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Nov 11, 2008 04:32 PM

Is Taylor brand pork roll smoked?

I am a hound from San Diego writing an article on pork roll. I have found out that some, but not all are smoked. Can anyone tell me if the Taylor brand pork roll (called Taylor ham in North Jersy) is smoked?

Thank you in advance.

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  1. It is a round roll of pork that has been cured, smoked, and spiced. It has a slight sour tang and is salty. Spiciness and tanginess vary by brand. The rolls are sold wrapped in cloth then in plastic.

    1 Reply
    1. Then it is sliced, fried in a pan, placed on a hard roll (also a NJ term) with some cheese et. al.

      1. Oh, I was a Taylor ham aficionada growing up in Newark (Weequahic, for those of you in the know!) I always had it on Arnold's raisin bread as a sandwich, never fried, jfood!

        I was about to add this post to the "family foods you thought were normal" thread - but then I saw this one!

        6 Replies
        1. re: fredid

          Jfood is surprised you were not taught a lesson on the playground eating raisin bread at all. :-)) But to place Taylor ham on it makes jfood want to get back on the 49 bus and go back to Elizabeth. The Weequahic Diner would never do that.

          Did you at least place a slice of white American and mustard on it?

          1. re: jfood

            I'm from central jersey and have never in my life seen or even thought about pork roll on raisin bread....craziness!

            I haven't lived in jersey in 13 years now but every time I'm back I make sure I eat pizza & pork roll. There's nothing like it :)

            When I first moved away I didn't realize it was such a regional thing. I remember asking for it in Tennessee and being asked "Is that Chinese food?"

            1. re: dagwood

              I can get it in supermarkets in NH and Miami. Go figure.

              1. re: Sinicle

                While Taylor brand pork roll IS available in other areas of the east coast these days, calling it "taylor ham" is most definitely a Jersey thing. I never called it "pork roll" until I moved to the Philly area. I learned my lesson quick, when the egg sandwich I ordered one morning with "taylor ham" came with HAM, not pork roll.

                Taylor ham is also great on a hard roll with peppers, onions, and cheese.

                1. re: sadiefox

                  Two other pork roll dishes have emerged on many shore area restaurant menus. The Jersey Burger - a burger topped with American cheese and pork roll - Also, pork roll mac and cheese.

                  1. re: sadiefox

                    When I first had it over 60 years ago in the Taylor Restaurant on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City , New Jersey, it was definitely called "pork roll" not "ham", but maybe it is regional even in NJ.

          2. I don't think it's smoked...or if it is, it's only very lighty smoked.
            By the's a South Jersey product (from Trenton), not North Jersey.
            .Taylor's is certainly the benchmark for this regional gem, although many people do prefer a competetive brand, CASE'S (also from Trenton).
            Either way...this is one great, classic product.

            7 Replies
            1. re: The Professor

              I wouldn't quite call Trenton SOUTH Jersey. South Jersey is an entirely different world from North Jersey, and Trenton falls exactly in the middle. But that's an entirely different (off) topic!

              Case's Pork Roll is smokier and less tangy, although they do have a tangy version available.

              1. re: sadiefox

                Trenton is definitely south Jersey from an Elizabethian. Likewise if you do not have this sandwich in your neighborhood, then you are definitely a 609'er.


                1. re: jfood

                  Well, to a Rahway-ite, who lived in Trenton and now currently lives about 5 minutes from Trenton, I can assure you that Trentonites are NOT South Jerseyans! In Trenton, it's acceptable to root for the Jets, Giants or Devils, but in South Jersey it's the Eagles and Flyers all the way!

                  I have actually argued with folks from NORTH Jersey (Bergen County) that insist that Rahway is not North Jersey (but rather Central Jersey). Personally, I consider Jersey to be broken down into 4 distinct cultural regions: North Jersey (self-explanatory), West Jersey (Warren & Sussex counties), Central Jersey (New Brunswick, Princeton, Trenton), and South Jersey (anything south of I-195).

                  And jfood, my mouth is watering for that luscious sloppy joe! Whenever I have a party, my parents may not come unless they bring a tray from Mr. J's in Cranford.

                  1. re: sadiefox

                    This is so jersey folks are so sensitive! (and I put myself squarely in that category).

                    I grew up in Monmouth County, (Asbury Park/Wall/Manasquan, etc.), and we are uber-sensitive to being called "South Jersey". In our book, South Jersey starts south of Ocean County (Toms River-ish). South Jersey = Pine Barrens. Central Jersey = farmland/jersey shore.

                    I always considered Trenton to be Western Jersey (because clearly Jersey is wide enough to have both western & eastern territories ;-)

                    Anyway you slice it, though, I don't think you can find better pork roll, hardrolls, or pizza than anywhere in the Garden State.

                    1. re: dagwood

                      A couple of years ago at work, after much debate, a bunch of us drew on a map of Jersey attempting to clearly define the "regions." For the most part, we worked it out.

                      Dagwood, I agree -- Monmouth County isn't south Jersey. Plus, South Jersey people, when the go to the beach, they go to what I call the AC beaches -- Ocean City, Brigantine, etc. I had never heard of those places till I started working with SJ people! When we went down the shore, it was always to Point Pleasant or Lavalette!

                      Sorry to hijack this thread with all this Jersey geography-speak!

                      1. re: dagwood

                        Not to go off on another tangent here...but I'd love to know where you're finding good hardrolls anymore in central NJ. They seem to have disappeared along with the Hungarian & Polish bakeries that were once common. Parnes' bakery in Woodbridge seemed to be the last place to get a great hard roll.
                        In-store supermarket bakeries have really taken a toll on availability quality baked goods.

                      2. re: sadiefox

                        Not to worry. In jfood naroow-minded brain North Jersey is Essex, Bergen and Union counties, He can buy an argument for Morris and Bergen but it is a tough putt. Sussex, not a chance, not really jersey, more like Easton PA, same for Mom's-mouth county.

                        Once you cross over to the Brunswicks, well, it just ain' t the same. What can jfood say. He sucked the air out of the refineries for years and if you can;t see the air it ain't north jersey.