Okay we teased you over the weekend about this edition, so here it is. Everything you wanted to know about S Spam. No, not the kind that you get in e-mails and texts from robo centers offering you everything but the moon. No, we are talking about that great meat treat…………….SPAM!!
It was created in 1937 by the Hormel Company in Austin, Minnesota and it is made up of just six ingredients. The six are pork with ham meat, salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrite. That’s all it is.
The reason for its creation was that it was toward the end of the Great Depression and filled a huge need for inexpensive meat products. Vacuum packed in 12 oz. cans it could feed a family of three or four when times were tough.
It was a quickly popular product because it was cheap and could be served in a variety of ways. However, with the outbreak of World War II, that was really what would give it the popularity it enjoys to this day.
Because of it contain sodium nitrite to retain freshness it could be stored for very long periods of time. So it became a staple for the military during the war and the small vacuum packed cans of Spam kept many soldiers from going hungry.
The fact is during WW II it was estimated that Hormel sent about 100 million pound s of Spam overseas to help feed American and Allied troops. Truth is most were glad tp have it, but there were many who hated the product.
After the war, while it maintained some popularity here, in Hawaii, Japan and Korea it became a way of life for many for a long period of time because of fishing sanctions in Hawaii, so Spam became a replacement for a lot of fish.
So popular has it become in Hawaii over the years, they even have a big celebration called “Spam Jam”. Chefs and Spam-lovers gather to appreciate and explore the lunchmeat’s role in Hawaiian culture. There are all kinds of food dishes available, contests, music and a lot more.
What does SPAM stand for? There are a lot of theories, but according to the company only a few former executives know the real answer and they are not telling. One popular thought is that it stands for Shoulder of Pork And Ham, but the company says no.
Since it’s inception 82 years ago, over ten billion cans of this ‘love it or hate it” product have been sold worldwide. Today, besides the U.S. it is available in 44 different countries.
Unlike it’s beginning Spam comes in more than 15 different varieties aside from the original. There is everything from roast beef, to Teriyaki to Jalapeno versions of this canned product.
Today, in Austin, Hormel’s home there is a Spam Boulevard, a restaurant with the name “Johnny’s Spamarama”, and the town is nicknamed “Spamtown USA”. In 2016, guess what else came to Austin. Yep, the Spam Museum and it attracts thousands every year.
So love it or hate it, Spam is a part of Americana and shows no signs of slowing down. If you want to learn much more about Spam then check out: https://www.eater.com/2014/7/9/6191681/a-brief-history-of-spam-an-american-meat-icon and you can also check out: https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/what-is-spam-anyway/ar-AABdGvD?li=BBnb7Kw&ocid=U506DHP for everything you need to know about this long time staple of American, and worldwide kitchens. If you’re interested in some recipes go to their site at: https://www.spam.com/
Now I think I’m gonna cook me up some eggs and Spam……..yummy!