Milk. Heavy cream. Buckwheat flour. Spices. And lots of scrapple.
For some people that would make a perfectly delectable winter soup. But for us yesterday, it was ice cream. That’s right, scrapple ice cream is real if you want it.
After we discovered that a viral photo of Wegmans scrapple ice cream was actually Photoshopped, we realized: Why can’t we have this in real life? Turns out Eric and Ryan Berley, the ice cream masters behind Old City’s Franklin Fountain, have been kicking around the idea of making scrapple ice cream for 12 years. So we drove out to Ryan’s home in Landsdowne to watch a batch get whipped up on Facebook Live.
The Berleys opted to follow a recipe that wouldn’t have been foreign on American farms in decades past. A full-on savory, chunky ice cream, sweetened, if you please, by a selection of condiments—tree syrups like maple, butternut and black walnut, apple butter, ketchup— plus corn wafers and corn flakes. Heads up: We hear the Berleys might be selling an ice cream sandwich version of this (sans ketchup) at Franklin Fountain this weekend. What will it taste like? Well… breakfast!
Depending on who you ask, of course. If you’re into traditional local flavors, an apple butter swirl in some scrapple cream might make your heart go pitter-pat. But even among locals, scrapple is a divisive dish. Culture Editor Danya Henninger, Audience Development Manager Angie Nassar and Reporter/Curator Cassie Owens all had different reactions. We took to Slack to discuss. The following conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity:
Danya: So people don’t believe me that I actually liked the stuff
Angie: It’s hard to believe, though – isn’t it?
Danya: Bacon ice cream is popular!
Cassie: That’s not what bacon ice cream tastes like, and I loved it
Angie: I love bacon, I love pork, but scrapple is like a whole other animal, or several parts of the same animal. It made me realize I’m not a fan of traditionally sweet dishes being turned savory.
(Editor’s note: This was Angie’s very first assignment for Billy Penn. She just moved here from Rochester, NY).
Cassie: Never had purely savory ice cream like that, and still not fully reading as ice cream. It read to me as breakfast cream. And I was for that.
Angie: It’s like eating a grapple and expecting it to taste like an apple. My senses were very confused.
Cassie: Grapples? Those are things? *Googles*
Angie: Would you order a scrapple milkshake, though?
Cassie: No, i would not order a scrapple milkshake. I would take what we had today and put it over a warm biscuit in a heartbeat, though.
Danya: For sure…it’s like béchamel sauce almost, but big difference there is that it’s cold not hot.
Angie: I’d rather just eat a stick of butter, I think.
Danya: See though, butter is greasy. This wasn’t greasy.
Angie: I still couldn’t rid myself of the distinct similarities between that and a pan-fried piece of spam.
Danya: Mmm spam.
Angie: There you go. If you like spam, it stands to reason …
Danya: I think it would have been a different story if we hadn’t infused the ice cream with scrapple but just made vanilla ice cream and swirled in scrapple chunks.
Angie: I would agree with that, Danya.
Cassie: Well that would’ve been closer to the bacon ice cream that’s all the rage.
Danya: Guys, I just Googled “meat ice cream” and… ew.
Cassie: Thats ground meat on a cone.
Angie: BRB, vomiting.
Danya: But, here’s a savory ice cream trend piece
Angie: Meat and veggies ice cream. The future is terrifying.
Danya: OK so Heston Blumenthal’s bacon ice cream was infused like ours.
Cassie: Blumenthal’s jawn: “his recipe is broken down into five constituent parts including the ice cream, caramelised French toast, a tomato compote, a thin slice of pancetta hardened with maple syrup and a tea jelly. Considerable time is taken for the creation of the ice cream: the bacon is lightly roasted with the fat on, then infused in milk for 10 hours.”
Angie: I want to love it. that whole thing.
Cassie: It’s like breakfast remixed. Or a breakfast wife swap. I’m so confused and intrigued.
Danya: A BREAKFAST WIFE SWAP.
My verdict: Would a supermarket be able to sell scrapple ice cream? Prob not. Would a restaurant be able to sell a menu dish with it? Yes.
Cassie: I still think a supermarket could sell a less savory version.
Angie: Even just for the novelty, people would buy that shit at the supermarket.
Danya: Sigh. Yeah.
Angie: “Sigh. Yeah” feels full circle for me in terms of the overall scrapple ice cream experience.
Cassie: Do we know how common savory ice creams were in the past?
Angie: Would try trout cream in a heartbeat.
Cassie: I guess I’ll just reiterate that my palate still isn’t ready to identify it as ice cream but history and the Berleys know better than me.
Angie: My take: I’m just not ready for scrapple, let alone scrapple ice cream. (but appreciated the Berleys for letting us try!)