Obviously, Goetta is better than scrapple (2024)

Obviously, Goetta is better than scrapple (1)

The first time anyone told me about goetta after I moved to Cincinnati, they said it was "sort of like scrapple, except with oats instead of cornmeal."

"Oh, OK," I thought, because I'd heard of scrapple and knew what it was: cornmeal and meat scraps. I have since repeated this to Cincinnati newcomers. "Yeah, goetta. It's kind of like scrapple."

I'm never using this comparison again. First of all, I realized a few decades into saying this that I'd never actually had scrapple.

Secondly, the comparison often clarifies nothing since a lot of people, if they're not from Pennsylvania or Delaware or Maryland, have ever had scrapple either, or even heard of it.

Thirdly, I have now actually eaten scrapple, and goetta is so much better that the comparison gives scrapple too much credit.

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So, goetta is a German-inspired breakfast meatmade by combining steel-cut or 'pinhead' oats with pork or pork and beef and cooking it for a long time. It's chilled ina loaf pan, then sliced and fried until crisp. (Or if it's Glier's, it's formed into a tube.)

Scrapple is also German-inspired (The Amish make it and call it pon haas, or "pork rabbit.") and is always pork, mixed with cornmeal, cooked for a long time, put in a loaf pan, then sliced and fried until crisp.

Sounds like a slight variation. But the differences are key.

Obviously, Goetta is better than scrapple (2)

The steel-head oats in goetta are the secret to its delightful texture. They are why you should always fry goetta with a splatter screen over the panto keep the jumping and exploding grains of oats from popping and flying everywhere. Once cooked, they add a textural interest, with a sort of chewy, nubbly, popping feel. A well-cooked piece of goetta is both crisp and chewy, and if cut thick, a little creamy.

The cornmeal in scrapple has none of that interest. It's fine-ground and contributes only,well, a mealy texture. It doesn't get truly crisp, just forms a sort of thin crust on the outside.

But more importantly, scrapple, at least the scrapple I tried, which I bought in the frozen meat section at Kroger, includes pork liver.I like liver. Avril's liverwurst is delightful to me, and so is fine liver pate. I grew up on pork liver, which my parents bought because it's cheaper than calves' liver.

But in the context of scrapple, it's awful. It makes the mixture a grayish-green.It's ickily smooth and makes it that much harder to get crisp. The spice and herb flavorings are stronger in scrapple, maybe to cover up the taste of liver. And itstexture just makes the whole thing suspect, like there are unidentified innards in it.

I never feel that way with goetta, especially the good stuff from a local butcher. It's often made with no scraps at all, since we now eat it because we love it, not because we're saving bits from the season's butchering.

We win.

Obviously, Goetta is better than scrapple (2024)


What is the difference between goetta and scrapple? ›

Scrapple is made with pig parts, cornmeal (and/or flour), and spices. Goetta is created with both pork and beef and uses oats as the binder. While both historical foods are breakfast meats and still eaten today, goetta is much more popular as a sought-after dish frequently served in restaurants.

What do they call scrapple in Ohio? ›

The first time anyone told me about goetta after I moved to Cincinnati, they said it was "sort of like scrapple, except with oats instead of cornmeal." "Oh, OK," I thought, because I'd heard of scrapple and knew what it was: cornmeal and meat scraps. I have since repeated this to Cincinnati newcomers. "Yeah, goetta.

What is scrapple called in Kentucky? ›

The scrapple universe is large. In Cincinnati (and Northern Kentucky) there's goetta, made with oats instead of cornmeal. In the Carolinas, there's livermush (and liver pudding).

What does goetta mean in German? ›

The word goetta comes from the Low German word Götte, meaning groats or coarse grains (or a food made from them).

What is scrapple called in the south? ›

In the South, scrapple is often called livermush.

Is goetta healthy? ›

It's hard to believe that Glier's Goetta could possibly be good for anything other than your taste buds. But, the fact is that what makes Gliers Goetta savory and unique - whole grain pinhead oats - is what makes it heart-healthy, cholesterol-friendly, and fiber-rich.

Do Amish eat scrapple? ›

Scrapple and panhaas are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish.

What is scrapple called in Germany? ›

As a rural tradition during hog-butchering time, scrapple dates to the sixteenth century in Germany, where it was called panhas, pawnhos, or pan haas, meaning “pan rabbit.” While parts of the pig became sausages or bacon, the rest, “everything but the oink,” was collected for scrapple and for black or blood puddings, ...

Is scrapple healthy to eat? ›

Scrapple can compose an important part of any diet, but should not be the only source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Moderation and Balance: Enjoying scrapple as an occasional treat within a well-balanced diet is key.

What is scrapple called in North Carolina? ›

Livermush is a Southern United States pork food product prepared using pig liver, parts of pig heads, cornmeal and spices. It is a regional cuisine that is common in Western North Carolina. It is typically consumed as a breakfast and lunch food. It has been suggested that livermush derives from scrapple.

What is Dutch scrapple? ›

This dish has both Dutch and German origins, and it's most popular in areas of Pennsylvania with Dutch and German roots. Essentially a type of meat pudding, scrapple is usually made from finely minced ground pork meat and offal, spices, and coarse flour such as cornmeal or buckwheat.

Why is goetta only in Cincinnati? ›

Goetta gets its origin from the German immigrants who settled in what is now the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. In order to stretch their food dollar, they used the scraps from local butchers and hog slaughterhouses to make a satisfying, inexpensive dish.

What is the Cincinnati version of scrapple? ›

Like scrapple, goetta was created to use up every “scrap” of meat from slaughtering an animal and the grain adjuncts were added to help stretch that meat further. While it came from German immigrants settling in the Cincinnati area and was developed there in Ohio, not Germany.

Is haggis similar to scrapple? ›

Banned from import into America in 1971 because it contains sheep lung, haggis is little more than a leftover-sheep-meat-mashup that I'd affectionately compare to scrapple. It has a very similar texture to scrapple but is (in)famous for being served encased in a sheep's stomach.

Can you buy goetta in Columbus? ›

In Columbus you can find goetta at Thurn's Specialty Meats or Weiland's Gourmet Market, as well as most Kroger stores. It comes wrapped in tubes much like ground sausage, and most often it's found alongside other ground or prepared meats like sausage, hot dogs and brats.

What is another name for goetta? ›

“Goetta is a peasant food from Germany. It was not known as goetta in Germany. It's known as grutzwurst over there, or grits, grain, wurst, sausage, grain sausage,” Glier said. “It was brought over by the early immigrants, probably in the late 1800s.

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