ok New Jersey is the butt of just about everyone’s jokes, and so it honestly shocks me that no one ever talks about pork roll. Because it is frankly the most hilarious thing about New Jersey.
Pork roll is a pork-based processed meat that’s served as a patty. It’s essentially a hotdog shaped like a hamburger, and it’s exactly as disgusting and horrifying as it sounds.
Except everyone in New Jersey loves pork roll. We fucking love it. Every deli offers it as part of a sandwich, and some people just order it as a side and eat it with a fork and knife. The capital of our state literally has a yearly pork roll festival. Even the McDonald’s in New Jersey will make you a pork roll egg and cheese (called a “Jersey breakfast” around here). We are fucking serious about our pork roll.
I forgot to mention the best part, which is that only half of us call it pork roll. The other half calls it Taylor ham. North Jersey says Taylor ham and south jersey says pork roll, and central jersey is our Switzerland because they say both. Multiple New Jersey newspapers have done studies to try to figure out where the line between the two names is, and they’ve come out with tons of different maps trying to show exactly where the border between Taylor ham and pork roll is.
And this isn’t a friendly debate: people in New Jersey are ready to go to war and die over what the correct name for this lunch meat is. I went to college in central jersey, and I witnessed people get into legit FIGHTS over what it’s called.
The most hilarious part, though, is that a couple years back, state legislators thought it would be fun and easy to make it the official state sandwich. Except then they DIDNT KNOW WHAT TO CALL IT, and the politicians we elected to represent us literally spent our tax dollars debating the name of this lunch meat on the fucking senate floor. And the best part? They never made a decision and dropped the bill altogether. The debate between pork roll and Taylor ham rages on, and probably will forever.