Taylor Ham and New Jersey: A Love Story

By ANJ Writer Dan Ferrara

In the beginning, there was darkness. God created light, and it was good. God then created the earth, and the animals, and they too were good. Then God created man. Man said, “This is Ok… I guess,” and man moped around for a few thousand years, not really doing anything of any major significance. In fact it took 1,856 years from the birth of Christ for man to develop something that I believe we can actually consider historically relevant. What monumental event took place in the year 1865? Well my friends, it was the year the world was blessed with the creation of the ultimate breakfast meat, Taylor Ham (or pork roll, to our South Jersey Readers).

taylorhamOriginally known as Taylor Pork Roll, Taylor Ham became a true Jersey Icon. Created in Hamilton, the curious meat has brought happiness and joy to countless breakfast tables across the state. Some compare the meat to Canadian bacon; others say it’s the classier cousin of Spam. But those true fans of the meat truly know that there is no comparison. Walk into any jersey diner and right on the menu you will see; two eggs, with home-fries and Taylor Ham. Need a quicker breakfast? Try Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese on a hard roll. Lunch already? Throw a slice of Taylor Ham on that burger, and now you’ve got a Jersey Burger.

So most of you reading this are probably saying to yourselves, “So what? Yeah, Taylor Ham is awesome, but surely a product of this quality and flavor is well appreciated across the nation. For those of you who fell that way, I offer you an experiment. Drive north to Connecticut, or west to Pennsylvania, or south to Delaware. Walk into one of their diners and ask for a Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese. You will be met with a blank stare, and suddenly you’re a missionary trying to convert a hardened atheist. You will be trying to explain this magical product, but have no evidence to back up your claim. Clear your schedule for that day, because you’re going to argue with the waitress for an hour and still end up with Canadian bacon on your sandwich. You will be broken, accept the sandwich with the lesser meat, and it will taste of defeat.  I’ve seen it happen so many times, and it never gets easier to watch. If the message isn’t clear, I am saying that Taylor Ham does not exist outside of New Jersey.

It remains a sad fact that this wonderful product, these round slices of processed joy and pig parts, remains unknown to the masses. But that is all the more reason to cherish our home-grown hero of the skillet, for we should never take Taylor Ham for granted. Recently a friend of mine, born and raised in Beach Haven, N.J., moved out west to Colorado due to job obligations. For the first few weeks, he suffered withdrawals. He had the shakes, insomnia, and uncontrollable sweating. He now must order his Taylor Ham online, and wait over a week for its arrival. And this is just one man’s case amongst thousands.

Perhaps it is time we, as citizens of New Jersey, spread the good name of Taylor Ham for the nation to see. Not only will we be helping out our Jersey brethren who have found themselves stranded abroad, but we will be demonstrating yet another reason why New Jersey is the most Awesome state in the union.

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11 Responses to “Taylor Ham and New Jersey: A Love Story”

  1. Typeo628

    Oct 10. 2013

    Sorry west Milford but you apparently have never been to “A Taste of Reality in Kinnelon and had a “Gut Buster”, or a THEC at “Old Towne Deli” in boonton. I am an extreme THEC’er and I search far and wide wherever I am for one. (Or two). Working in LI this week SUCKS BAGS OF D!ck$ !! I am met with the IGNORANT blank stares as so described in this article. I WILL be bringing a package of “Taylor Ham’s” “Pork Roll” and forcing the local deli to cook it for me.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Elmwood Park

    May 28. 2010

    …and another thing: Pork Roll isn’t Taylor Ham unless it’s Taylor Ham Pork Roll. It’s like Cheeze Nips aren’t even in the same league as Cheeze It’s.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Elmwood Park

    May 28. 2010

    Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese on a Hard roll- THE best breakfast sandwich ever. You can’t get Taylor Ham outside of NJ, but also, try ordering something on a hard roll- “What, you want a stale roll??”.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Claire Domark

    Jan 14. 2010

    Gimme some of that Taylor Ham!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Manahawkin, NJ

    Jan 12. 2010

    I was incredibly surprised to meet someone who didn’t know what Taylor Ham is. I do have a question though – is it ‘Taylor Ham’ or ‘Pork Roll’ that’s the correct term????

    Reply to this comment
    • St. Augustine

      Jan 12. 2010

      i think both work. i could be wrong but i think taylor ham is the name of a brand too.

      Reply to this comment
    • Old Tappan

      Jan 12. 2010

      “Taylor Ham” is technically the name of the most popular brand of Pork Roll. Its like calling a tissue a Kleenex, or calling all moving stairs Escalators. The producct is identified by the brand name.

      Reply to this comment
  6. St. Augustine

    Jan 11. 2010

    I’ve had TH in restaurants in the following counties, maybe one or two more: union, essex, monmouth, mercer, bergen, morris, cape may (the town, not sure the name of the county) and warren. i don’t care where i find it, i’m just happy when i do.

    live in FL now, just found a place that has great TH on bagels. the owners are orig. from NJ, jersey city.

    Reply to this comment
    • gainesville florida

      Apr 22. 2011

      Hey St. Augistine Where are you getting good bagels? I am from Maplewood and Livingston and now I am in Gainesville. I can’t find a good bagel here in Florida. Please share name and location – it is worth the ride from Gainesville once in a while.

      Reply to this comment
  7. West milford

    Jan 11. 2010

    Most of New Jersey has no idea what Taylor Ham is, It’s big in the northern tip area of NJ like West Milford, Ringwood ect… Where do you get your facts from dude. *I drive 20 minutes to another town and ask for one and they have no idea what Im talking about. The best ones are made in west Milford at Country Roads Deli !!!!!!!!!

    Reply to this comment
  8. St. Augustine, FL

    Jan 11. 2010

    Great article about a wonderful food. But, one correction: Taylor Ham is available in most parts of eastern Pennsylvania, and in most parts of eastern and northern Maryland. One of the best TH sandwiches I have had (and I’ve had many) is at Burke’s Tavern in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Yummy!

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