Pork Roll is a big New Jersey “staple.”
But that doesn’t mean the pork roll options are indistinguishable from each other.
Some brands have profoundly better taste and the prices can vary widely between products.
We also found that some people are very set in their ways – while others are less picky.
In our quest to find our favorite pork roll overall – we were surprised to find some brands had excessive sugar content as well. Read the labels and do the math if you care about this stuff. The Hatfield brand for some reason had way more sugar than the rest of them.
And we also found some “diamonds in the rough.”
Watch our video above to get the deets (translation for people over 30: “details.”)
There are real differences between pork roll?
But to summarize our general thoughts regarding five pork roll options in NJ:
- Taylor: Smallest circumference, 8 thin slices per pack. No other brands shaped like this. Not available in “tangy,” but is pretty tangy nonetheless. A favorite among most pork roll customers we spoke with. We think because it gets a “charred,” more crispy edge. A 6oz. pack can be near $4 in most supermarkets, but we found a “steal” at Walmart for only $2 a pack.
- Case: The “other” NJ brand. Available in Tangy and Regular. Very cheap compared to Taylor (under $2 per 6oz.) We enjoyed the tangy flavor quite a bit.
- ShopRite Brand: Not sure who makes these, but we feel they’re very similar to Case. Again, like the Tangy flavor more. Also under $2 per pack.
- Alderfer: An excellent value. A pound of thick-sliced for around $4. Good flavor and appropriate seasoning (salt). You have to cook them longer and have a preference for thick-sliced pork roll. It is in a special section at ShopRite, not with other pork rolls. Most people will miss it. Ask if you need to. Worth trying for all pork roll lovers. You might get hooked.
- Hatfield: Best overall “value” (we scored a 16oz. thick-sliced pack for under $3.) However, we found the taste nonexistent – boring. Recommend adding extra salt – and over-cooking. Probably best for sandwiches slathered with other ingredients and loads of condiments (eggs, cheese, ketchup.) At that point, it’s just sustenance. We may just try one more time to put this issue to rest.
(Note – we eat all our pork roll by itself. Not on sandwiches or with condiments).
We haven’t tried the massive “logs” of pork roll yet. Not sure how people use them, or what they do. Perhaps I’ll have to ask around to get a better understanding.
What are your feelings about Pork Roll? How do you eat it? How often?