Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Grocery-shopping edition

I think it’s an “Only in Joan’s family” thing that grocery-shopping is a full-on family event that takes up most of a weekend. Saturday was Central Market and BJ’s; Sunday was a trip to Wegmans outside Mechanicsburg that, all told, took about 4 hours.
Guess I have no excuse to buy lunch today, right?

What’s inside

1. Seeking memories of Dogtown
2. People who want to make scrapple
(an “Ask Joan” question in three parts)

1. I have a question for you or anybody that might know. Does anybody remember a place called Dog Town? My Dad owned a grocery store in Dog Town. The address was 1473 Salem Road. The store was Bupp’s grocery. Does anyone remember?
– Jack L. Bupp

Jack actually had asked me about Dogtown some time ago, and I was trying to see what I could come up with. I know it’s an area of West Manchester Township, just up the road from the former Highland Park School.

You can see where the former Bupp’s Grocery was in this map:

View Larger Map

Anyone remember that store?

2. Do you have a simple recipe to make scrapple? I enjoyed your mush recipes.
– Robert Kline

I’m actually going “multi-purpose” with this answer. I had another letter from John Myers of northern New Jersey that deals with scrapple, so bear with me as I work my way into a recipe, Robert!

John, it turns out, is the uncle of my best guy friend, Dan Bupp. (No relation to Jack above, I don’t think!) John and I met at Dan’s wedding, and not too long ago, he wrote: “Have you done an article on scrapple? It’s another one of the items that I have to ‘export’ from York County to where I currently live in Northern New Jersey! They occasionally have ‘factory produced scrapple’ in the frozen foods section here, but it tastes like mud! Dan’s mom, Linda, keeps me stocked when I run low! … or maybe you should take a broader look at local products that ‘York-area expatriates’ export to their new locations … like Lebanon bologna!”

Anyway, I wrote back to John, shared with him some links to past posts, and told him that, if he was missing his “fix” any time soon, that, thanks to Robert’s question, I had a recipe forthcoming so he could make some at home if he liked.

I have an email out to a friend of mine – someone well-known in many York County circles – who I know has a good scrapple recipe; I just hope she’ll be willing to share. Until I hear from her, though, I found something that will be hard to beat. “Dave,” from the blog Dave’s Cupboard, has a three-post series that I think you’ll all like.

First, In Praise of Scrapple.

Second, Scrapple Recipes (tested by Dave).

Finally, Making Scrapple, a step-by-step photo guide.

I think you’ll want to check them all out, Robert, but especially that last one!

And finally, one last scrapple note, from commenter Larry in Ohio. He writes, “This food was a natural at butchering time as some of the leftover bits could be made into a thick gruel with a grain such as oats buckwheat boiled in water. When the first Europeans arrived in America they substituted ground corn, calling it scrapple. In Cincinnati there is a tradition very much alive – Goetta. This is a hold-over from the area’s strong Germanic influence. Cincinnati actually has a Goetta festival every summer (see”

Goetta mixes oats instead of the cornmeal that you’d find in a Pa. Dutch scrapple recipe, so if you’re looking for a new take on it, Robert, you might consider that substitution. I hope you’ll let us know if you make any and how it turns out!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I’m already getting a big volume, so it might take me a while, but I hope to be able to answer as many as possible!

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