The Pork Roll Cookbook – Book Signing and Interview with Jenna Pizzi

by Ed Magdziak • April 8, 2015 • Food, Newsy JerseyComments (0)1853

Whether you call it pork roll or Taylor ham there’s one thing the people of our state can agree on.  The tasty meat is a New Jersey icon of the highest caliber. There’s even a Pork Roll Festival in Trenton.  Therefore we think it is about time for a cookbook dedicated to what can be considered part of our state’s food chain.

Enter Jenna Pizzi. She has just authored The Pork Roll Cookbook. The book outlines the entire history of pork roll from the beginnings of the Taylor Provision Company and Case’s Pork Roll up into the recent developments. Recipes included were compiled by Susan Sprague Yeske.


On Saturday April 11th Pizzi will be at Trenton Social in Trenton for a book signing, pictures, and to talk pork roll. There will also be a special pork roll menu that day.

She answered a few questions for us;

First we have to get the obvious out of the way. Did you call it pork roll or Taylor ham in your household?

Pork roll… duh! I grew up in south Jersey and that’s how we always referred to it.

What is your favorite dish using pork roll?

My favorite is the classic pork roll, egg and cheese. I like mine on an everything bagel, but it is good on a roll too. My favorite adventurous recipe from the Pork Roll Cook Book is the Hawaiian pork roll pizza.

Was there any recipes using pork roll that you came across in your research that you thought would be too “out there” for the book?

I didn’t compile the recipes for the book. I put together the information about the history and culture around pork roll. I did find an old advertising book put out by one of the pork roll companies during my research that suggested baking the entire pork roll log like a ham with pineapple glaze.

It is such a regional dish, do you thing the rest of the US is ready for pork roll?

I think that the rest of the country would enjoy pork roll if they tried it. What makes is so special for people from the region is the nostalgia that eating pork roll brings to mind. Whether it is Sunday mornings with their family or grandma’s house, what makes pork roll really special for people is the memories around it.

If New Jersey had an official state meat would this be it?

Definitely! It was born and raised here in Trenton, the state capital and has a history in New Jersey for so long I can’t believe it hasn’t already been made official by the legislature.

We have idea, pork roll ice cream. What do you think?

I think that is something I would have to try before I buy, but sounds like an interesting idea.

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