There are plenty of hardships that come with loving pork roll, including having to explain to outsiders what pork roll is (which is harder than you think) and losing all access to this amazing breakfast meat if you go outside of NJ, NY, or PA. But the pork roll Taylor Ham debate is without a doubt the most heated debate in the pork roll- lover community. It's an issue that affects the lives of all New Jersians, pitting us all against each other and polarizing the small state between North, South, and Central (I know the existence of Central Jersey is also up for debate but that's a whole other article topic). Plain and simple: pork roll is not "Taylor Ham". If you need more convincing than that, keep reading.
Most of you non-New Jersians reading this article are going to ask “what is pork roll?” And now, most of you North New Jersians are enraged that I am not referring to it as “Taylor Ham”. Sorry, but calling pork roll “Taylor Ham” is like referring to all tissues as Kleenex. Kleenex, like Taylor Ham, is the name of the brand whereas tissues, like pork roll, is the name for the product in general and therefore, pork roll is the name of the meat in general where as Taylor is a brand name. Look at Taylor's packaging:
Yes, this is Taylor pork roll. If "Taylor Ham" was a thing, don't you think it would say Taylor Ham on the package? But no, the product reads as such: pork roll that is made by the company Taylor. If the company wanted their product to be called "Taylor Ham" don't you think they would've packaged it that way? But no, by their very own admission, their product is pork roll. It was only ever called Taylor Ham because Taylor was the last name of the guy who first made it and he called it Taylor Ham. But since then, different food producers have come in and made pork roll that is not exclusively made by Taylor, making the term "Taylor Ham" antiquated.
This would be like calling all hotdogs "Sabrett Sausages". No one does that because it doesn't reflect the variety of hotdogs that are offered. Even though Sabrett sells a lot of hotdogs, like Taylor sells a lot of pork roll, not all hotdogs are produced by Sabrett, just like not all pork roll is distributed by Taylor; therefore, calling items by their brand name is inaccurate.
By asking for "Taylor Ham" at a deli or restaurant, you're really limiting yourself to just one brand of pork roll, so you might as well broaden your horizons and make everyone's lives easier by just calling it what it is: pork roll.
I'm not trying to force you to change your ways. If you don’t believe or agree with me, that’s fine! Just know that Wikipedia is totally on my side, even when I tried to be fair in the search box.... just saying....
Overall, New Jersey might be divided on what to call this amazing breakfast meat, but one thing that we can't disagree on is how undeniably delicious Taylor Pork Roll tastes and how frustrating it is when we're outside of the state and have to order a plain egg and cheese on a hard roll. It's truly just not the same.