Iconic Foods To Come Out Of New Jersey

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By, CNJ+ Reader-Resident

New Jersey, one of the 13 original colonies of the United States, is often referred to as the “Crossroads of the Revolution.” However, New Jersey is also home to a number of famous foods that were invented or popularized within its borders. From diner fare to famous sandwich shops, New Jersey has a unique culinary history that is worth exploring.

One of the most iconic foods to come out of New Jersey is the pork roll, also known as Taylor Ham. This breakfast meat, made from ground pork, spices, and salt, was invented by John Taylor in Trenton, New Jersey in 1856. The pork roll was initially called “Taylor’s Prepared Ham” and quickly became a breakfast staple in the region. Today, it is commonly served on a toasted roll with egg and cheese in what is known as a “pork roll, egg, and cheese” sandwich.

Another popular sandwich that originated in New Jersey is the submarine sandwich, also known as a sub or hoagie. The story goes that the sub was invented by a sandwich shop owner in Camden, New Jersey in the early 1900s. The owner, named Dominic Conti, would serve sandwiches to the workers at the nearby shipyards. One day, he decided to serve a sandwich with a variety of meats and cheeses on a long roll, which resembled a submarine. The sandwich quickly became popular, and the sub has since become a staple of American cuisine.

New Jersey is also known for its diners, which are often open 24 hours and serve a wide range of comfort food. The diner culture in New Jersey dates back to the early 20th century, when diners were typically converted rail cars. Today, there are over 500 diners in New Jersey, and they serve everything from pancakes to burgers to milkshakes.

In addition to its savory foods, New Jersey is also home to a number of sweet treats. One of the most popular is the saltwater taffy, which was first sold on the boardwalk in Atlantic City in the late 1800s. According to legend, the candy got its name from a storm that flooded a candy store, soaking the taffy in saltwater. The store owner decided to sell the candy anyway, and it became a hit with visitors to the boardwalk.

Another sweet treat that originated in New Jersey is the ice cream cone. The first recorded instance of an ice cream cone being served was at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. However, it is believed that the idea for the cone came from an Italian immigrant named Italo Marchiony, who lived in Hoboken, New Jersey. Marchiony invented a machine that could produce edible cones, and he began selling his ice cream in cones on the streets of New York City.

In conclusion, New Jersey has a rich culinary history that is filled with delicious and iconic foods. From pork roll to subs to diners to saltwater taffy and ice cream cones, the state has given us a wide range of comfort foods that have become staples of American cuisine. Whether you are a resident of New Jersey or just passing through, be sure to indulge in some of these classic foods and experience the unique flavors that the state has to offer.