“You must not be from Baltimore, huh? Well, I wouldn’t order that and I certainly wouldn’t eat it”! And so I did.

This weekend I had to drive my younger brother to Baltimore as he had a flight to Miami. I didn’t mind the drive (or the fact that it was early in the morning) beceause I had never been to Baltimore. I liked that an opportunity had popped up to, even briefly, visit a new area of town. I knew that no matter what happened I would track down a restaurant to try out some local food. It was my mission.

I dropped my brother off and drove with a female friend (my favorite kind) to the side of the road where we tinkered with Yelp with hopes that we could find an open restaurant. The GPS on the phone quickly became a hindrance because it started listing all the open restaurants within the airport. I had no option but to get on some highway and drive a little ways down to distance myself from the over priced airport restaurants. * As a side note, how is airport pricing legal? They hike up prices and you have no option other than take it or leave it. It’s almost like racketeering *

We chose a clean-looking, very office-friendly type cafeteria looking place which was highly rated. After driving around the building twice and not spotting it, I parked and we walked around the building. We quickly determined that the eatery was now closed and replaced with another one – with different woking hours as they were closed.

Undeterred I located another place which seemed very interesting. This time I didn’t have to park to determine that the vacant, gutted building was shut down. Strike two. I refused to give up. We have already established that I’m relentless. The good thing was that the time wasted meant that additional places were starting to open. This time I decided to operate my little used brain and called the restaurant prior to driving out. Upon confirming that it was open, not burned down, employees weren’t on strike and the building had not been hit by a meteor, I started the brief drive.

The restaurant was something out of a corny movie (the picture makes it look much sharper, cleaner and fancy than it really is). It really was a little cafe/diner-type place. It seemed to be a preferred place for truck drivers and delivery people. I quickly noticed the curious glances. Fortunately, odd looks is something I’m very familiar and comfortable with and we sat down. The place was so laid back that some of the cooks were seated next to the patrons reading a newspaper.

We looked over the menu – I’m not certain, but I think I felt myself getting fatter as I read the available grease-covered food options. I’m not big on greasy food nor breakfast overall, but I figured it was worth it.

While combing through the menu we ran into an option called “scrapple”. I had never heard of this so we asked for coffee and asked “what is scrapple?” while trying to not look completely clueless. “You must not be from Baltimore, huh? Well, I wouldn’t order that and I certainly wouldn’t eat it!” laughed the waitress. (My inner Barney Stinson screamed: challenge accepted!)

“How do I describe scrapple?” continued the waitress. “It’s the boiled and ground up remains of a pig, everything but the oink, mushed together and fried with a crust. If you’re going to try it, have a napkin available to spit it out when you realize how gross it tastes” interjected a man sitting on the bar area with a smile.

“I’ll bring one you one so you can try it” offered the waitress with clear amusement. I could tell she thought I would fold. So did everyone else, it seemed, because now there were a couple more employees milling about with a clear smirk. I agreed to the offer of scrapple and refilled my coffee. Scrapple is not the prettiest thing to look at. It looks like fried spam. I don’t like spam. No matter how you cook spam it tastes just as disgusting. Under the watchful eye of all the employees and some patrons, I cut into the scrapple with my fork. It quickly became evident that the texture would be challenging.

Scrapple seems to be pig mush carefully crafted into a rectangle. It struck me how goey the inside was. I took a bite and was taken aback by the pungent flavor of…pig. It was far stronger than eating pork but less so than ingesting pork blood-I would know. I wondered if this was what french kissing swine would be like. Still, it was not the frightening experience that the crowd expected. Dejected, everyone went about their business as I finished my scrapple. “Amateurs” I thought to myself as I refilled my coffee. Better luck next time.

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Comments
  1. […] In an unusual turn of events, I ran late to my brother’s house. Once I arrived it didn’t take us too long to head out. It did turn out that the drive was far longer than we had anticipated. We accounted for less than an hour drive and it turned out to be about 2. Of course we ran into traffic which was so bad at one point that my brother suggested we turn around as we expected to not make the run on time. I refused to turn around, though. We had already gone through so much trouble that I figured if we missed the run we could at least find a decent place to grab coffee (scrapple, anyone?). […]

  2. […] brief stop in Baltimore for the first time as well. I had my first experience in odd local food in “scrapple”. Not too bad. For some reason I get a lot of enjoyment in visiting a new place and trying local […]

  3. Freezetimebmore says:

    gotta eat it along with home fries eggs maybe pancakes or french toast syrup, maybe a splash of tabasco or ketchup

    • sirtilc42 says:

      I had it with ketchup and Tabasco. I didn’t try the home fries – are they different than regular fries somehow? I didn’t get them thinking they were the same thing?

  4. Barbara says:

    I didn’t eat scrapple…Until I was pregnant. It tastes like sausage to me & I was sure to put ketchup on it. =)

    • sirtilc42 says:

      I thought it was stronger than sausage (I had sausage with my meal). I liked it better with hot sauce and ketchup!

      • Barbara says:

        Everything is better with hot sauce! I had mine with a light dredge of flour on it, so it had a bit more texture. I also had hash browns & eggs done over medium that accompanied my scrapple. It’s one of those foods that I’d have never thought I’d eat, but amazingly (and pleasantly surprising) it’s really not as bad as what you’d imagine all that “mush” would be. All things considered…I also loved the empaƱadas I used to buy from Oscar’s…& I’m not sure what was in those! =)

  5. Kristin morrison says:

    too funny but those people didn’t live in Panama and eat some of the things we did either even thou I only questioned things off the food carts but they were yummy. lol

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