Jersey Boy Pork Roll

• Taylor Ham •

Taylor Ham a brand of pork roll which has certainly made a mark in New Jersey history. Taylor, like Case, has a history of over 135 years. Amazing that products can last this long and retain their popularity. Taylor is credited as being the very first major pork roll manufacturer. Over 100 years earlier small butcher shops produced this product which is essentially ground cooked ham with seasoning. Originally it was a preservation method. When you get to the seasoning, you're cutting right close to the bone, no pun intended. The process how Taylor Ham and Taylor products are manufactured are, in theory at least, a heavily guarded secret. There's no question that 100 years ago an analysis of the contents of a package were very difficult but in today's scientific world, rather like the secret Coca-Cola formula, nothing is truly secret but it makes a good story and the reality is that the folks at Taylor are very secretive with their manufacturing process. Unlike the competitors, not only do they not encourage, they do not permit visitors to view their manufacturing process.

Folks who are on the wrong side of 40 or 50, will remember the pork roll stores on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, Asbury Park and others. These were stands on the Boardwalk where only pork roll sandwiches were sold. Frankly, we don't remember whether or not they had French Fries but they most surely sold pork roll on a bun, had numerous dummy pork rolls hanging from the ceiling and were extraordinarily popular, at least in this writers memory, in the 40's and 50's. It has been somewhat of a mystery why the magic of pork roll has not captured the attention of the entire country. While there are many New Jersey expatriates all over the country ordering by mail, with some exceptions, the pork roll products have not found their way into the super markets across the country. While Taylor Ham has received a great deal of attention in the lexicon of pork roll aficionados, we note that you seldom see "Taylor Ham" on the menu in the traditional New Jersey diner, instead you will see "pork roll". Many times the pork roll brand in the diners is not the Taylor product, hence they cannot use the words "Taylor Ham". The Taylor company does manufacture a less expensive pork roll under the "Trenton label" which is often served in the diner along with Case and Loeffler. Call it what you will, Taylor Ham, Taylor Pork Roll or by the other manufacturers name, pork roll is a wonderful treat that deserves more attention.

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