Crushing The Jersey Dream Meat – What’s Really In That Delicious Pork Roll?
As a New Jersey but resident and Garden State lover, I apologize in advance. We're going to talk about pork roll, and you're not going to live the conversation.
I would love to tell you that this is going to be an article about how much I love pork roll (and by the way, I do), but it's not. Yesterday, this weird question popped into my head while I was thinking about all the things I love about the Garden State.
I thought to myself how very tasty and very Jersey pork roll is. I love it so much, I don't even want to argue with people who say it's Taylor Ham. Whatever, it all goes in the same place.
And then the question that has never popped into my head before popped into my head. What the hell is in pork roll anyway. My first instinct was never to find out. Why mess with a good thing, right? I know it's some kind of pig meat, just like bacon, and that's all I need to know.
But despite that fantastic first instinct, i went ahead and did a little research anyway, and here's what I found out.
It is referred to as a "processed pork product" (which seems suspiciously vague to me) mixed with preservatives, spices, sugar cure and salt, according to Eater. And they bring up a great historic point as well.
As the story goes a man named John Taylor, a state senator from Hamilton Square, NJ, came up with the idea in 1856 and called it "Taylor's Prepared Ham", but in later years, it didn't meet the legal definition of ham, so he unsuccessfully attempted to trademark "pork roll, and the rest is Garden state debate history.
But back to the pork roll details. Here are some nutrition facts if you dare, according to jerseyporkroll.com. Here's what you'll find in 2 ounces of pork roll...
Total fat 16gm.
Sodium 580 mg.
Saturated fat 7gm.
Once again, I apologize. These facts are not going to stop me from my pork roll. But they are going to make my Jersey teeth chew slower. Somehow in my mind that makes it more healthy. And that's why I'm not a doctor.