Pork roll + syrup = magic, don’t @ me

Rebecca Firkser
May 10, 2018

My family rarely ate pork when I was growing up. I mean it—we ate turkey bacon and chicken sausage, and I tried pork chops for the first time when I was 17 at a friend’s house for dinner. But there was one exception: Taylor ham. Taylor ham, the regional pet name for pork roll, a processed meat product manufactured by the Taylor company is more like Spam than terderloin, and is basically a salty miracle. Call it pork roll if you want, but in my house it was and will always will be Taylor ham. (Why yes, I am from New Jersey, how did you know?) Our family paid respect to the meat with a breakfast sandwich like none other. We called it the Taylor ham and cheese sandwich.

My family’s Taylor ham and cheese sandwich requires just 4 ingredients: Taylor ham, an English muffin, white cheddar cheese, and maple syrup. It’s simple to prepare, but the flavor is out of this world. It’s salty. It’s sweet. It’s chewy. It’s crunchy. It’s gone way too soon.

To make my family’s Taylor ham and cheese sandwich, start by frying a few slices of Taylor ham in a skillet. You need just one piece of ham per sandwich, but trust me when I tell you it’s pretty impossible not to snack on a piece of this salty meat slice while you’re waiting to put everything together, so make more than one piece. Before dropping the meat into the pan, use kitchen shears or a paring knife to make 3 small cuts evenly around the meat circle. This helps the Taylor ham get extremely crispy. Cook the slices of Taylor ham on both sides until brown, then rest them on a paper towel-lined plate.

Meanwhile, toast an English muffin and preheat the broiler. As soon as the muffin is toasted, place a slice of Taylor ham on one side, then top that with a few slices of sharp white cheddar cheese.

Place the open-faced sandwich on a baking sheet and slide it into the oven. You can put the other half of the english muffin next to it on the sheet pan to warm up, but make sure it doesn’t get too toasted. Broil for 1-3 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted. Pull the sandwich out of the oven and immediately pour maple syrup over the melting cheese. Top with the other half of the English muffin and devour the sandwich. Then maybe make another one, seeing as you're on a roll.

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