Pork roll egg and cheese – the words alone are enough to make those from New Jersey and Pennsylvania start drooling. This classic regional sandwich has a devoted fanbase.
But what exactly is pork roll, and how did it become a breakfast icon? Get ready as we unpack the history, ingredients, and tips for assembling the ultimate pork roll egg and cheese sandwich.
What Is Pork Roll Egg And Cheese?
It’s a type of sandwich. A pork roll egg and cheese sandwich uses pork roll, a smoked pork product similar to bologna. This salty, smoky meat is fried and paired with a fried egg and American cheese on a hard roll or bagel. This creates a delicious, protein-rich sandwich with a mix of textures and savory tastes. It’s also known as the Jersey Breakfast or JBE, but the tasty combination remains unchanged.
What is pork roll?
Pork roll is a type of processed meat that originates from the United States, specifically New Jersey. It’s also known by the brand name Taylor Ham. The meat is made from cured and smoked pork shoulder, along with other cuts. The flavor is salty and smoky, and the texture is similar to bologna or Canadian bacon.
These characteristics make pork rolls a popular choice for breakfast sandwiches. It’s often fried until crispy and paired with eggs and cheese on a roll or bagel. Despite various regional names, the taste and satisfying crunch of a well-cooked pork roll remains a beloved staple in many American breakfasts.
What is Taylor ham egg and cheese?
Taylor ham egg and cheese refers to the same sandwich/ toast but specifically with Taylor brand pork roll. Taylor is the leading producer of pork roll, based in New Jersey and dating back to 1856.
Because the Taylor company was the original producer and popularized pork roll, their name also became synonymous with the lunchmeat. So traditionally, “Taylor ham” is used in North Jersey.
However, since the USDA regulates that only ham from the pig’s hindquarters can be labeled “ham,” much of the product is generically labeled as pork roll when sold outside the Tri-state area.
No matter what you call it, the Taylor ham egg and cheese sandwich delivers the quintessential NJ/PA breakfast experience.
What is a pork roll sandwich?
A pork roll sandwich features slices of fried or grilled pork roll on a roll or sandwich bread, often with cheese. Common versions include:
- Pork roll and cheese – The classic pairing, sometimes with tomatoes or onion
- Pork roll, egg, and cheese – Breakfast sandwich with fried egg
- Pork roll and egg sandwich – Without the cheese
- “Triple bypass” – Pork roll with bacon and Taylor ham
While it can be served cold, the fried or grilled hot pork roll provides a nice textural balance with soft bread and melty cheese.
Where is pork roll egg and cheese from?
The pork roll egg and cheese sandwich originated in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as a fast, protein-packed regional breakfast.
Pork roll was invented by John Taylor in 1856 and became popular lunchmeat. Pairing it with eggs and cheese between two slices of bread created the ultimate quick bite with local flavor.
You can now find pork roll sandwiches across the US, but they remain an icon in South Jersey diners and food trucks. New Jerseyans are so passionate that they’ve named it the state sandwich.
Why Is Pork Roll Called Pork Roll?
There are a few reasons behind the more generic name “pork roll”:
- Legal labeling laws – To be called ham, it must come from a pig’s hindquarters. Pork roll uses other cuts.
- Mass marketing – When Taylor branched beyond NJ, they changed to pork roll for broader appeal.
- Less confusion – Distinguishes it from other cured hams like country ham or prosciutto.
- Ingredient statement – Highlights main component (pork) rather than specific cut of meat.
No matter what you call it, the thinly sliced pork product delivers the same satisfying salty, smoky flavor.
How To Make A Pork Roll (Taylor Ham) Egg And Cheese Sandwich – Step By Step Recipe
Want to recreate the NJ/PA breakfast staple at home? Follow these simple steps:
- 4 slices of pork roll
- 2 eggs
- 2 slices American or provolone cheese
- 2 rolls, bagels, or bread slices
- Butter or oil for cooking
- Heat a skillet over medium. Add a bit of butter or oil.
- Fry pork roll slices 2-3 minutes per side until browned and crispy. Set aside.
- Fry eggs in the same pan until whites set and yolks still runny.
- Top each roll half with 1 pork roll slice, 1 fried egg, and 1 slice of cheese.
- Close the sandwiches and cook 1-2 minutes more if you want the cheese melted throughout.
- Slice in half and enjoy right away! The yolky sandwich is best when the fillings are still warm.
More of a visual learner? Here’s a video for you!
Customize your creation with ketchup, hot sauce, extra cheese, salt and pepper or whatever you crave!
How To Make Pork Roll Egg And Cheese On A Kaiser Bun
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to make a delicious Pork Roll Egg and Cheese on a Kaiser Bun.
- 2 slices of pork roll
- 1 large egg
- 1 slice of American cheese
- 1 Kaiser bun
- Heat a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the pork roll slices to the hot skillet and fry until they are browned and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- While the pork roll is cooking, crack the egg into a bowl and beat it lightly.
- Remove the cooked pork roll from the skillet and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add the beaten egg and scramble until fully cooked.
- Slice the Kaiser bun in half and toast it lightly if desired.
- Assemble the sandwich by placing the fried pork roll on the bottom half of the bun, followed by the scrambled egg.
- Top the egg with a slice of American cheese on top.
- Cover with the top half of the Kaiser bun.
- Serve immediately while hot.
Enjoy your Pork Roll Egg and Cheese on a Kaiser Bun, a hearty and satisfying breakfast sandwich!
Where To Buy Pork Roll Egg And Cheese Sandwich.
While home DIY is rewarding, you can also buy handheld pork roll egg and cheese sandwiches at these spots:
- Diners or local restaurants – NJ and PA eateries serve fresh, hot classic versions.
- Sandwich shops – Many delis now offer their take on the sandwich.
- Food trucks – Quick access at breakfast truck stops.
- Grocer freezer section – Pre-made frozen sandwiches to heat at home.
- Online shipping – Get authentic Taylor pork roll shipped if unavailable locally.
Stopping at a Jersey diner for a hot pork roll sandwich is a true local experience. But you can also get your fix just about anywhere thanks to the sandwich’s growing fame.
What is kaiser roll?
A Kaiser roll is a round, crusty bread roll, often used for sandwiches. It’s known for its distinct star or flower shape on top, and has a soft, fluffy interior.
What do you eat with pork rolls?
Pork rolls can be enjoyed with a variety of sides such as scrambled eggs, hash browns, or a simple salad.
How many calories does pork roll egg and cheese have?
A typical pork roll egg and cheese sandwich contains approximately 450 to 550 calories.
What is the name of pork roll in the South?
In the South, pork roll is often referred to as “Taylor Ham.”
Whether you call it Taylor ham or pork roll, there’s no denying this protein-packed regional specialty has earned its elite breakfast sandwich status. With its fried eggs, melted cheese, and salty meat all on a roll, it’s the perfect way to start your day New Jersey style!
- Pork roll: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_roll
- JOHN TAYLOR’S PORK ROLL: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2124894/nutrients
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