Love him, hate him or not giving the guy a second thought, today New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has, as old Chuck Heston said, “damned us all to hell.” In a video posted on Twitter, Murphy has declared the great naming war between Taylor ham vs. pork roll (and if you are from New Jersey you know well about this war) over by commemorating Taylor Swift’s touchdown for three performances at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Murphy said of our infamous state breakfast sandwich:
“So today we are declaring the official state sandwich of New Jersey a Taylor Swift ham, egg and cheese.”
Are “disco fries” going to be called “Mick Fries,” in tribute to The Rolling Stones lead singer having stopped solo into Tick Tock Diner a few years ago when his band was appearing at MetLife? Reportedly Mick ate a pork roll/Taylor ham sammy, but he also supposedly chowed down on the famous loaded fries.
Or how about finding the pizzeria where Vince Vaughn recently ate and calling a single slice “The Vince?”
The debate over what to call our famous breakfast treat (and no, not a Taylor Swift ham, egg and cheese…please!) began in the 19th century.
Taylor Ham (which is pork roll) a processed pork product, was first produced by John Taylor for his Taylor Provisions Company, in 1856. It was originally named “John Taylor’s Prepared Ham.” Fourteen years later farmer/butcher, George Washington Case began to sell his own pork product, packaging it in corn husks, for his Case Pork Roll Co.
In 1906 though the government stepped in (just like Murphy did today, f’n things up as governments always do) making it illegal for Taylor Provisions to call their product “ham.” The just passed Pure Food and Drug Act said from ever onward Taylor had to include “pork roll” in his product name and packaging. Four years later, Taylor lost a lawsuit he filed against Case, where the court ruled that the words “pork roll” could not be trademarked.
It is general knowledge here in our great state that you call this famous breakfast sandwich by the name you do determined by where it is in the state you are from. Although it is interesting to note that both major suppliers of this ham product are located in Trenton.
But none of the above though has anything to do with Taylor Swift, thank you very much Gov. Phil Murphy!