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Goetta vs Scrapple: What’s the Difference?

If you’re from the upper Midwest or the Northeastern part of America, chances are you’ve heard of goetta and scrapple before.

But if you aren’t—or even plenty of people who’ve had it don’t really know what they are eating—the two traditional dishes can certainly be confusing!

Both items are often served fried, as breakfast meats (usually with eggs), but what is the difference between Goetta and Scrapple?

To answer that perplexing question once and for all, we’ll take a deep dive into their individual histories, flavors, ingredients and more.

So read on food reader to learn everything there is to know about Goetta versus Scrapple–from top-notch taste tests to illustrious origin stories.

What is Goetta?

Goetta is a unique type of sausage that originated in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It is made from ground meat (typically pork or beef), steel-cut oats, and spices.

The mixture is formed into a loaf shape and then sliced and fried.

Goetta has been a part of Cincinnati’s food culture for over 150 years.

Goetta is primarily made with ground meat (usually pork and beef) mixed with cooked steel-cut oats and spices.

Goetta has become a staple in Cincinnati-born breakfasts and is often served alongside eggs and toast at local diners.

What is Scrapple?

Scrapple is a breakfast meat that hails from the Mid-Atlantic states of the United States.

It is a pork-based meatloaf that originated as a way for farmers to use up leftover scraps and offal after butchering a pig.

Scrapple has been around for over two centuries, with origins dating back to colonial America.

To better understand what scrapple is, let’s take a look at its ingredients.

The main component of scrapple is pork, including parts such as the liver, head, heart, and other cuts that may not be used in other dishes.

This meat is combined with cornmeal, flour, and spices like sage, thyme, and black pepper.

The mixture is then boiled until it forms a loaf shape that can be sliced and fried before being served.

Scrapple can have a dubious reputation due to its use of less desirable pig parts and its texture which resembles sausage.

However, it has remained a popular breakfast food in the mid-Atlantic region for generations, known for its unique taste and versatility in cooking.

While some compare scrapple to goetta due to their shared origin as a way to use up leftover scraps of meat on farms, there are distinct differences between the two dishes.

Differences Between Goetta and Scrapple

To begin with, it is important to note that both Goetta and Scrapple have some similarities but also quite a few differences.

The most notable difference between these two dishes is that Goetta is popular in the German community while Scrapple has its roots in the Pennsylvania Dutch community.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the differences between Goetta and Scrapple in terms of their preparation, flavor, and texture.

One of the primary differences between Goetta and Scrapple is their origin.

Additionally, both dishes use different types of meat.

While Goetta uses a mixture of pork and beef, Scrapple primarily uses pork organs, skin, and scraps.

Moreover, there are distinct differences in the primary grains used in each dish.

Oats are used as a binder for Goetta, while cornmeal serves as a binder for Scrapple.

Furthermore, when it comes to flavor and appearance, there is a clear contrast between the two dishes.

Goetta has a mildly spicy flavor compared to the strongly spiced taste of Scrapple.

Ingredients Used

Ingredients are the fundamental components of a dish that contribute to its flavor, texture, and aroma.

In the case of Goetta and Scrapple, both dishes are made using a mixture of meat, grains, and spices, although the exact composition differs based on regional variations and personal preferences.

As we can see from the table above, both Goetta and Scrapple share some similarities in their ingredient list.

For instance, they both contain pork as their primary meat source.

However, there are distinct differences in terms of variety – while Goetta may be made with both beef and pork, Scrapple only contains pork.

One significant variation between these two dishes is also the type of grain used.

While Goetta often features steel-cut oats or barley as a binder for the meat mixture; Scrapple relies on cornmeal or buckwheat flour for its texture.

Overall though, it’s worth noting that despite the slight differences in ingredients used for making each dish; they do share some similarities.

Both generally consist of processed meats mixed with grains to form logs that are sliced thin before cooking.

Origin and Regional Variations

Goetta and Scrapple are two popular breakfast meats that originated in different regions of the United States.

Goetta is a popular dish in Cincinnati, Ohio, while Scrapple is more commonly found in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Both dishes were created as a way to utilize leftover meat scraps and grains.

While Goetta has its roots in Germany, Scrapple is a uniquely American invention that evolved from traditional German scrapple-like dishes.

As German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania, they adapted their traditional recipes using locally available grains and meats to create what we know today as Scrapple.

In terms of regional variations, Goetta has remained relatively consistent in the Cincinnati area, with minor tweaks to seasoning over time.

However, Scrapple can vary greatly depending on the region where it’s made.

For example, Maryland-style Scrapple includes cornmeal and buckwheat flour, while New Jersey-style uses just cornmeal.

Even within Pennsylvania Dutch country, there are small differences in preparation methods and seasonings depending on the specific county or town.

Despite these variations, all Scrapple recipes share a few common ingredients: pork scraps (including liver), spices such as sage and thyme, and cornmeal or other grains.

Overall, both Goetta and Scrapple have deep roots in their respective regions and reflect the cultural influences and availability of ingredients at the time of their creation.

Texture and Flavor Comparison

When it comes to texture, Goetta and Scrapple have a lot of similarities.

Both are made by grinding cooked meat with grains like oats or cornmeal, resulting in a similar consistency.

However, Goetta is typically more finely ground than Scrapple, giving it a slightly smoother texture.

In terms of flavor, both dishes are savory breakfast meats that tend to have a slightly spicy kick.

While the specific seasonings used vary depending on the regional recipe, both Goetta and Scrapple usually contain sage and black pepper as well as other herbs and spices.

Overall, while there are some differences in texture and flavor between Goetta and Scrapple, they share many similarities.

Moving onto the next heading, Cooking and Serving Differences can also vary between these two breakfast dishes.

While both can be served in slices alongside eggs or used as a sandwich filling, there are some variations in cooking techniques.

Goetta is typically pan-fried until crispy on the outside while still moist on the inside.

On the other hand, Scrapple is sometimes boiled before being fried for an even crispier exterior.

Serving methods also differ based on region- In Cincinnati (where Goetta is famous) people enjoy it alongside scrambled eggs while in Pennsylvania (where Scrapple originated), scrapple may be served with maple syrup.

All of these factors contribute to the unique characteristics of each dish, making them delicious in their own way.

Cooking and Serving Differences

When it comes to cooking and serving differences, goetta and scrapple may differ in a few key aspects.

Let’s take a closer look at some of them below.

1 – Goetta.

  • Typically pan-fried until crispy on the outside and served in slices, similar to sausages or patties.
  • Pairs well with eggs, toast, and hash browns.
  • Paired with ketchup or mustard in Cincinnati.
  • More variety when it comes to flavors and spice profiles.

2 – Scrapple.

  • Sliced thin and pan-fried until slightly crispy on the edges but still tender in the middle. It can also be crumbled and used as a base for dishes like hash or incorporated into breakfast sandwiches.
  • Often served with grits or cornmeal mush.
  • In the Mid-Atlantic region, not uncommon to pair with maple syrup or apple butter.

Lastly, goetta tends to have more variety when it comes to flavors and spice profiles than scrapple.

It can include additional ingredients like herbs or spices which can alter its taste significantly depending on the recipe followed.

Culinary Uses of Goetta and Scrapple

Goetta and Scrapple have unique culinary uses in different regions of the United States.

While both dishes are historically created as a way to use up leftover scraps of meat, they each have their own distinct recipes and methods of preparation that give them unique flavor profiles.

Both dishes can be used for breakfast dishes such as in a hearty breakfast sandwich or scramble.

However, Goetta is popular as a sandwich filling whereas Scrapple is not as commonly used this way.

Additionally, while you may occasionally find Scrapple served as a side dish, it is extremely rare to do so with Goetta.

In terms of appetizers, neither dish is commonly served in this capacity.

Rather, they are most often enjoyed as part of a larger meal or on their own for breakfast.

Overall, the culinary uses of Goetta and Scrapple are quite similar with some subtle differences based on regional traditions and cooking styles.

Popular Goetta and Scrapple Brands

When it comes to popular brands of goetta and scrapple, there are a few that stand out in each region where they’re most commonly consumed.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most well-known options:

  • For goetta, one of the biggest names is Glier’s. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio (which is considered the “goetta capital” of the world), Glier’s has been making goetta since 1946 and is likely responsible for introducing it to many people outside the Cincinnati area. Another popular brand is Queen City Sausage, which also has its roots in Cincinnati but has expanded to ship its products around the country.
  • Scrapple fans might recognize names like Hatfield and Rapa as being among the top brands. Hatfield Foods has been selling scrapple since 1895 and produces both regular and low-sodium varieties. Rapa Scrapple, based in Delaware, boasts a family recipe that dates back over 90 years and uses a mix of pork scraps and cornmeal.
  • Other notable brands include Eckerlin Meats in Cincinnati (which focuses on traditional German-style meats including goetta), Habbersett Scrapple (a Philadelphia favorite since 1863), and Leidy’s Inc., which produces multiple pork-based products including scrapple.

Which is Healthier: Goetta or Scrapple?

When it comes to deciding which is healthier between goetta and scrapple, there are certain factors that must be taken into consideration.

While both of these meaty breakfast staples are made primarily from pork, each has its own unique ingredients and nutritional value.

Goetta tends to have fewer calories and less fat than scrapple.

Goetta also generally contains a higher percentage of protein than scrapple.

However, it is important to note that like all processed meats, both goetta and scrapple are relatively high in sodium.

If you are trying to limit your salt intake, you should be aware of this when consuming either one.

Overall, when considering which is healthier between goetta and scrapple, it seems that goetta may have a slight edge due to its lower calorie and fat content.

However, as with any food item, moderation is key and depending on one’s dietary needs and preferences, either one can be consumed in moderation to fit into a healthy diet.


After examining the differences between goetta and scrapple, it’s clear that both have unique traits and flavors to offer.

While scrapple is typically made with more pork scraps and cornmeal, goetta generally contains more oats, leading to a denser texture.

In terms of nutrition, neither option could be considered particularly healthy due to their high fat content and processing methods.

In summary, the choice between goetta or scrapple ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Some people may prefer the heartier texture of goetta or its nutty flavor profile, while others might appreciate the distinct porky taste of scrapple.

Regardless of which option you choose, both dishes are sure to satisfy anyone looking for a unique breakfast experience.

Goetta vs Scrapple: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Eager to distinguish between Goetta and Scrapple? We've got you covered! Explore the dissimilarities between these two regional breakfast specialties to find your preferred savory delight.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Goetta
  • Scrapple


  • Choose between two items based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword Goetta vs Scrapple
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