEB CLOTHIER’S Family Flour Store, No. 115 No. FIFTH Street.

Google Books
The National Cook Book
by Hannah Mary Bouvier Peterson
Philadelphia, PA: T. B. Peterson & Brothers
1866
Pg. 57:
SCRAPPLE.
92. This is generally made of the head, feet, and any pieces which may be left after having made sausage meat.

Scrape and wash well all the pieces designed for the scrapple, put them in a pot with just as much water as will cover them. Add a little salt, and let them boil slowly till the flesh is perfectly soft, and the bones loose. Take all the meat out of the pot, pick out the bones, cut it up fine, and return it to the liquor in the pot. Season it with pepper, salt, and rubbed sage, to the taste. Set the pot over the fire, and just before it beings to boil, stir in gradually as much Indian meal as will make it as thick as thick mush. Let it boil a few minutes, take it off, and pour it in pans. When cold, cut it in slices, flour it, and fry it in hot lard, or sausage fat.

Some prefer buckwheat meal; this is added in the same manner as the Indian. Indian meal is preferable, as it is not so solid as buckwheat.

Sweet marjoram may be added with the sage, if preferred.

Feeding America
Domestic Cookery
by Elizabeth Ellicott Lea
Baltimore, MD: Cushings and Bailey
1869
Pp. 171-172:
Scrapple.
Take eight pounds of scraps of pork, that will not do for sausage; boil it in four gallons of water; when tender, chop it fine, strain the liquor and pour it back into the pot; put in the meat; season it with sage, summer savory ,salt and pepper to taste; stir in a quart of corn meal; after simmering a few minutes, thicken it with buckwheat flour very thick; it requires very little cooking after it is thickened, but must be stirred constantly.

Penn State University Libraries
22 December 1869, Huntingdon (PA) Globe, pg. 4:
Scrapple—Take all the odd bits of lean; the faces of the porkers, a small portion of liver, add boil all together till the bones drop out. Pick out the bones and everything non-edible, chop the meat fine, draining all the liquor back into the kettle, and removing all the fat. Thicken the liquor with Indian-meal till it is of the consistency of butter, and boil quite a while; then put in the chopped meat, sage, salt and pepper; boil altogether and take out into pans. When cold, cut in slices and fry for breakfast.

Google Books
The Godey’s Lady’s Book Receipts and Household Hints
by S. Annie Frost
Philadelphia, PA: Evans, Stoddart & Co.
1870
Pg. 125:
SCRAPPLE.—Take eight pounds of scrap pork, that will not do for sausage, boil it in four gallons of water; when tender, chop it fine, strain the liquor and pour it back into the pot; put in the meat, season it with sage, summer savory, salt and pepper to taste, stir in a quart of corn meal; after simmering a few minutes, thicken it with buckwheat flour very thick; it requires very little cooking after it is thickened, but must be stirred constantly.

Google Books
The New Bedford Practical Receipt Book
by P. H. Mendall
Third Edition
New Bedford, PA: Robert B. Taber
1870
Pg. 11:
TO MAKE SCRAPPLE.
Take the heart, kidneys, sweetbread, milt and liver and put them to boil. The liver will be done sufficiently in an hour. Chop all very fine, take the skins and scraps unfit for sausages, the feet and tongue, and boil them all very tender, chop them fine and return them to the liquor they were boiled in, salt, pepper and sage must be added according to the taste; when boiling, stir in buckwheat meal to the thickness of mush, keep it stirring while it boils to prevent it from burning; it need not boil long.

22 April 1982, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. B2:
The Big Scrapple beat the Big Apple, and every other city for that matter, in attendance during the exhibition of “ Treasures of Ancient Nigeria.”

Google Groups: nyc.transit
Newsgroups: nyc.transit, misc.transport.urban-transit
From: M Greene
Date: 1996/02/23
Subject: Re: Announcing the Colin Leech NYC Trip Fund

Ready for the Big Apple or the Big Scrapple yet?

Google Groups: phi.singles
Newsgroups: phl.singles
From:
Date: 1997/09/04
Subject: Re: Where are the women??? 

> already.  It ought to be a place for single men and women from the Big
> Scrapple
> to share ideas and insights, get thoughtful feedback and challenging
> debate,
> and basically have some fun with e-mail conversation about the
> relationship
> between the sexes and single life in and around the big city.

Google Groups: sci.med.dentistry
Newsgroups: sci.med.dentistry
From: (Joel M. Eichen)
Date: 29 Sep 2002 00:47:36 -0700
Local: Sun, Sep 29 2002 3:47 am
Subject: Re: do these guys actually make $120,000/year?

This is the state of things in the Big Scrapple. Whazzhappening in the Big Apple? I mean what goes on in New York?

New York magazine
3/30/07 6:00 PM
The Most Important Meal
Some weeks just roll out like an endless breakfast buffet in the Big Scrapple.

The Sixth Square
The Encyclopedia Race
(...)
If Philadelphia doesn’t soon make its move, the Big Apple will have two editions before the Big Scrapple has one out of the blocks.
(...)
This entry was posted on November 14, 2007 at 4:40 pm and is filed under A Philadelphia Encyclopedia?.

wabisabi brooklyn
The Big Scrapple
March 24, 2008
I don’t know if anyone really calls Philadelphia that, but I hope so.

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesBig Scrapple (Philadelphia nickname) • Thursday, May 01, 2008 • Permalink