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).
Originally 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.