Pork roll is a processed-meat product made from pork, spices and other flavors. The exact ingredients of pork roll are kept secret by the manufacturers of this popular meat. Pork roll is hickory-smoked, similar to ham, but is not considered to be ham. The flavor and texture of pork roll is similar to Canadian bacon, bologna and mild salami.
Classic pork roll has a round cylindrical shape and is sold in various-sized vacuum-sealed bags. The meat can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. People enjoy eating pork roll in sandwiches or as part of a recipe. Breakfast and deli sandwiches made with pork roll are common. Pork roll can be eaten as is, grilled or pan-fried.
Several companies make traditional pork roll. Taylor Provisions and Case Pork Roll Company are highly recognizable brands that produce pork-roll products. John Taylor's Original Pork Roll originated in 1856. Case has been making pork roll for over 140 years.
There is an ongoing debate among residents of New Jersey and Philadelphia regarding how to refer to pork roll. Residents of northern New Jersey refer to the meat as Taylor ham. Conversely, residents of South Jersey and Philadelphia use the generic term of pork roll.