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Have You Been Spammed Lately?

By Stacy Monson — August 14, 2014

In honor of Rose’s new release, Sweet on the Cowboy, the Inkspers are taking time to talk about products that were invented in their home state (or even their home town), as well as anything rodeo, among other topics. Definitely check out Sweet on the Cowboy. It’s another fun read from Rose Ross Zediker.

In Minnesota, we’ve invented a lot of things. Like the Post-it Note from 3M (the headquarters are just north of St. Paul). Who doesn’t love post-its??

But today I’d rather tell you about an amazing food (at least, I think it’s a food) that I think everyone has heard of – SPAM!

I asked my son the other day if he’d ever had SPAM. (I must have seen a commercial with Sir Can-a-lot.) When he said no, I realized I had failed him. How was it possible that I never fed him this Minnesota original when I practically grew up on it? One of these days I’m going to buySir Can-a-lot a can just for him. The biggest question will be how to prepare it. There are SO many options. But before I share a few, here’s a little history of this national icon…

First of all, what IS Spam? According to RoadsideAmerica.com: “Made of pig parts and secret spices, cooked in it’s own cans right on the assembly line, SPAM rolls out of its far-flung factories at a rate of 44,000 cans an hour.” According to Spam.com it’s made of “six simple ingredients – pork with ham (2 parts of the same piggy), salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate.”

The name SPAM comes from what it’s made of – “spiced hormel-logoham.” The brother of a Hormel executive came up with the name when the luncheon meat was introduced in 1937 and won $100. (What? No SPAM for Life?)

In 1946, a troupe of former servicewomen formed a drum and bugle corps to spread the word about SPAM. Known as the “Hormel Girls,” the group grew to 60 members by 1948, including a 16-piece orchestra. The popularity of the troupe led to a national radio show featuring (you guessed it) SPAM. The group disbanded in 1953.

In 1959, the one-billionth can of SPAM Classic was produced. In 1970, the two-billionth. In 1994, the five-billionth. And on it goes.

There are 18 varieties of SPAM including SPAM Lite, Turkey SPAM, Jalapeno SPAM, Hickory Smoked, SPAM with Cheese, SPAM Spread, and SPAM Singles.

So where dSpamMuseumAustinMN2006-05-20o these amazing fun facts come from? The SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota, of course, which opened in 2001. Here’s their boast: “The family-fun packed museum features 16,500 square feet of tastefully presented SPAM®-filled history. You won’t have to fight for tickets because admission is free. Visit and you’ll be tinkled pink by the SPAM® trivia and vintage SPAM® brand advertising. Plus numerous SPAM® displays including the World War II exhibit, SPAM™ Game Show quiz, Monty Python tribute (Spamalot!) and more. There’s even a SPAM® store so you can stock up on priceless SPAM® collectibles on your way out.” Within the SPAM Museum is the current radio station, KSPAM. (No, I’m not kidding.)

So let’s get to the meat of this blog – SPAM recipes! Since I don’t have room to provide the whole recipe here, I’ll just give you a taste by rattling off some yummy ideas. You can find them on the SPAM website.

SPAM Mini Maple Doughnuts

Maple SPAM Doughnuts
Buffalo Spamburgers
Huevos SPAM Cheros
SPAM Musubi
SPAMSGiving Day Delight (in case your turkey doesn’t turn out)
Veggie SPAM Skewers
Bacon Wrapped SPAM Bites
SPAM French Toast Sticks
SPAM Thai Style Meatballs
SPAM Benedict
and SPAM Apple Turnovers (the top photo is that delicious treat!

I could go on and on but we’d be here all day (and forever – the list is endless). Check it out for yourself.

I will leave you with one final piece of trivia from Wikipedia:  “On average, each person on Guam consumes 16 tins of SPAM each year and consumption is similar in Hawaii, and Saipan. These areas have the only McDonald’s restaurants that feature Spam on the menu.” So the next time you’re in Hawaii, skip the fish and order some SPAM.

Oh, and don’t forgSPAM Lapel pinet to stop by the SPAM store to pick up a gift or two. For those hard-to-please people, consider the SPAM Lapel pin.

Do you have a favorite SPAM story or recipe?

 

Every time you leave a comment between Monday, August 4 and Friday, August 15 at midnight, central time, you are entered to win a copy of “Sweet on the Cowgirl.”

sweet on the cowgirl2

(11) Readers Comments

  1. Rose
    August 14, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Stacy, SPAM! I have never eaten it, although my parents did. Mom would slice it, fry it and make sandwiches. I was a fussy eater so I ate peanut butter that night. I do have to say those turnovers look good.....

    • August 14, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Rose, it's definitely something you need to try - at least once. It's not any worse than a lot of the lunchmeats out there nowadays! I have to laugh - as I reread the post, I realized the quote from the museum says we'll be tinkled pink. I sure hope not!

  2. Shari Barr
    August 14, 2014 at 8:07 am

    It's been awhile since I've had Spam, like I was probably a little kid. But I do remember I liked it and thought it was a treat. That was pretty good for a picky eater.

    • August 14, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Shari, I think it was about all we could afford when I was growing up - we ate it quite often. But I haven't had it as an adult so I just might fry some up for me and the kids.

  3. August 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Would you believe I've never had SPAM? How unMinnesotan is that? But I guess growing up on a farm, canned meat was rather frowned upon. ;-) But someday I'll give it a try!

    • August 14, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Brenda, maybe we can do a field trip to the Spam museum!

  4. Kav
    August 14, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Oh my goodness, I thought spam was something made up for a Monty Python skit. It actually exists? My culinary education is now complete.

    • August 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      If they have it in Guam and Hawaii, I bet they have it in Canada too!

  5. Dawn Ford
    August 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

    My dad loved Spam. We always had a can or two in the cupboard. I remember Sunday mornings where Mom would fry up bacon, sausage, AND spam for Dad. Oh, the memories!

    • August 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      There's nothing quite like the memory of frying up some Spam, is there, Dawn?? :)

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