SPAM (the meat) - Just The Facts.

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I haven't eaten SPAM in over 40 years.  Mom would fix SPAM sandwiches for lunch every once in a while. I remember thinking it tasted pretty good but apparently not good enough for me to continue the practice once I was out on my own.

Here are some of the facts about the canned meat marketed as SPAM.

Is it just a made up word?  Nope.  SPAM = Spiced Ham.  The name came from a naming contest and in the late 1930s the name was formally adopted.  Not sure what the prize was for winning.  Perhaps a lifetime supply of SPAM?  Would that still make it a prize?

Who makes SPAM?  Hormel and they always have.  The company began in the 1890s as a fresh meat company that tried to differentiate itself by having a canned meat product.  It didn't go so well and it took a lot of experimentation to get the process just right.  The actual composition of SPAM changed a bit until they settled on mostly pork shoulder with some ham mixed in.

Popular during wars, right?  SPAM was used a lot during World War II though most of it was meat supplied by the government and canned by Hormel.  Not that many soldiers got the genuine SPAM product.

What's in the SPAM can?  Chopped shoulder meat, ham, salt, water, starch, and sodium nitrite (preservative).

What's the nasty jelly stuff?  It's called Aspic and is the result of the meat cooling.

Do I have to eat that part?  No.

Is it nutrional?  I don't know.  Here's some info to help you decide (3.5 ounce serving): 310 calories, 27 grams of fat, and a small smattering of vitamins and minerals.  It doesn't sound like health food to me but I don't think that was ever the intent.

Does it still sell much?  Tons.  Literally.  Two shifts of workers make SPAM around the clock, seven days a week.  It is especially popular in Hawaii where 4 million cans are consumer every year.

If you decide to buy a can and try it out please leave a comment with your observations.  If you are currently a regular consumer of SPAM let us know why.

Sources: wikiepedia, HowStuffWorks, dailyfinance, aurorahistorybotique


Yum!!




erick99 posted Apr 23, 2012
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34 Comments
shimisi
I know many people think SPAM is gross, but I love it! It's tasty and it's easy (by itself, or as an added ingredient in dishes.) My only issue with it is the sodium content. There's 3480 mg in one can... of SPAM Lite-- 25% less sodium than the regular kind!
shimisi (rep: 82.3k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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erick99
erick99 (rep: 17.8k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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erick99
It does have a lot of sodium. That might help the flavor, though :)
erick99 (rep: 17.8k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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jpanddanielle
There's even a knockoff/similar product called Treet by Armour. Haven't had Spam, but we had Treet sometimes when I was younger... Not bad, especially when you are too young to know better or ask many questions!
jpanddanielle (rep: 96) posted Apr 23, 2012
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heyimdennise
i hate SPAM.. one time my ex-boyfriend's dad was eating spam and he started choking and he spat it all over my face.. it was horrible.. ugh..
heyimdennise (rep: 7.87k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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lilywow
I love spam too!!! I buy the 25% less sodium one and I don't eat it everyday. I probably eat it once a month if even.
lilywow (rep: 8.33k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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glwrks
A friend used a Spam can, bent it with pliers, to a dog bone shape. Using as a "cookie cutter", she made homemade dog treats!
glwrks (rep: 121k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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gangstabarbie
Fry spam in a frying pan until its a little brown and crunchy .. It's so much more tasty that way :)
gangstabarbie (rep: 9.68k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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canis444
Spam is also huge in Minnesota (home of the Spam Museum). I love it on sandwiches. Simple but delicious.

I did not get a chance to try deep friend spam at the Minnesota State Fair.... Maybe next time.
canis444 (rep: 263) posted Apr 23, 2012
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nimrodboy3
Spam is awesome..to me. I really enjoy it..i like savory stuff, so the saltiness works in my favor. Spam also comes in many flavors..such as light sodium, garlic, macadamian.etc..

I know a lot of people don't like spam..but I think the arguments are pretty poor. Most people tell me that they think it's nasty..but seriously? A hot dog is okay? I feel like the hot dog is the American version of spam..just a bunch of non-good parts mashed together to give you something that's a meat product.

Spam can be used in many dishes. I eat Spam moreso when I'm in Hawaii..spam musubi, mainly..but it's in a lot of other dishes that are good. I've seen it in fried rice..by itself fried up..with eggs..lots of good dishes. I just don't understand why so many people are against it..it's just another salty meat..it's about taste..not health..not quality..just easy good salty meat =)..
nimrodboy3 (rep: 68k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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erick99
Nice post, nimbrodboy3! The ingredients in SPAM are pretty straightforward.
erick99 (rep: 17.8k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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nimrodboy3
thanks
nimrodboy3 (rep: 68k) posted Apr 23, 2012
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Sundy89
This spam seems very nice.It is delicious?
Sundy89 (rep: 2) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
My son loves Spam. I'm not a big fan. It isn't nasty, but not something I can think "boy I cold go for a big slab of Spam". My ex loved it...maybe that's why it turns my stomach. ;-). If I do eat it, its pan fried with a little mustard on it.

Spoiler alert...What follows may be a little disgusting.
To follow up on Nimrod's thought...I don't do hotdogs much unless they are Nathan's Famous, and the skinless ones at that. It is the only hotdog that I can eat and if I burp 6 hours later, it doesn't taste like I JUST ate it. Something about a product that sits in stomach acid for extended periods of time and seems unaltered by it just gives me the willies. Besides bananas. They kinds do the same thing...but aren't heavily processed foods.
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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fluffy
Thank goodness the Spam Haiku pages were archived!

http://mit.edu/jync/www/spam/

My favorite is #4369:

Pull the shiny ring
Porcine lips, tails, and assholes
Unveiled before you
fluffy (rep: 2.17k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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lancescape
Thanks. #4369 just made my day. Damn, that would make a great t-shirt.
lancescape (rep: 145) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
LOL. My eyes haven't adjusted to the light from the drive back from lunch yet I suppose. I coulda swore it said porcupine lips, tails and assholes. Better hope that doesn't go down sideways.
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nimrodboy3
speaking about stuff that sits in acid and then still tastes the same..ever seen how long mcdonald's cheeseburgers last? pretty scary.
nimrodboy3 (rep: 68k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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VirginiaPeanuts
Hmm...It's very interesting that the meat was supplied by the government and canned by Hormel. My mom always had tons of cans of SPAM and sardines around the house in case of an extreme emergency. Pretty sure she still has the same ones somewhere in the pantry. Surprisingly, we never were in a desperate enough situation to live solely on SPAM. I've had it before and it doesn't taste awful, the thought of it is pretty disgusting though...
VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 11.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
Yup. I recall hearing that someone took a McDonalds burger and left it out for a year, at the end of which it looked surprisingly fresh. I'm thinking that rivals twinky for longevity.
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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fluffy
Even a home-made burger of the same size will not rot under the same conditions. No treachery here.

http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/11/the-burger-lab-revisiting-the-myth-of-the-12-year-old-burger-testing-results.html
fluffy (rep: 2.17k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
At least I can make it palatable before someone sits it in their window seal though. :-)
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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encorez
you said the meat.......
encorez (rep: 9.96k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
Why did I have a Beavis and Butthead laugh going through my mind when I read that?
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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VirginiaPeanuts
Interesting. Origin of the term "spam" to mean net abuse: http://www.templetons.com/brad/spamterm.html
VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 11.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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erick99
People are a lot more interest in SPAM than I thought. Now I really have to buy a can and try it.
erick99 (rep: 17.8k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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encorez
^ it is a taste of heaven.....
encorez (rep: 9.96k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
Yeah...the part of heaven that Satan was kicked out of...and he left it behind.

;-)
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
Which brings me back to my snide commetn about my ex. BAHAHAHAAha
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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VirginiaPeanuts
Oh nthsll...you are cracking me up today!!
VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 11.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nimrodboy3
spam is delicious..be creative..don't think of it as just a piece of meat that you need to eat straight out of the can..you can cook it..you can chop it..you can flavor it..have fun.
nimrodboy3 (rep: 68k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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nthsll
You can hammer it to the soles of your shoes when they get thin too!
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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gangstabarbie
Just to let you know.. I just made spam and eggs for dinner
gangstabarbie (rep: 9.68k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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erick99
How were the spam & eggs?
erick99 (rep: 17.8k) posted Apr 24, 2012
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