Two possible, and totally plausible, ways to enjoy scrapple

Sometimes, you just wanna believe. To anyone who doesn’t live near Southeastern Pennsylvania, Scrapple ice cream might seem ridiculous, totally beyond the pale. But Delaware Valley denizens know better.

We know the crispy, fatty, pig parts loaf — recently embraced by the mainstream food world — is good for a lot more than it first seems.

Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna, Del., makes scrapple vodka, and Philly restaurants have turned scrapple into everything from dumplings to tacos to waffles. Search Google for “scrapple dessert” and you’ll find dozens of recipes for a Lancaster County favorite, scrapple-apple cake.

So why not ice cream? Bacon ice cream exists, after all, and it’s extremely popular.

The feasibility of scrapple ice cream’s existence explains why it was so easy for a photo showing a pint of Wegmans brand “Fresh Scrapple” frozen treat to go viral. It does look pretty real, with the purple-to-white pint container featuring meaty chunks next to the callout “Scrapple Chunks with Real Maple Syrup Added.” Whether people posted it to announce they were grossed out or tagged their friends with a “I bet you’d eat this…” dare, the pic was widely distributed on social media. Even organizations that had zero relation to food got good juice from it, like the FB page for Maryland’s White Marlin Open fishing tournament (3,007 shares and counting).

Alas, the photo is fantasy. It was ‘shopped.

Contacted in a search to suss out the scrapple-flavored truth, representatives from Wegmans were amused. “Ice cream with…what?” said one person on the phone at the market’s Rochester, NY, headquarters. “Can you send me the pic?” But in the end they were certain.

“We have 16 different varieties of specialty ice cream and sorbet in pints, and the selection can vary by store and season,” said Wegmans spokesperson Katie Redmond. “Scrapple is not one of those flavors.”

So where’d the image come from?

From the mind of Pete Ruggieri, a 47-year-old Lancaster resident who retired from the corporate world to have more fun in life. He runs several culture-related Facebook pages, including the “People of Lancaster,” which has 22,000 fans. Another one is called “Scrapple is the new Bacon,” which is the reason he created the ice cream pic and posted it online back in 2010.

“I wish it was real, but it’s just a quick Photoshop I did years ago,” said Ruggeri, who grew up in Kennett Square (“Mushroom mafia!”).

The reason it’s getting new life: A Wegmans is opening near where Ruggeri lives, so he dug up the pic and re-shared it. As of this writing, that six-year-old post has 9,702 shares (this number went up by 500 in the past 30 minutes alone).

“It has generated a lot of buzz so I’ll probably give it a bit more attention,” Ruggeri said.

Good idea, and that applies to Wegmans, too. Scrapple ice cream is hot. Give the people what they want!

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation, including the membership program. She is a former food and...