Pork Roll

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I grew up in northern NJ, and we call it Taylor Ham, and Taylor’s remains the only one I like. Case is bland. I was delighted when I found it in Kroger’s in Nashville when I moved there for a job. Sort of unsurprising: I’d never seen so many pork products in one place in my life.

I don’t know if the product is the same, but I live in Bucks County , Pennsylvania, and pork roll is on the menus just about everywhere. In addition, the Wawa chain carries it as a breakfast meat for their sandwiches as well. For me, I never knew it was called anything else since I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and it wasn’t known there during those days. Thanks for the article, it was, as is this entire website, a treat.

I grew up in Philadelphia and Pork Roll is at every diner and store in the area. Philadelphia and Delaware County PA, not just Jersey.

Grew up in Sout’ Jersey at The Shore. Relatives in Camden, Philly, Red Bank, AC, OC, and Cape May. We usually had pork roll, nearly always Taylor’s in a canvas sausage casing. And of course, we had scrapple. Fried egg sandwiches had a slice of pork roll, or maybe ham. To go with “yer cawfee” at the “dinah”.

When I first moved away from there, now 45 years ago, the closest I came to pork roll was the Chinese dry sausage called lap cheong. Maybe thirty years ago, I found those tiny red boxes of sliced Taylor’s Pork Roll in Florida. Eh, I prefer lap cheong although it doesn’t sit as well on a roll.

As a country, we are getting more homogeneous, so esoteric grocery items are increasingly available especially in areas with burgeoning growth. And with shopping online, nearly anything is obtainable. Except Campbell’s canned pepperpot soup.

I was surprised, about 5 years ago, to find Taylor’s Pork Roll at Diablo Foods grocery store in Lafayette California. I tried it a couple of times and found it to be very salty and without much nuance. I tried it different ways including blanching it to reduce the salt. It is different than Spam but not by much. It is no substitute for good quality ham or bacon. It is something different and you should try it if you get a chance. It seems to have a strong appeal to people who grew up with it but I don’t think that it will make converts of anyone trying it for the first time as an adult. It is nice to be able to find regional specialties. Someone else noted the homogenization of American cuisine and culture. Fortunately New Jersey is still fighting the good fight against mindless conformity. :grinning:

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Agreed with all that! I ate Pork Roll at my grandparents’ house growing up, and the 1-2 times a year I have it now, I’m enjoying the nostalgia, not the taste. :wink: