– or Pork Roll – call it what you will.
For those readers not enlightened, let me begin by explaining what Taylor Ham is (other than a good name for a Country music star).
Taylor ham is, by simple definition, a pork product. Not exactly ham, but a reasonable facsimile thereof. It is made exclusively in NJ and as far as the ‘Taylor Ham’ brand name, only in Trenton, NJ. Trenton is the state capital, but producing Taylor ham is a much better accomplishment than housing the politico of this state, I assure you.
Taylor hams travel well, keep for an extended period, even if not refrigerated properly, survive relatively unchanged in melted cooler water and thus make for damn good camp chow.
The Case company also manufactures a pork product similar in appearance, heft, bulk, size, shape, form, taste and texture. Either way, the pork product comes wrapped in a cloth bag. That, in turn is hermetically sealed in plastic. For better shelf life, and all.
Novel, yes. Conducive to breakfast preparation while in the woods? No.
Now that all of that is clear, let me get on with my observations and statements:
Pretty cool, don’t you think? All Jersey.
Pork roll tastes pretty good and as such, is a much sought after breakfast meat. However, in no way does it make itself easily available to the preparer of breakfast. In addition to the pork roll preparer being hungover, sleepy, cold and bitchy, the pork roll endeavors to add to the morning burden.
Properly prepared Taylor ham. Obviously not done over a camp fire.
How so, you ask?
First, the heat shrink plastic covering could trick you into slicing open your fingers with the sharp knife you are hacking away with, thus negatively effecting your ability to use said fingers for the rest of the trip, and beyond.
Second, the cloth bag, thoroughly soaked with fat and clinging to the pork roll like a sausage skin, defies being peeled back with hungover, sleepy, cold and bitchy fingers.
Third, slicing the farking pork roll into proper thickness results in the inevitable hack job of too thick, half slices, quarter pieces and all combinations of those. (But after looking at it in print, I realize that may be the best way to cook it).
Lastly the pork roll slices must be slit around the edges, so that it lays flat on the griddle. Otherwise, you have these puckered up disks that need to be flattened repeatedly with the spatula. Even then, the slices may not lay flat. This results in a pork roll slice that is burned in some spots, not so burned in others and despite being at least 75% fat, not exuding enough grease to cook eggs.
I am well aware that some pork roll comes pre-sliced and packaged. But I have found it doesn’t cook up the same as a solid log of pork roll does. It must be something with the extra preservatives or something. That, or the farking pork roll itself is intentionally going the extra step to not cooperate. So if you are going to eat pork roll, get yourself a 3 pound log and prep it yourself.
GFY, pork roll, Taylor ham or otherwise. Sure, you taste good, but what a farking pain in the ass you are.