Pork Roll or Taylor Ham From NEW JERSEY CULINARY HISTORY & TRADITIONS by Chef Charles Knight
No matter how you slice it “Pork Roll” as it is known in South Jersey or “Taylor Ham” in the North, it is a salty, tangy, gloriously delicious delicacy and the official Meat of New Jersey. Well ahead of Spam and Canadian Bacon, pork roll is definitely in a league of its own. When accompanied by the classic accoutrements; egg over medium, a slice of mild cheddar and sandwiched between the equally famous New Jersey “Hard Roll”, you have the Classic Breakfast Sandwich of New Jersey.
Pork roll/Taylor ham is a processed pork product made with a mix of spices, salt, a sugar cure, and preservatives that is smoked before being packaged. While a similar item, packed minced ham, may have been produced at the time of the Battle of Trenton, John Taylor is credited with creating his secret recipe for the product in 1856. George Washington Case, a farmer and butcher from nearby Belle Mead, New Jersey, later created his own recipe for pork roll in 1870. Case's was reportedly packaged in corn husks.
Because it is not technically ham, Taylor Ham got a name change to “pork roll” in 1906 when the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 went into effect. Although its inventor, John Taylor, tried to trademark the name “Pork Roll,” he was denied in 1910, and competitors began popping up from there on out.
There are no limits to the recipes that you can create with Taylor Ham Pork Roll…
Chef Charles Knight