Monday, 13 August 2012

Oh, Spam

The other day, an article on Spam caught my eye--that's Spam, the canned meat, not spam, the unwanted internet junk mail. Later that evening, the local television mews anchor-person briefly mentioned the resurgence of the WWII food ration, Spam.  Today, I picked up my mystery novel and one of the characters was pan-frying a slice of Spam with his eggs.  Wow, I have now encountered Spam three times in the last 24-hours. I had to find out more about this amazing food product that has grabbed my attention and been around for the last 75-years. Other brands have disappeared over the last years or have merged with giant conglomerates, yet Spam lives on.

Spam was officially launched as a trademark by Homel on May 11, 1937.  According to its website,, all fifty states in America sells Spam with Hawaii being the biggest consumer of this ham/pork shoulder meat product. The K-rations the military provided its soldiers durin g WWII included the familiar rectangular tins. In fact, the soldiers felt they were eating Spam at every meal, despite the military cooks doing their best to be inventive. Spam and other foods were shipped to Allied countries as part of the lend-lease program. Ironically, soldiers in Europe, hoping to escape Spam by going for a nice restaurant meal, would still find Spam on the menu!

Is Spam healthy for you? According to the Spam website, "one 12-ounce can contains six servings.  A single serving has 16 grams of fat including 6-grams of saturated fat.  This single serving of Spam also contains 33% of your daily recommended sodium as well asd a hefty dose of cholesterol."  A generous Spam serving would not be a healthy idea if low-salt, low cholesterol foods are suppose to be on your menu.

I checked my local supermarkets the other day to see if Spam is on their shelves.  It still is.  Happy 75th Birthday, Spam. I missed your official birthday in May but you know what?  I really think a Time Capsule for this century should have had a couple of tins of Spam enclosed.  Maybe it did.  We may be reduced to healthy dehydrated miniaturized foods before this 21st century is over and it would be nice to show the Future why a can of pressurized ham and pork shoulder, loaded with fat and salt, tasted so darn good a hundred years ago!

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