5@5 - Chef Andrew Little
May 10th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Bostonians slice into cream pie, Buffalo residents take their beef on weck and Cincinnatians slurp down Skyline Chili on spaghetti. New Orleanians inhale beignets while Andrew Little, executive chef at Sheppard Mansion, and his fellow Pennsylvania Dutch compatriots prefer their pork scrappled.

Maybe you've heard of some of these local specialties and maybe you haven't - but for every region, there is that idiosyncratic food that reminds them of home.

Five Foods You May Have Never Heard Of ... But Should Try: Andrew Little

1. Scrapple
"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. Once chilled, thick slices are cut and pan-fried.

If you want to start a spirited conversation in central Pennsylvania, ask someone if they eat their scrapple with ketchup or syrup...be prepared for a detailed answer!"

2. Hog Maw
"Now we're digging into the good stuff! Hog maw is another prime example of using everything and making delicious food.

Traditionally, hog maw is a stuffed pig's stomach. The stomach is cleaned and stuffed with diced potatoes and loose pork sausage. Roasted in the oven and basted frequently, the stomach turns an intoxicating shade of mahogany and becomes very crispy. Inside, the sausage, potato and spices have melded into what can only be described as an amazing treat."

3. Watermelon pickles
"At the Sheppard Mansion, we grow our own watermelons for use in the restaurant. Watermelon pickles are a fantastic way for us to get everything out of an amazing product that we took so much time to grow. The rind of a watermelon is usually thrown away after the sweet, juicy insides have been eaten on a hot summer day.

With watermelon pickles, we are able to use the rind (once peeled and poached in simple syrup, vinegar and spices) well into the fall and winter. These little gems are one of the stars of the holiday table."

4. Shoofly pie
"This is the item on my list that might be the most commonly known. Just like the 'ketchup or syrup' debate over scrapple, shoofly pie has people choosing sides as well. This pie is a simply a way to get sweet molasses flavor to your 'pie hole.'

It consists of a lard-based pie shell, a custard-y molasses layer and a crumb topping. The debate enters if you ask how much of a 'wet bottom' people prefer. Some folks like it dry, some like it very wet. Bottom line is, if you cut a slice of warm shoofly pie and top it with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream, you're eating high on the hog!"

5. Schnitz un knepp
"Maybe my favorite dish on this list. This dish is basically dried apple slices, ham and dumplings providing for a hearty fall or winter dish.

In providing a 'New Pennsylvania Dutch' realization to this dish, I use rabbit, gnocchi, country ham, sage and reduced apple cider to create a wonderful dish inspired by this classic."

Got a hometown hankering that non-locals just don't understand? Spill it in the comments.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. SUgirl

    I almost vomited reading this...:(

    May 12, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • E.R.@SUgirl

      I know. Me too!

      May 12, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  2. comfortinprayer

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    May 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Ship-Town

      SPAM!!!

      July 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  3. Bama Girl

    As a Southern girl born and raised, I've experienced our own regional "delicacies" (read: things too scary for most folks to eat – e.g. chitlins). That being said, I've had the pleasure of eating at Chef Little's table, and believe me, I've eaten pig parts that I'd never have believed would be that good! Thanks Eatocracy for broadening our horizons!

    May 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  4. eg

    PA German born and bred. I had ancestors who fought on both sides of the Revolution (one was a Hessian soldier). Liver Pudding and Scrapple are 2 different items. My Grandma always served her pancakes with homemade puddin' . The closest thing I have found to it is what is called "liver pudding" and only some local stores carry it. Scrapple is basically a type of cornmeal mush and we ate it with Kayro syrup that came in buckets like paint cans. We used the empty buckets to go berry picking.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  5. BG

    Looks like everyone in here thinks their a chef. As with PA Dutch and every regional cuisine around the world, you can almost guarantee that every family has their own variation of each recipe; flour or no flour, wet bottom or dry, this ingredient or that.

    Chef Little could only pick 5 items, being that this is called "5@5", but there are other great PA Dutch items he had to leave out. Some people listed them, but here are a few on the top of my list:

    Birch Beer
    Chicken Pot Pie
    Whoopie Pies
    Chow Chow

    Lastly, foods like this aren't the reason for obesity: It's the lack of self control and over indulgence that makes people fat.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  6. Jerv@GV

    "Hint – no need to flour scrapple. Just cook for a long time in reserved bacon fat, only turning once when crusted."
    Man, you got that right! I love with jam.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  7. George V

    As an Eastern Pennsylvanian, I must disagree with chef. Scrapple is made with old-fashioned cornmeal, not buckwheat flour. Been eating it for over 50 years. Mom used ketchup (as do I and my wife and our son), dad used Br'er Rabbit molasses, and granny used clear Karo. Liver pudding is not the same.

    Hint - no need to flour scrapple. Just cook for a long time in reserved bacon fat, only turning once when crusted.

    We used to distinguish between shoofly pie and wet molasses cake (shoofly with a layer of molasses above bottom crust). Maybe that fine culinary point has been lost. More's the pity.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  8. AleeD

    Do I have a hometown hankerin? Yup! Key lime pie! I was born & raised in Florida by New Englanders on a mix of New England-style dishes. None of the items in the article were even mentioned in our home until I started working in a grocery store and wondered what some of these items were.

    If I ever have the opportunity to give 'em a shot, I certainly will – with ketchup. ;)

    May 11, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  9. Dennis Pugh

    I am from Cincinnati and knew of scrapple. More prominent was Geotta, just about the same thing as scrapple, but with different seasonings. Man could I go for either some Skyline or goetta right now. When I'm home it's goetta for breakfast and skyline for lunch. Makes it easy on the family when it comes to grocery shopping for the guest.

    May 11, 2011 at 2:30 am |
  10. Gennie Roussell

    My Grandma fed me scrapple growing-up :-D As an adult, whenever I found it in a grocery store, I'd buy a ton of it and freeze it so my Grandma and I could both get some! I'm the only person I know, besides her, who has heard of scrapple, lol.

    May 11, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  11. Linda

    My family is German on both sides. Dad's family came to PA in the 1740's and lived/still live in York & Lancaster counties. PA Dutch all the way. My Dad wouldn't live in a house without the old favorites, especially scrapple, shoe fly pie (wet) and other favorites. PS my daughter is in MD and she sends me what she calls "care packages" including, as one person said: Tastykakes. Then there's buttercakes and the best cinnammin buns. Fresh hot pretzels on a cold day sold on the streets in center city Philly are to die for. Fried green tomatoes with cream sauce. Oh the memories!

    May 11, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  12. EM

    I come from Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario (north of Duluth-MN) and we have a lot of Finnish people there. We grew up on a Finn dish called "mojakka" (sp not sure) - fish head soup. Yep, fish heads. That, and potatoes and onions and some other vegs, that'll do it. Yum. Any fish'll do but we mostly used walleye (pickerel) or pike. Come on up to "T-Bay" this summer for our Bluse Festival (July 8,9,10) and visit the "Hoito" restaurant and you can try it yourself!

    May 11, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  13. Cathy

    Baby, scrapple is righteous. Since I grew up in washington dc, we ate our scrapple plain. "My people" as they say
    In the south are from South Carolina Dillon County and we ate liver pudding fried to crisp the casing and warm it
    through. Now I am used to eating hog maw(s) cooked down like chitterlings. Love it but can't eat chitterlings.
    I love reading the comments of the food snobs and south bashers. You are under the illusion that you are special
    Or unique but you will die just as dead as us pork grease breath people.Trust me I work in a hospital.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  14. Tia

    I'm a resident of Maryland and I love Scrapple and Hog maws! I've never heard of the other 3.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  15. Ted

    mg I am a life long member of PETA. People Eating Tasty Animales.I wear horse hide jackets cow hide belts and snake skin boots and I also have at least 15 other leather jackets and at least 20 other pairs of boots.And I sleep very good.Thank you.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  16. bobincal

    I really like French Toast with Egg Beaters and no sugar strwberry jam. Jum.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • mickey1313

      that sound awlful.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  17. bobincal

    "lard-based pie shell, a custard-y molasses layer and a crumb topping." Is it any wonder why the south leads the nation in obesity?

    May 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • phil

      last I checked Pennsylvania was clearly in the north

      May 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • mickey1313

      um, pa is in the NE, not the south.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Katie

      What's with all the fat hatred? It's like you hate fat people and, by extention, fatty foods. I don't happen to be fat myself but I'm so sick of this attitude that other people's fatness somehow infringes on your rights.

      May 11, 2011 at 3:10 am |
  18. Maria

    Yuck. It all sounds disgusting, but especially the scrapply and hog maw. Not to mention those two sound EXTREMELY fatty and unhealthy. Blech.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  19. Ted

    I live in the deep south but being an over the road trucker I 'v traveled all over the U.S. Many times in the northeastern states I have enjoyed scrapple but the very best was in the Pa. dutch country.I'v been retired 2 years but reading this artical made me want to hit the road again.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  20. Chris

    Two things if I may... (from a New Englander, if that matters)

    Scrapple is in the category of awful foods that should really just be used as compost.

    Watermelon pickles are frickin awesome. The ones I had were like pickled candy.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  21. mg

    BTW...anything with sugar and grease tastes good...try cardboard...yummmy!

    May 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  22. mg

    How can a person write about animals this way...dont you have a conscience.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Bravo

      Go have a carrot, Troll.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • VegetariansTasteGood

      What shall I feed my dogs, pray tell? They really hate salad...

      May 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • mickey1313

      all animals kill to live, even plant have sensory receptors that "scream" when they are dispatched. If you dont hear the crys of pain, do they no longer exist? And if you are useing a religous stance, the bible says god made animals for us to eat, hence able, cains brother, and first butcher.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Arick

      No one cares what vegans think. I would rather listen to my cat meow then waste one second of life listening to some self-righteous vegan. I barely consider you human.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  23. Matt

    I have not had any of the items in question as I am from Los Angeles and scrapple is something you do not see, ever.

    This is the best comment discussion I have ever seen concerning a CNN article. Pretty cool. A regular conversation. Good job people!

    May 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • mickey1313

      thats because food brings people together, even when they disagree. politics and religon tear people apart, sometimes even when they agree with eachother.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  24. Bravo

    Scrapple with eggs, sunny side up for dipping.... Nom, nom, nom!!

    May 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  25. Butch

    He forgot to mention livermush!! Breakfast ain't breakfast without some eggs, grits, and fried livermush! If you're not from the Piedmont of North Carolina, you probably have no clue what I'm talking about :)

    May 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK

      Sounds good – must try – saw Andrew Zimmern's show on it – sounds like similar goodness. best wishes from here.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
      • mickey1313

        bizar food is my favorite show. I plan my travel around trying some of the cultural foods he tries,

        May 11, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  26. 12a10

    Scrapple MUST be eaten with a little salt and pepper, fried eggs and toast. Syrup sounds good but save the ketchup for fried potatoes.

    You can get decent scrapple at Publix.

    May 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
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