Tag Archives: Philadelphia


Oh, to be in Philadelphia this weekend! Specifically, to be in Reading Terminal on Saturday, for what will be a wondrous day of pork consumption: ScrappleFest!

From the Philadelphia City Paper:

Check out ScrappleFest this Sat., March 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free to the public, the event is a celebration of Philly’s favorite “what exactly is in it?”-inspiring breakfast treat. (Read this to get the idea, novices.)

In addition to live tunes, scrapple-themed souvenirs and samples from the likes of Dietz & Watson, Hatfield, the Pennsylvania General Store (chocolate scrapple!) and the Fair Food Farmstand (the illustrious Vrapple), there’ll also be a recipe contest pitting RTM merchants against each other to see who’s got the strongest scrapple game. Judging the competition will be chef/author Aliza Green, Rx chef Greg Salisbury, Where magazine’s Laura Burkhardt and yours truly.

I adore scrapple. Dusted with flour, cooked on a hot pan, served with fried eggs and rye toast: my dream breakfast. And dream lunch or dinner.

Actually, the only scrapple my family eats is Habbersett brand; it has a particular combination of spices and a certain texture that is perfect. It’s not easy to get Habbersett’s on this side of the state, but we bring it back when we visit family and friends out east.

The lack of good scrapple in western PA has led me to consider trying to make it myself. I won’t be able to duplicate the Habbersett flavor exactly — or maybe with enough experimentation I will. I have a recipe from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook, and it doesn’t look too complicated. And of course I can choose the meats and ingredients I want to include, so the result will at least be of good quality.

I will report back on my results.

(Thanks to Uncle Crappy for pointing out the ScrappleFest to me. Or maybe no thanks, as now I’ll be consumed with jealousy of Philadelphians for a few days.)

UPDATE: Scrapple for dinner! Hooray for mom and her stash of Habbersett’s in the freezer.

A delicious pan of scrapple

Top photo credit: “30 days of pork – day 23” by mandydale


Item #28 in which I know famous people: Jim Burke is a long-time family friend — his dad grew up with my dad, and his parents were married the same day my parents were married.

Jim and his wife Kristina have created a terrific restaurant in Philadelphia. The restaurant is James, and today Food & Wine magazine named Jim Burke to their 2008 Best New Chefs list.

I don’t visit Philadelphia nearly as often as I should — I somehow manage to hit Detroit and Cincinnati about once a year, and NYC every other year or so, but Philly less often than that. I had the distinct pleasure of dining at Vetri in Philadelphia a few years back, when Jim was sous chef (I think — hopefully they’ll tell me if I’ve got that horribly wrong). It was one of the great dining nights of my life, with phenomenal food and wine and company. I couldn’t ask for more.

I look forward to having the same (or better) experience at James on 8th. If you’re in Philadelphia, please take the time to enjoy Jim and Kristina’s hospitality at James on 8th.