June 3, 2023

Taylor Swift is the “anti-hero” of this age-old New Jersey food fight.

Gov. Phil Murphy declared the “Taylor Swift ham, egg and cheese” as the official state sandwich – in honor of the pop star who took the stage at MetLife Stadium on Friday for her Eras tour.

Food fans say he settled the decades-old debate over what to call the humble cut of pork – Taylor ham or pork roll.

“In New Jersey, we have a reputation for a big war between Taylorham and pork roll,” Murphy said in a video message on Twitter.

“Usually we’ll let you call it whatever you like, but with a superstar coming to town we know all too well to mark the occasion,” the Swiftie-leaning politician tweeted.

Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared the Taylor Swift ham, egg and cheese the official state sandwich.

Gov. Murphy and Taylor Swift.
Murphy welcomed the pop star to New Jersey, where she will continue her Eras tour at MetLife Stadium on Friday.

Taylor ham, or pork roll, is a processed breakfast pork made with spices, salt, a sugar cure, and preservatives that is smoked before packaging. The ham dates back to the Civil War battlefields during the Battle of Trenton, reports suggest.

In 1856, John Taylor, a senator and businessman from Hamilton Square, New Jersey, began producing a meat product he called Taylor’s peppered ham, which was smoked over hickory and made with spices. But in 1906 the government decided that it did not meet the true definition of ham. So he changed the name to Taylor pork roll.

Northern New Jersey residents still called it Taylorham, while those in the southern part of the state called it pork roll. Today, the meat is sold sliced ​​or uncut and is usually baked or grilled.

Taylor Swift on stage with backup dancers
Some food fans argued that since Swift is a Pennsylvania native, the breakfast meat should be called pork roll.
Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

The line in the meat war with breakfast sandwiches is clear to this day.

“Let’s put it this way: It’s a very thin line in Jersey where the pork roast/Taylor ham (Demilitarized Zone) is, and it almost perfectly divides our state in two,” John Yarusi, owner of Johnny’s Pork Roll and Coffee Too in Red Bank, the Asbury Park Press told .

“If I had to draw that line, it would be the southern border of Middlesex County and the northern border of Mercer County,” he explained.

People were quick to respond to Murphy’s tweet.

A relentless gourmet bluntly replied: “Pork roll.”

Commentators kept repeating: ‘It’s pork roast. Stop embarrassing us.”

Another scoffed: “She’s from Pennsylvania, don’t do this.”

The light law otherwise fell flat with some Garden State natives.

“K Murph – thank you for this little gem. Meanwhile… roads are terrible, property taxes too high, unreliable train service to Manhattan.”