A slice of home…Jersey’s Taylor Ham Pork Roll

14 Nov

Pork Roll in a Skillet

Ok…it just didn’t feel kosher for me to write this post on Taylor Ham (pork roll…a beloved New Jersey delicacy) yesterday.

Yes, I am a “Jewbie” (my self-appointed moniker as a recent convert to “The Tribe”), and I have been known to enjoy bacon now and then. (Why is it that bacon makes everything taste better???  Hmm…some habits die hard).

And I think it would have been a major no-no to write a post about a pork product (read: NON KOSHER) on the Jewish Sabbath.

But, I would be remiss and irresponsible blogger if I did not share with you the NJ culinary treasure that is indeed Taylor Ham Pork Roll.

Here is the official Wikipedia definition for Taylor Ham (the preferred brand name for the more generic Pork Roll.  Think of Taylor Ham as the Kleenex to generic tissues.)

Taylor ham is the common name for pork roll, a food developed by John Taylor of Trenton, New Jersey, late in the 19th century.

Taylor is the brand name for pork roll made by Taylor Provisions, Inc., of Trenton. Taylor also manufactures pork roll under the Trenton brand. Trenton by Taylor has been an advertiser on the outfield wall at Mercer County Waterfront Park in Trenton since it opened in 1994. Other companies making pork roll include Kohler Provisions and Loeffler Gourmet.

The product is generally eaten sliced and grilled, like Canadian bacon. A slice fits neatly on a round roll, and it is frequently eaten as part of a breakfast sandwich, most often also including egg and cheese.

Pork roll generally comes in one-, three-, and six-pound sizes, as well as six-ounce boxes containing eight single-thickness slices or four double-thickness slices. The product is seldom available for retail or restaurant sale outside of New Jersey and adjoining areas like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, a message board posting in 2004 showed that Taylor ham had been located at a supermarket in Valdosta, Georgia. There are also marketers selling pork roll on the Internet and shipping it around the United States.

Pork Roll Sandwich

Pork roll-egg-and Cheese Sandwiches are a common menu offering at many greasy-spoons and diners across New Jersey. In fact, most of the time, I have to remember to ask to “hold the pork roll”.  It is, as one can imagine, extremely salty, fattening and probably has a ton of trans fats.  (Can you hear your arteries hardening up?)

So next time you are in New Jersey, and would like to sample this staple of Jersey cuisine, head to your nearest diner and enjoy!


Taylor Ham box


2 Responses to “A slice of home…Jersey’s Taylor Ham Pork Roll”

  1. Maureen November 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    My mouth is watering reading this post and I just ate lunch!

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