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Since You Asked

Are there any delis or meat markets in the valley that sell old-time lunch meats like head cheese, scrapple or cracklins — things that we used to make or buy when we were kids?

— Rex M.

Those "old-time" meats may have fallen out of favor with some Americans, but they remain an important tradition for others.

Check with one of the valley's Mexican grocers and chances are you'll find both head cheese and pork cracklins ("chicharrones" in Spanish) for sale. In stores like West Medford's El Gallo Mexican Supermarket, you'll want to ask for "pork cheese," which conveniently sidesteps any aversion to the traditional name and method for making this gelatin-laced meat product.

With a name like that, it's easy to see why younger generations aren't drawn to head cheese, despite one tiny technicality.

"It's not made from heads, not anymore," says Grace Schulzke, co-owner of Schulzke's Sausage.

Schulzke's boils down pork legs to make its head cheese about once a week. Priced at $3.98 per pound, the meat remains popular with the older generation, particularly people who grew up on farms, Schulzke says. Located at 885 Shafer Lane in Medford, Schulzke's has been making sausage for more than 45 years, with previous locations in Central Point and Phoenix.

Several other local meat shops, including Cartwright's in Grants Pass and Taylor's Sausage in Cave Junction, carry head cheese. If you only want to make one stop for groceries, try Winco's deli department.

A specialty of the East Coast, the cornmeal and offal mixture called scrapple is relatively unknown in this area. But if you're up for making it yourself, you could purchase the hog parts from The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.