TikTok Discovers The Ideal Bagel Topping

Influencer Alix Earle explains what makes pork roll and cream cheese a winning combination.

The internet seemingly exists to air our strongest food opinions. This is something TikTok beauty influencer Alix Earle definitely learned when she posted a video about her favorite filling for a bagel sandwich. People writes that her divisive order got some commenters curious and others simply furious. However, despite what some users have said (including Earle's own sister), we think it's a perfectly delicious concoction.

What is Alix Earle’s bagel order?

Last week, Earle shared a video where she talks about her favorite bagel sandwich order, a post that now has 3.3 million views and more than 315,000 likes:

"I always get made fun of for my bagel order, but it's really the best concoction, and I don't care," Earle says. She goes on to explain that her favorite bagel sandwich filling combo is pork roll, also known as Taylor ham, and cream cheese.

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Pork roll is a processed meat product sold on the East coast, and it's almost like Spam, with a similarly spongy texture and fairly salty flavor profile. That's why it's a popular ingredient in breakfast sandwiches: It pairs perfectly with eggs and cheese. (Earle's choice of bagel is, in fact, an egg bagel.) It's a shame pork roll's popularity hasn't expanded nationwide; one of the top comments on Earle's video is "I have never even heard of a pork roll .. lol [what the hell]," to which Earle simply responds, "Jersey thing."

Then there's the cream cheese, which adds smoothness and a little tang to the bagel—a nice foil for the salty meat.

Users' reactions range from "Okay yeah kinda strange" to "at least put an egg on it" to "no one understands how ELITE this combo is!!!!!"

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"That looks disgusting," Earle's younger sister says in the video.

The debate between “Taylor ham” and “pork roll”

One persistent conversation that the video sparked among TikTok users was whether or not the meat product is called Taylor ham or pork roll. One thing's for sure: These are just two names for the exact same thing. Taylor ham is pork roll.

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The whole naming debate rages among residents of New Jersey, where the meat product is common. The Asbury Park Press says that it's all about where you live in the Garden State. If you're a north sider, you call it Taylor ham, while those living in the southern half, along with Philadelphia, call it pork roll.

If you want to get nitpicky about it, the naming convention can get a little more complicated. Thrillist writes that the name should correspond to the manufacturer of the pork roll, of which there are a few.

Processed meat and cream cheese isn’t an unusual combination

Salty meat and cream cheese sandwiches can be pretty terrific in all sorts of contexts. If you don't believe me, ask Martha Stewart, whose site hosts a recipe for salami and cream cheese sandwiches. I've had that combo on a bagel before, and it's stellar. See also: bacon and cream cheese on bagel, offered by many breakfast cafes nationwide.

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And even across the country from Jersey, in Seattle, the local hot dog culture dictates that cream cheese is a perfectly good topping for a tube steak. If you don't have Taylor ham nearby, you can settle for bologna or Spam (the latter is slightly more accurate). Add it to a bagel and enjoy discovering what many of us have known all along: meat and cream cheese happily belong together.

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