Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Pork Roll And Cheese

The Best Sandwiches In America According To Food Network and 2 Of Them Are In New Jersey. How cool is that?

If you’re thinking of iconic sandwiches here in New Jersey, the first one that comes to mind is a sandwich containing pork roll, that’s what we call it on the Jersey Shore. I occasionally like a Pork roll, egg, and cheese from one of the local bagel places in Toms River,  and one in Belmar, the town where I work.

In North Jersey, it’s referred to as Taylor Ham. Let’s not get into that old tiring argument.

According to Pete & Elda’s website: The early history of pork roll is unclear. It’s possible that New Jersey’s favorite breakfast meat has origins in the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Trenton. If pork roll can truly trace its history back that far, it’s because the Continental Army needed a food that could withstand travel and carried their rolls of salted, cured ham around to each battle.

While New Jersey would love for that story to be true, Taylor Ham’s official history begins in 1856. John Taylor created pork roll in Trenton, New Jersey.

He originally sold his pork product under the name Taylor Ham, which is what North Jersey still calls it today.

Back home on Long Island, it was called Taylor Ham, but it wasn’t considered iconic. It was a deli meat I would often see in the deli case at my local supermarket. I didn’t actually try it until I arrived on the Jersey Shore in 1996.

Thanks to my former colleague, MaryAnn Schel, for the pork roll education, and for introducing me to the pork roll, egg, & cheese breakfast sandwich.

The Best Sandwiches In America According To Food Network & 2 Of Them Are In New Jersey

There are 98 sandwiches named, and 2 of them are here in the Garden State, and both were born here in New Jersey.

If you guessed one of them was a sandwich containing Taylor Ham, you’d win a prize if I had one to give.

Let’s take a look at the sandwiches chosen by the Food Network, and the places who make them.

  • Sloppy Joe: Town Hall Deli - 74 1st St, South Orange, NJ 07079

    According to the history on Town Hall Deli’s website: Town Hall Deli opened in 1927. Its original home was on South Orange Avenue, a few doors away from the actual Town Hall; hence the name, Town Hall Delicatessen. The Deli was purchased in the 1930’s from the original owner by Fred Joost and Hans Tiedeman; later Heinz Berdorf became Fred Joost’s partner….. many villagers today still remember Fred and Heinz.

    During the 1930’s, Mayor Sweeney, the then-Mayor of Maplewood, visited Havana, Cuba. At the time, Cuba was still open to American tourism. While there, he visited Sloppy Joe’s Bar and Eatery. Ernest Hemingway and other famous figures frequented Joe’s. The proprietor, Joe, was well-known for the disarray in the Bar in additon to being a famous hang-out- alas, the nickname “Sloppy” Joe!

    While the Mayor was at Joe’s in Cuba, he developed a taste for a sandwich that he had never had before. In fact, he loved it so much that when he returned to the US, he asked Fred and Heinz to duplicate the recipe to serve at his weekly card game. It was made with cole slaw, ham, cow tongue, swiss cheese, with lots of dressing and was served on thin rye bread. Hence, the origin of the Sloppy Joe sandwich and how Town Hall Deli of South Orange became The Birthplace of the Sloppy Joe!

    Now you can get different variations of the famous “Sloppy Joe”.

  • Taylor Ham: Bagel Chateau - 223 South Avenue E, Westfield, NJ 07090

    I think  Lyle P. should be the spokesperson for this famous sandwich served at Bagel Chateau. Lyle’s review : Taylor ham, egg & cheese? Look no further, this place will put you taste buds on 10. You know you are eating food, but the back of your brain may question if you are having a cosmic explosion of the first creation. Dramatic? Maybe. But try it out if you get a chance.

    That’s from a local Jersey guy. Perhaps Lyle works at the Food Network.

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