Scrapple? Candidates Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons love the 'delicacy'
At the 19th annual Apple Scrapple Festival in rural Delaware, US Senate candidates Chris Coons and Christine O'Donnell worked the crowd of potential voters. And – surprise! – they both claim to love scrapple.
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“If you want my vote in the general election, there’s two things you gotta do for me,” says Michael Rhua of Blades, Del. “One, you gotta have a strong energy policy. Two, you gotta be working on the local economy and the environment.”Skip to next paragraph
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Another voter offers a suggestion for her next TV ad: Wear something colorful. In her last ad, where she reassures voters she’s not a witch – “I’m you,” she says – she is shown in dark clothing against a spare, dark background.
Both candidates took questions from the Monitor. I asked Coons if all the attention O’Donnell is getting in the national media was helping or hurting his campaign.
“It tends to focus overwhelmingly on things that aren’t the real concerns of working Delawareans,” he said. “We just had a candidate forum in Newark (Del.) and no one asked about witchcraft or evolution. People asked, ‘What’s your plan for creating jobs? How are you going to tackle spending? What are you going to do to strengthen our education system?’ I have a detailed plan.”
I asked O’Donnell what she’ll focus on in her next ad. Her reply: “We have another ad rolling out this week. I’m you. “
Another “I’m you” ad? I asked.
“I’d do what you’d do,” she said, referring to Delaware voters. “I want to go to Washington and do what you’d do. It’s running right now. That’s it.”
Some festival-goers didn’t seem to care much about politics. “I’m just here for the scrapple,” said one man.
Our intrepid reporter tries scrapple (and survives)
I realized I had more business to attend to. You can’t go to a festival dedicated to scrapple and not try it, especially when the factory is just down the street and so many of the townspeople earn their livelihood producing it. But the lines for scrapple sandwiches ($4 each) were long, and I’m not big on lines. Maybe the lines will get shorter as the day wears on, I thought.
“Nope, there will always be a line,” a festival-goer advised.
Finally, I had my sandwich – two slabs of scrapple about a quarter inch thick each, between two slices of white bread, plus ketchup and mustard. I took a bite. The spices were nice, though I wasn’t sure about the consistency. Later, a local told me I’d like it better the way his wife makes it: Pressed down flat and fried crispy all the way through.
Scrapple also makes a nice modeling compound. At a table near the festival stage, folks took part in a scrapple-carving contest. A pig sculpture placed first overall (irony, anyone?); in the junior division, a Mickey Mouse head won.
For the more athletic, there was the scrapple toss – 5-pound bags held together with duct tape flung across the field behind the high school. The winning throw was 127 feet 6 inches, a new world record, the organizer announced. Earlier in the day, they held a Ladies’ Skillet Toss, which is a staple of certain rural festivals (and there are YouTube videos to prove it).
But with less than a month to go before Election Day, one question burned above all others. Do Delaware’s two Senate candidates like scrapple?
Coons: “My grandfather actually built heat processing plants for Smith Premium all around the country. My dad was in food, and made scrapple for us every week when I was growing up. It is an acquired taste.”
O’Donnell: “I LOVE scrapple! Didn’t do the sling, but I had some scrapple earlier.”