Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese – the Best NJ Breakfast Sandwich

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Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese – Breakfast of Champions – Walk into a diner in New Jersey and order a Taylor, Ham, Egg & Cheese with salt, pepper, & ketchup – you will not be disappointed.

taylor ham egg and cheese on a poppy salt pepper and ketchup

Growing up in New Jersey, I grew up with the absolute best breakfast meat, Taylor Ham. Salty, crispy, and greasy Taylor Ham is most commonly eaten as a breakfast sandwich, with egg and cheese, with salt, pepper, & ketchup on a bagel or round roll.

What is Taylor Ham?
Taylor Ham is a processed pork product that is comprised of pork, a mix of spices, salt, a sugar cure, and preservatives that is smoked before being packaged. Taylor Ham is best when it is sliced super thin with a nice sear.

Taylor Ham is sold in supermarkets by the roll or pre-sliced. The roll is covered in a cotton cloth while the slices are vacuum sealed. The pre-sliced Taylor Ham is not my favorite because the slices are a bit thicker than my personal preference of thin sliced.

cooking taylor ham

How to Cook Taylor Ham?
Sold sliced and unsliced, pork roll or Taylor ham is always sliced before it is fried, seared, or grilled. To prevent the meat from curling up while cooking, three cuts are placed from the outer edges inward. 

The Great NJ Debate – Is it Taylor Ham or Pork Roll?
Taylor Ham vs Pork Roll. The two terms refer to the same meat. Taylor Ham is a brand name while Pork Roll is the generic term. The original maker, the Taylor Provisions Company, named their product Taylor Ham. However, the product did not meet the requirements to be called ‘ham’. Since the product was originally sold in a roll covered in cotton (which is still available today) they changed the name to Pork Roll.

Depending on which part of the state you grew up in, you either call this meat Taylor Ham or Pork Roll. Northern residents refer to it as Taylor Ham while Southern residents refer to it as Pork Roll.

taylor ham egg and cheese

How to Order Taylor Ham in NJ?

You can find Taylor Ham at all bagel shops, delis, and diners. My go-to order is: Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese on a Poppy Bagel with Salt, Pepper, & Ketchup. Trust me- order the above.

Where can you find the best Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese in New Jersey? 
1. Bagel Nosh in Waldwick, NJ – Bagel Nosh makes a mean bagel to begin with and makes an excellent Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese. If you are within a half hour, make the trip to Bagel Nosh – your taste buds will thank you.
2. The Dairy & Deli in Norwood, NJ –  The Dairy & Deli is the place if you want a greasy Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese on a round roll. On weekend mornings after college, my step-dad would have a Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese waiting for me on the counter when I woke up. Theres noting like a warm sandwich after a night of drinking with friends.
3. Zimi Bagel Cafe in Pearl River, NY – So technically this bagel shop is in NY state but its less than 5 minutes over the border so it counts, okay. Zimi’s bagels are perfectly toasty on the outside and chewy on the inside. 

Trying to find Taylor Ham outside of the NJ area is hard as people simply just do not know what it is. Imagine my surprise while doing my weekly shopping at Wegmans, I spot a familiar package snuggled into the meat display. I immediately sent images to my family and tossed one into my cart. My day was made – I found Taylor Ham in Rochester, NY.

Have you ever tried Taylor Ham?