Is It Pork Roll or Taylor Ham?
Today is National Pork Roll Day. For most people outside of the state of New Jersey, the term "pork roll" means nothing to them, but for New Jerseyans, this breakfast meat, and more specifically, what you call it, can cause all out fights. Is it pork roll or Taylor ham?
The origins of pork roll are widely debated, although, according to eater.com, most people acknowledge that a man from Hamilton, NJ named John Taylor was the first person to widely distribute the product under the name Taylor's Prepared Ham. That is probably where the great "Pork Roll vs. Taylor Ham" argument started.
A website called jerseyporkroll.com says the "proper name according to the manufacturer, Taylor Provisions of Trenton NJ, is John Taylor’s 'Original Taylor Pork Roll.'” Apparently, the company stopped calling the product Taylor ham in 1906.
Much like "the Phillies or the Yankees" and "the Eagles or the Giants," what you call this product probably depends on where you grew up. In general, people from North Jersey call it Taylor ham, while people from Central and South Jersey call it pork roll.
Proof of this theory may be as simple as randomly looking at menus from 2 New Jersey diners. We chose Tops Diner in Newark and the Cherry Hill Diner.
Tops menu has a "Classic Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese" sandwich on it's menu, while the Cherry Hill Diner has Trenton Pork Roll listed as one of it's side options.
So it seems like this debate will go on until the end of time, but regardless of what you call it, today is the day to celebrate it, so go enjoy some pork roll...or Taylor ham.