You Must Be From New Jersey

© shoutingforha

As you know, I was born and raised in Colorado.  My hubby, on the other hand is a Jersey boy that was transplanted out west at the age of ten.  Despite living in Colorado for over thirty years, there are still things about his family (the hubby included) that are distinctly "New Jersey."  It is one of the many things that I love about them.

Over the years, the hubby has introduced me to all of the tasty Jersey foods that he remembers from his youth.  In addition to good bagels and pizza, one of my favorite Jersey treats has to be the waffle and ice cream sandwich.

Envision a slab of Neapolitan ice cream (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) squeezed between two piping hot waffles.  The trick is to eat the thing as quickly as you can before the ice cream has a chance to melt.  Give it a try.  I promise you will love it.

While my boy won't turn down this boardwalk sweet, it can never claim the top spot on his favorite Jersey foods list.  That place belongs solely to Taylor Ham, a.k.a. Taylor Pork Roll (depending on which part of Jersey you're from).  The salty ham-like meat is rarely sold outside of the Garden State.

© shoutingforha

My late father-in-law is the one who first introduced me to the deliciousness that is Taylor Ham.  Growing up in Northern New Jersey, pork roll was a staple at their home.  The trick, my father-in-law said, is making a series of cuts into each slice of meat to prevent it from curling up in the pan.

It was my father-in-law that cooked me my very first Taylor Ham, egg and cheese sandwich, on a hard roll of course.  The egg and cheese provide the perfect balance to the pork roll's salty flavor.  If not for the 12g of fat per slice, it would be my breakfast of choice.  It's just that good.

© shoutingforha

Living in Tennessee, I have resigned myself to the simple truth that it is nearly impossible to find a good bagel or loaf of crusty bread, and that the only pizza worth eating comes from Joey's House of Pizza.  One would assume, that in a culinary wasteland like this, it would be futile to believe that I could find Taylor Ham at the grocery store.  Fortunately, that isn't the case.

For some strange reason the Publix in my neck of the woods always has an ample supply of Taylor Ham.  While it's price tag would be considered highway robbery up north, I am delighted to fork out the big bucks for a little taste of Jersey.

© shoutingforha

I'm fairly certain that I am the only one in Middle Tennessee that buys the stuff.  The words "pork roll" boldly written on the package don't exactly scream, "Buy me, I'm delicious!"  I frequently get inquisitive looks or inquiries from the checkers at the store.  Well, from all of them but one.

Sal is a cute old man, I'm guessing in his mid 60's.  He is always smiling and his thick Jersey accent is hard to miss.  If I happen to have Taylor Ham in my cart, Sal will pick up the box, grin and comment, "You must be from New Jersey."  We then swap stories about our shared love of pork roll.

While the hubby and I enjoy eating Taylor Ham, my boy's love for the salty treat goes to a whole other level.  Once the meat is cool enough to pick up, the child shovels it into his mouth like a ravenous Tyrannosaurus Rex.  If left to his own devices, he would consume countless slices of pork roll in one sitting.  To his dismay, his consumption is limited to a an occasional slice or two at breakfast.

The boy loves it so much, I may need to buy him one of these

How about you, dear readers?  Have you ever tried Taylor Ham?


*** The opinions expressed are my own.  The fine folks at Taylor have no clue I exist. I purchased the pork roll  with my own hard-earned cash and have not been compensated in any way for my review.  

1 comment(s). Leave yours!:

Nana Ha said... Best Blogger Tips

Once you try Taylor Ham & Eggs or a Taylor Ham sandwich, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven.
There's nothing like it anywhere. It's the BEST!!!

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