Friday, January 20, 2012

Pon Hoss

According to Wikipedia: What we call "Pon Hoss" or "Scrapple" is as follows:

Locally called "everything but the oink" or made with "everything but the squeal",[3] 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 to the pot and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, black pepper, and others, are added.[2][4] The mush is formed into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until set. The proportions and seasoning are very much a matter of the region and the cook's taste.[5]

A good friend of mine is an expert at making this country delicacy. A few days back, he called me up, telling me he had just butchered some hogs and had a new batch of Pon Hoss. I met him in town with some of my homemade relish for trade. As soon as I got home, I heated up my cast iron skillet and floured up a few slices for frying.

As a side note, a cast iron skillet is a girl's best friend. While I do enjoy the beautiful diamond engagement ring my husband bought for me (with the money earned from selling his old Chevy pickup;) my cast iron skillet is one of my most prized possessions. It cooks meat and taters like nobody's business, resulting in a crispiness and flavor a regular skillet can only dream of.

Back to the Pon Hoss. While it is an "acquired taste" (Tyler will not eat it, no matter how I try to convince him how good it is), those who love Pon Hoss will all agree, there's nothing quite like it. While it is good eaten sliced right off the loaf, my favorite way to eat it is floured, salted and peppered, and then fried in oil or bacon grease until it's nice and crispy.


I admit, it's probably not the healthiest food in the world, but eating it brings back good memories for me. Growing up, our neighbor would send his daughters over with homemade sausage and pon hoss every winter. My mom and I always got to eat the pon hoss, as my sister and dad were of the mind anything with boiled hog head in it couldn't be good to eat.

So if you ever get the chance, get you a loaf of pon hoss and fry a few slices. (be sure it's from a old-time country person that knows what they're doing) It will surprise you!

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