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Lewes, Delaware
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October 10, 1997     Cape Gazette
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October 10, 1997

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CAPE GAZETIE, Friday, October 10 - October 16, 1997 - 59 FOOD &amp; DRINK Trying to make heads or tails out of scrapple Annual Apple-Scr set for Bridgevilk By Jen Ellingsworth Scrapple is both revered and rebuffed for its ambiguous texture and equally ambiguous ingredi- ents. Originated by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 18th century, scrap- ple, an exclusive to the Delmarva Peninsula, has joined the ranks of potted meat, Vienna sausages and Spam. The sausagelike preparation of ground pork, corn meal and sea- sonings is produced locally at two sites, and enjoyed locally by din- ers at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Founded in 1930 by brothers Robert and Morris Black, the Mil- ton Sausage & Scrapple Factory is located at 113 Union Street. Assistant manager Elaine Messick said the business is open five days a week and sells wholesale to local stores, restaurants and institutions. apple Festival :this weekend The business obtains its pork from Smithfield, Va., said Messick. The factory, which produces 2,500 pounds of scrapple each week, was purchased in the 1940s by the Burnham family, and is cur- rently owned and operated by Claude "Skip" Burnham Jr. and his son, Jeff Burnham. The Bridgeville-based Rapa Scrapple plant produces approxi- mately 200,000 pounds of scrap- ple and supplies establishments all over the Delmarva Peninsula, said Robin Callahan, a secretary with the company. What began as a butcher shop in 1926, the business was built up by the Adams brothers - Ralph and Paul - who started peddling the product independently. The Rapa Brand Scrapple Company was purchased by the Jones Dairy Farm of Wisconsin in 1981. Another sister business, the Hab- bersett company, which also pro- duces similar pork products, also exists in Philadelphia. A celebration of Sussex County favorites The Bridgeville Apple-Scrapple Festival draws approximately 20,000 people every second week in October. The event, now in its sixth year, will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10-11, in the small rural town. The centerpiece of the week- end's slate of entertainment is the scrapple carving contest. Calla- han said she and another secretary with the company, Renie Jeffer- son, will act as judges for the year- ly contest. The goal of the festival is not only to provide a good time for all to enjoy, but also to celebrate and promote one of this area's most unique products. For more information about the Sixth Annual Bridgeville Apple- Scrapple Festival, call 337-7135 The Bridgeville-based Rapa Scrapple plant produces approximately 200,000 pounds of scrapple and supplies estab- lishments all over the Delmarva Peninsula. or 337-8131. Those individuals who consider themselves scrapple connoisseurs are divided about which is the best way to enjoy the unique food. While some like to eat scrapple on a sandwich, others prefer the food with sliced apples, ketchup or syrup. Yet for many, like Messick, it seems as though there's no one best way to enjoy scrapple except to just eat it. "It's a meal in itself," she said. Slower, Lower Delaware l00tate Saturday, Oct. 25, will offer a chance for families to enjoy the Fall outdoors and visi- tors to Delmarva an opportunity to sample the appeal of the area without the crowds and traffic of the summer season. It will also provide an opportunity to be a witness to the Slower Lower Delaware State Chili Cookoff, sponsored by radio station WGMD. The event, held at the Island Pavilion of the Pot Nets Community on Long Neck, an area popularly called "The Rock," will also feature lots of other activities, including country and rock bands, a line dancing demonstration and contest, and rides for the kids. There will also be pony rides. Flanking the stage will be two "big tops," where local retailers and local restaurateurs will be offering their merchandise and food. The central event, surrounding the stage, will be the Chili Cookoff. The prime contest is sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Chili Society International (CASI), but other competitions will also be staged, including chicken chili, no-rules chili, showmanship and restaurant. The "serious" business of chili seems to have started with an article by a humorist. H. Allen Smith wrote about the fun at a chili contest in Terlingua, Texas, popularizing the local competition across the nation. Soon, a full-fledged organization - CASI - was chartered and a system of points was Cool,oil: set for Sussex Oct. 25 established to determine who would be eli- gible for the international finals. A rule book has since been published to guide contestants and judges in just how to prepare chili the "authentic" way. People travel from contest to contest, often living in RVs, to earn points and enjoy the fellow- ship. Until now, there has been no "pod" or club in Delaware to sponsor a contest. The gap has now been closed, though Continued on page 60 Here's a couple sure-fire Crab Ca00k,e Cookoff winners So the guy gets off the plane at Logan Airport in Boston, grabs his bags, and gets into a taxi. He asks the driver, "Where can I get scrod?" The driver scratches his head and says "about three blocks from here, but I've never heard it pronounced that way." But, we are talking crab cakes, Coast Day 1997 style. I looked in the dictionary to find the defini- tion of crab. Crab (krab) n. 1. Any of various predominantly marine crustaceans of the section Brachyura within the order Decapoda, characterized by broad, flattened cephalothorax covered by a hard carapace ... Not the crabs we know and love. Not the crabs we think of when we think of inviting some for lunch or dinner. Not the crabs who excelled at Coast Day. Reporters, though, have a tendency to write what they call "filler." That's what this is. The reason the crab-cake winners won is that they did not use "filler." Both of local winners were first- time participants. Cherry Barran- <\