Scrapple is a divisive food.
Deeply rooted in the culinary identity of regions that include the state of Pennsylvania, it has a fan base trained to love it from birth.
But those outside this geographic circle view it from its basest level: as a gray loaf of leftover pork parts.
Eliminating this perspective is a new crop of chefs and specialty butchers that have revamped the dish.
At Sheppard Mansion in Hanover, Pennsylvania, chef Andrew Little changes his scrapple with the seasons. While summer's version might have basil and an accompaniment of sweet corn, the current iteration is touched with maple syrup and served with frisée and walnuts. Still, he keeps the preparation traditional, frying scrapple to order in a bit of butter.
At the exceedingly hip Meat Hook in Brooklyn, scrapple is among the rotating offerings. Made by a former Pennsylvanian, it is a textbook recipe: braised pork, sage, pepper, cornmeal and buckwheat.
The dish has even migrated west. Founded this year, West Coast Scrapple has given the storied dish, once a symbol of poverty, an artisanal turn. Started by a family with Pennsylvania roots, West Coast Scrapple makes a version ($8 a pound) that doesn't use liver as tradition holds, which gives it a milder flavor. Seared and served with fried eggs, it's a happy substitute for typical breakfast sausage.