Breakfasts from my childhood: Panhas/Scrapple!

Here's another favorite breakfast from my childhood! Panhas, also called Scrapple, is similar to fried cornmeal mush, but has some extra flavor and can even contain meat scraps for additional flavor and protein!

This recipe is the recipe my mom made during my childhood, with one exception: she used pork broth (and scraps) rather than chicken broth. Since we don't eat pork, I use chicken broth and it works great! My mom always served panhas with her homemade brown sugar syrup.

My parents' ancestors were from Germany and this is a common ethnic food eaten by German descendants in Pennsylvania, Ohio (where I grew up) and elsewhere.

My parents always called it Panhas (pronounced "pawn hoss") but as I was researching the origins of the recipe online, I discovered that the name "Scrapple" is a more common name for this food.

Panhas/Scrapple is usually a family recipe and it seems like most people who have heard of it or make it, use a recipe that was handed down from family members. I'm sure there are many ways to make scrapple; this is my mom's recipe and it's delicious! :)

Have any of you heard of or eaten Panhas/Scrapple? If so, do you like it? :)

If you've missed the other two posts in this series, you can read about Milk Toast here and Popcorn Cereal here! :)


I have never heard it called panhas but I have definitely heard of scrapple. I recall reading this lovely storybook called "Thee Hannah" about a Quaker girl and they ate scrapple for breakfast so I used to beg my mom to make it. I don't think we ever did, though, because I was the only one who thought it sounded good at the time.:-D


I do think I'll try it though, because my husband LOVES pancakes any time of day. We definitely don't like polenta, but this is fried, and covered in syrup, so it must be tasty.

I've not had scrapple/panhas though I know I've heard of it. I wonder if my children would like it since they are fond of anything made with cornmeal. I'm going to put it on the list of things to try. I remember having milk toast as a child. For us, it was a food that we ate when we were sick. Not exactly sure why it was a food specifically for that. I haven't had it in a long time and I doubt I'd like it now since I'm not fond of soggy bread. :) This panhas sounds good though and I look forward to trying it!

We love this, although we call it fried mush. We live in Pa and scrapple would be a mainly meat based dish with some cornmeal and flour added. If it's mostly cornmeal, it's mush if fried or polenta if not.

My family still carries on the tradition of doing an old fashioned hog butchering every winter! Ponhaus (pronounced the same as you but we spell it differently) is made in a huge iron kettle over an wood fire! Just like the old timers, nothing is wasted and ponhaus is a way to use all the broth and meat scraps! In our area, ponhaus is well known enough that we can get rid of many pans! Some of our older neighbors really look forward to us bringing them a pan! I think my husband put some photos up on a outdoor cooking forum. But I don't remember where!


Scrapple but that's not it. The scrapple in PA, is um like hot dog ingredients. You just don't want to know what it is lol. But it tasted good! Every once and awhile I get a taste for it. We ate it w/spicy mustard.

well I'm never going to eat scrapple again. I just looked it up...I think I'll try your recipe Tammy!! Below is what ours looked like when I ate it growing up.

This is very different from what is considered scrapple in the Philadelphia region.

Scrapple is something ENTIRELY different. It is a "meat" that is fried and eaten with maple syrup that is made up of all the left over parts of the pig... truly everything but the oink.

Here is a link to the history of pork scrapple:


agree with the prior post, scrapple is meat-based, with something to stretch it out (cornmeal etc.). Kind of like meatloaf. Fried mush (we come from boring english farm backgrounds) was my favorite growing up, Ma and Grandma each had a slightly different way of making it and believe me I loved both ways!. I wonder if panhas is somewhere in the middle. I'm going to make a batch of mush with just some pork or venison scraps in it next.

I remember popcorn cereal and also having the previous night's cornbread with milk - REALLY yummy.

of the breakfast idea's you have given me are all new to me :)

Sound good too!

I've had traditional scrapple, and it is almost a sort of hotdog type amalgamation of left over meat scraps, usually pork. I LOVE it this way - kind of a thin meat pancake. But then again, I'm from Wisconsin, the land of a million sausages, so the origins of the scrapple meat don't bother me too much. ;) In fact, I like a good plate of scrapple with some apple butter on top with a side of eggs. Yum!

I've never heard of scrapple without, um, meat. But cornmeal fritters, which this recipe reminds me of, is a favorite of my husband's!

the meat scraps mixed in with cornmeal and whatnot. I've fried it up like the consistency of scrambled eggs in a cast iron skillet while camping and it is pretty tasty. My husband grew up on a farm in South Charleston, Ohio where his folks still live and he likes livermush which is about the same thing, I think. I agree, if you want to try some, do not look up the ingredients first, as it might turn your stomach.
-Kimberly in NC

Isn't this the same thing as polenta?

This is what Wikipedia describes as Scrapple (and the description sounds like how my parents made it):

"Scrapple is a savory mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour. The mush is formed into a loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then fried before serving."

I guess my parents just used less meat scraps in theirs, from everyone's descriptions! :)

Also, at the bottom of the Wikipedia page it says "A similar food, pawn haas or pon haus—a term hailing back to the old German dish—contains no meat but is made of seasoned corn meal soaked in the broth left over after the pork is removed to make the pudding."

"The pudding"?? I wonder if that is the dish that my parents made which they called "Puddin" (different from "blood pudding" which is a whole other issue) and served it hot over slices of bread. Now THAT I did not like AT ALL!!

Was when I looked up offnal? (I think that's what it said).

I can't believe I use to eat that stuff! I REALLY don't want to look up hot dogs now. Of course, we eat the beef ones tho... MAYBE once a year at a picnic of some sort.

My Mom used to make homemade puddin's and she would boil a huge beef roast, beef liver and a huge pork roast - maybe even a couple roast of each. Once these were totally cooked and cooled, then it went through the food grinder and put either into loaf pans or even into bowls and just spoon out when you want to eat it and heat it and put on bread like someone else mentioned. However, most people put maple syrup on theirs but I was raised to put ketchup on mine. I wish I could find some good ol' fashioned puddin's again. Unfortunately, Mom and Dad have passed on and I never thought to get the recipe from them.

In the south Scrapple is mostly meat (pork) scraps with a little cornmeal. The panhas you describe sounds like corn pone or corn cakes except we usually make them with buttermilk.

...but I do like fried cornmeal mush with butter and syrup. Yum!

i loved scrapple as a kid. you can't find anything like that in Alaska, but I get it whenever I go back east.
I used to tell my sisters what it's made of just so I could eat theirs as well. It worked for a while, but they eat it now that we're all adults. We always ate it for breakfast on weekends with ketchup. It was great when the syrup got on it, but I didn't eat it that way on purpose.

I spent the first 18 years of my life growing up in Central PA, and I have never seen such pretty scrapple as yours. Maybe I would have tried it if it looked that good!

This sounds like what we Italians call Polenta! Replace the broth with water and add a bit of Parmesan cheese...YUM! Oh, and replace the syrup with Marinara sauce :)

I'm definitely going to try this recipe. As said above, scrapple in PA is NOT something you want to know the ingredients to...but it sure is delicious!

Oh, I am drooling! We have eaten this all our lives. We get together with family and butcher hogs every other winter. It is a much loved family tradition. I wrote about it on my blog recently because, fortunately, this was the year to butcher.

We always have 2 huge cast iron kettles in the driveway with fire underneath. It is ALWAYS cloudy and a little drizzly when we do this it seems, and we huddle around to keep warm and dip spoons into the boiling gruel. It is especially good scraped off the sides where it has baked on a little. It is then dipped into every pan available including a stack of old dented ones kept esp for this purpose. After it has chilled and congealed, we slice and fry it for many breakfasts after that.

Growing up, we ate it cut up with an egg. Sometimes we had tomato gravy or chicken gravy to go over it. We did not buy syrup in those days.
Yes, I am an old pro...and while I am not a picky eater, ponhaus made with chicken would seem rather sad to me!

When I was little, there was a family that lived aboout a mile from us on a farm. Since we lived in a rural area, they were the closest family and my sister and I used to play with their daughters. They were a wonderful Mormon family and when they butchered a hog, their mom always made scrapple. From what I remember, it was made mostly from meat also, but it was yummy. Their mother also introduced me to shoofly pie, which I have not had since we moved away from there.

Hi Tammy,

We ate something similar this. Only instead of using broth, we used water. We called it fried cornmeal mush.We all liked it pretty well with syrup.

We also used to eat it as a type of cereal when it was still hot (before pouring it into a pan to make loves). When eaten hot, we topped it with a little milk and brown sugar -- delicious!


I have so enjoyed reading everyone's feedback and memories about this type of food! :) Thank you all! :)

I have never had polenta, but now I am starting to understand what it is... maybe we'll try making some in the future. :) Anyone have a favorite polenta recipe?? :)

Hi Tammy,

We make scrapple every year as part of the fall butchering. Ours is made with meat scraps- which have been cooked and ground up, the cooking broth, cornmeal, flour and salt and pepper. We cook ours in cast iron kettles over fire outside and it makes alot!!

I've never had it with syrup but its definately something I love and look forward too!!!

It is a staple in the Eastern Pa, NJ, Delaware area, it is a Pa Dutch staple. Can't go to a diner with out seeing it on the menu. Kinda like Pork Roll in NJ.

Waste not, want not. Everything is in there except the oink!

But I grew up with cream of wheat being dipped in egg and then fried. Served with maple syrup. Yummy!

~Tanya - mama to 5 :)

This is a new recipe for but it looks so tasty. I'm going to give this a try this weekend! Thanks

I nominated you for an award.

Puddin's is the scrapple meat without the flour and cornmeal. It's alot greasier than scrapple but is still good when eaten with "dippy" eggs. It's sold, along with scrapple and mush, in both grocery stores and restaurants in Lancaster Pa. Great winter food. :)

I've never heard of Panhas, but they remind me slightly of Johnny cakes (no meat/broth invlolved) which we love doused with maple syrup.

I grew up eating scrapple as we lived on a farm and every part of the animals was used. But your scrapple is quite different. Our was delicious (I can't believe I ate that stuff!), and we ate it with ketchup after almost burning it to a crisp. You can still purchase it in smaller grocery stores and also from the mennonite stores in the upstate ny and PA area.

We eat polenta at least once a week here. Soft and creamy polenta with a mushroom ragu on top, and firmer baked polenta with tomatoes and white beans. YUM!

Hi Tammy,
Enjoy the your blog! I am from Central Pa. So of course I am familiar with puddin, panhas and chitlins. And I have to say that I don't touch the stuff!(I am familiar with the "meat" that is added during the butchering process) My husband however, does enjoys these "treats" on rare occaisions!

I love panhas, and I am so glad you used the "real" name and not just the city folk version of scapple :) I grew up in Maryland eating it and since moving to montana just can't get anything like what they make in Pennsylvania/Maryland. My husband and his father started to make their own here when we butcher hogs. I eat it fried crunchy with syrup but my husband prefers it plain (no sweet meat for him)

My mom grew up in Lancaster county and she made the scrapple she had growing up (except she had it with pork sausage an she always made it for us with beef). I remember it having a very definite flavor of sage in it, but more cornmeal than meat in it. So it looked a little like your picture, but it was much more brown, than the beautiful pale yellow of your picture. Unfortunately, I didn't get the recipe from her before she died (I haven't eaten it since I left home), but I think I could approximate it by using your recipe and adding a sage-y sausage.

Thanks for bringing back the memories!


My grandmother made ponhaus for us in rural Missouri back in the 1940s and 50s. Nobody here in Maryland had ever heard of it, suggesting I must mean scrapple. Close but not the same as her yummy chicken-based breakfast treat. I don't know exactly how she made it (no recipe needed) but this is my remembered version.

Make a broth from the most wretched, left-over parts of a cut up chicken: backs, wing tips, odd scraps, etc. She butchered her own, then later used pre-packaged backs. Since grocery stores don't seem to stock these any longer, use whatever is lowest price but I think bones are required to get some gelatin into the stock.

Strain and pull off all the edible bits of meat and skin, cutting them into small pieces.

As I recall, she used Cream of Wheat as the base for her thick mush, but it may have been white cornmeal. I'm pretty sure she never used yellow cornmeal.

Anyway, make a thick cooked mush of about two parts liquid to one part grain and add the chopped chicken at the end. Turn into a loaf pan and cool. Slice, fry and enjoy.

I'll make this for my own grandchildren when they visit this summer.

cheers, Sheila

Thanks for your sharing with us one of your favorite family treats. To set the record straight, though, your recipe is neither panhas/ponhaus nor scrapple. What you enjoyed is basically fried cornmeal mush modified by using chicken broth. As noted, in Italy and amongst Italians in North America the dish is water-based and called fried "polenta".

The German dish of "panhas" can be made using 1 pound of chopped beef ("Rindfliesch") boiled in water for 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour to make a beef broth. (Alternatively, pork ("Schweinfliesch") can be used instead of beef. Neither are of necessity made of scraps left over from butchering, although they can be used). Supermarket beef and pork are certainly just as acceptable and much more readily available. The resulting beef broth is then strained to separate the broth from the boiled meat. The cooked beef then finely chopped. Either the broth or the cooked beef can then be seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, and allspice ("Nutzenpfeffer"). If you wish, you can cool the beef broth in a refrigerator overnight and scoop off the hardened fat before using it in the next step. A pound of buckwheat meal ("Buchwiesmehl") cooked with using the beef broth is used as a binder. Note: The German recipe specifically warns against using wheat flour in place of buckwheat. You can either cook the buckwheat with the chopped cooked beef added to the beef broth, or mix the chopped cooked beef into the buckwheat "pudding" after the buckwheat is cooked, but is still hot. Fill a loaf pan or dish with the buckwheat mixture and put it in a refrigerator to cool it. Your panhas/ponhaus will keep for up to a week if properly refrigerated; after that you should discard any unused portion. There is an additional seasoning (Gewurz) that's used in a panhas recipe that isn't commonly available. Gewurz is made from a species of grape leaves that's dried to make the seasoning. You might be able to simulate that seasoning by adding a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Gewruztraminer white wine to the beef broth during the final 5 to 10 minutes as the broth is being prepared. To cook panhas, slice off sections of the cooled panhas the width of your little finger and fry on a medium hot griddle or pan until golden brown, moderately crisp or firm on the outside and soft on the inside. Take care not to overcook panhas; it isn't bacon! Dredging the slices of panhas in flour (seasoned or unseasoned, as you wish) before frying will help to make a nice golden coating on the panhas. Alternatively, dipping the panhas in beaten egg and then dredging in flour will give a thcker coating on the fried panhas.

Being from Ohio, it's probably necessary to note to you that "buckwheat" isn't made from buckeyes at all, and it isn't a wheat product either. Buckwheat is actually the ground meal made from buckeye-shaped nuts of a flowering plant.

"Scrapple" is the quaint Pennsylvania German Amish/Mennonite broken-English name for their version of pork-based panhas. It consists of edible pork scraps ('the scrapples") left over from the hog/pig butching process they use. "Rapa" brand scrapple (made in Delaware) includes with the usual leftover pork scraps plus pork hearts, livers, and snouts. That's the only pork listed on their package labels. There's nothing unusual about eating hearts and livers -- turkey giblet gravies used at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners come immediately to mind. I can't say the same for pig snouts, though!! What differentiates Pennsylvania German panhas (and "Rapa" brand scrapple) from the age-old original (dating from the late 1600's) is that buckwheat isn't used (too costly perhaps?). Wheat flour, or wheat flour pluscornmeal, are substituted for the buckwheat. Otherwise, the the Amish/Mennonite "scrapple" is the same as the German "panhas/ponhaus".

I have a German cookbook (1895, in German) which has the recipe for "panhas" which I've described above, and two Canadian cookbooks (1932, 1938) both were published by flour companies in southern Ontario, Canada. Both of the Canadian cookbooks have recipes for "scrapple" that are similar to the recipe for the German panhas, but which use the flour companies' wheat-based cereal products respectively. For the record, southern Ontario (principally, the area around Kitchener, Ontario) has large Amish/Mennonite communities nearby, as of course do Ohio and Indiana near where you grew up..

Again, thanks for sharing with us one of your favorite childhood recipes. Now how about giving a real panhas/scrapple recipe a try!!

Ken Kellogg-Smith
Abingdon, Maryland

Panhas is also pretty common in northeast indian homes. I'm chippewa myself, and the woman who taught me how to make it was married to a Seneca man. Usually we eat it with maple syrup [the real stuff ;) ] or even with blueberry soup. That's my fave.

It is a tradition in my husband's family to eat it on New Year's, so we make a big batch of it the week before. We live in a small German community in Texas and lots of people here grew up eating it. We make it with pork ribs and oatmeal. My father-in-law grew up eating it with cornmeal, but likes it so much better with oatmeal. We serve ours with syrup, but have friends who eat theirs with ketchup. I am not of German descent,....just married into it. Panhas was definitely an acquired taste for me....I hated it at first, but now I love it!

I grew up in Westphalia MO and my dad had the local grocery store. In the winter he made pork sausage ever week (ground pork, salt & pepper - no other seasonings) packed in natural casings. After he finished, the extra fat was sent home where mom rendered it into lard, and the bones were cooked to make panhas, which he sold in the store (this was the '60s & '70s before the government got so involved in what you could and couldn't sell). Mom's recipe was simple, but a bit different than others I've seen. She cooked the bones in salted water. When they were fully cooked, she'd remove them, take the meat and chop it very finely and add it back to the liquid. All of this was brought to a rolling boil and white cornmeal (no flour) was added, along with some black pepper and allspice. The ratio was 4 cups liquid (with meat) to 1 cup cornmeal. Then chilled, sliced and fried. My husband is from Pennsylvania - he likes it with dark corn syrup. I like it either plain or with a tart jelly such as plum or gooseberry. I make it now using pork neck or backbones. But I only want it in cooler weather.

My mom used to make this with loose sausage. I always liked it sliced on the thin side and fried like bacon...too a crisp. Then some pancake syrup. Apple Butter was one of the main toppings of choice in my Pennsylvanian German Amish heritage.

I grew up on pan haas. Mom made it by adding pudding meat (liver and left over scraps from the hog) to boiling water, then adding corn meal and simmering as you would mush. It was then put in a loaf pan to cool and set-then sliced and fried It was one of my favorite meals- served with either maple syrup or apple butter.

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