Black Belt Gourmand

I have been blessed.

In the deep dark recesses of Madison avenue, I have found a dealer. Someone who is willing to take on the risk and rewards of finding something so horrible and illicit that many physicians shudder at the mere mention of this product.

That’s right. I’ve found someone who sells scrapple.

For those of you not in the know…and let’s face it, unless you’ve lived close to the Pennsylvania Dutch (who aren’t really dutch, btw….they’re of german decent), you probably have no idea what scrapple is…scrapple is near as close to the pork verson of mana as one can get. Sliced up, fried in butter (or lard) and served with fried eggs (or poached, as I like them), it makes one of the best breakfasts one can have.

There are some who shudder at the idea of scrapple. And if they are health conscious, it’s understandable. It is chock full of fat and salt, and tastes best when cooked in even more fat and salt. But it’s the other folks who shudder at scrapple who make me want to thwack my forehead on the kitchen counter. They shudder at it because scrapple is made from…well…made from every meat product from a hog not included in ribs, ham, chops, bacon, brisket and other popular cuts of pork.

In polite company, people will tell you it’s made from Pork butt and Pork shoulder. but the truth is, it’s made from any piece of meat available left after the butcher had their say. And this is the idea that makes people all squeamish about scrapple; the idea that they might be eating pig brain, pig hoove, or *shudder* the pork version of the Rocky Mountain Oyster.

I use scrapple as a dividing line. Those who understand, and those who don’t. But the fact is, some of your better eaters can’t deal with the idea of scrapple. Which brought me to thinking: There are degrees of which one can determine how diverse an eater is. And for me, the higher degree, the more likely one will be considered a sensei of gastronomy. So yeah, in some ways, the risks one is willing to take in the epicurean sense can easily be equated to the degrees (belts) one attains during the pursuit of the black belt in the martial arts. (Please note that the following list has an American bent to it)

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