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Taylor Ham or Pork Roll... The Great Debate

If you're new to New Jersey, have never heard of Taylor Ham or Pork Roll or you're just plain crazy. This delicacy is described as “a food article made of pork, packed in a cylindrical cotton sack or bag.". It's most commonly bought by the public in packs of 4, 6 or 8 slices, but can also be purchased in 1, 1.5, or 3-pound bags. You can always find it at a dinner or bagel shop as a side or in the form of an egg sandwich. One of the biggest debates through New Jersey is what the true name of this food is.

Production of this Jersey classic began in 1856 by a man named John Taylor. Many other manufacturers now create their own versions of "pork roll" but true New Jerseyans know the good stuff by the name "Taylor's Original Pork Roll". This is where the division line on the true name is drawn. Many from North Jersey call it "Taylor Ham" while those in the south sector of the state call it "Pork Roll". So who's right?

If we break it down by the written history of "Taylor's Original Pork Roll" it would be North Jersey's name of "Taylor Ham". When first sold it was named "Taylors Prepared Ham" and was called this up until the food and drug act of 1906 was passed. The product did not meet the new legal definition of "ham" therefore forcing the name to be changed to what we know it as today "Taylors Pork Roll".

So why is it that north goes by the original name "Taylor Ham" while the south uses the newer name of "Pork Roll"? This may be one debate that will never be cracked because there really is no wrong answer! Many that call it "Pork Roll" have tried to say that nowhere on the box does it say "Taylor Ham" but when you break it down by historical events both sides are right! Share this with a friend and tell us in the comments what you call it!

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History Source: Wikipedia


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