The Classic New Jersey Sandwich Amanda Freitag Loves - Exclusive

The U.S. is a nation that takes its sandwiches rather seriously. From mouthwatering muffaletta in Louisiana to the great Philly cheesesteak in Pennsylvania, nearly every state is home to a handheld snack with a household name. For many folks located in and around New Jersey, it's all about the Taylor ham sandwich. One of its most famous fans is none other than Amanda Freitag, the Food Network star who rose to fame on shows like "Chopped."  When asked to select the quintessential Jersey sandwich, the bubbly host of "Easy AF" didn't skip a beat when answering, "The Taylor ham, egg, and cheese." In a recent exclusive interview with MegaMenu, the New Jersey native spoke at length about the iconic plate from the Garden State.

Those who think this dish is little more than your run-of-the-mill ham sandwich would be sorely mistaken. Taylor ham, which was invented in Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, has a smoky sweet flavor that occasionally draws comparisons to Canadian bacon or Spam. Yet, Taylor ham is something all its own: It's a form of processed pork, which is usually sliced and fried until crispy.

In fact, New Jersey's favorite processed meat has even inspired lively statewide debate. In some parts of the state, it's known as Taylor ham, while others believe its true name should simply be pork roll. Either way, it's undeniably delicious in a sandwich — and luckily, Freitag gave us her top tips for creating an authentic version.

How to get the best Taylor ham sandwich

The bacon, egg, and cheese is a bodega menu staple from New York to Newport Beach, but the Taylor ham version is a uniquely New Jerseyan take on the popular hangover remedy. According to Amanda Freitag, everyone orders their sarnie a bit differently. "There are camps, right?" she said. "Ketchup or tomato? Salt and pepper on your tomato or not? ... You can add hot sauce if you really want to." Still, the chef said she likes to keep things simple when it comes to this iconic New Jersey dish, allowing its star ingredient to shine. "I like hot sauce on so many things, but not typically on the Taylor ham, because I'm all about that flavor." 

The "Chopped" veteran provided MegaMenu with a few pointers to help you make the perfect Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwich at home. Best of all, the recipe is perfect for those making breakfast on a budget. "Honestly, you just need all not-high-end ingredients," said the chef. "You need just a soft, squishy Kaiser roll, or brioche roll if you want to get fancy, some farm fresh eggs, Taylor ham that's been really seared in the pan, some American cheese slices, and then whatever your accouterment [is]." Top things off with one of Freitag's spice blends, and this New Jersey delicacy is good to go.