Jun 5, 2012

SPAM® (the meat, not the emails)

Hearing the word "SPAM" causes a lot of us to cringe a little, depending on the context of the conversation where it is mentioned. If it is heard at work, that probably means that it refers to a new slew of emails due a computer virus. If it is heard during a conversation about what we are having for dinner, that means something else entirely.

I became acquainted with SPAM® because of my grandfather. As a member of the 8th Army Air Force during WWII (the predecessor of the US Air Force) on a B-17, he endured tinned meat in the rations that he was given. When returning home, he never gave up on making family lunches and dinners from it. SPAM® became a common word spoken when around him. I keep a tin of it in the pantry (due to the extremely LONG expiration date time), and still occasionally make it because I want it. That's why I thought it might be time to pass it on to my son as a family tradition.

Imagine my surprise when grocery shopping and we saw SPAM® now offered as individual SLICES of SPAM® Classic instead of just getting a large tin. I decided to get a simple slice, fry it up and make a fried sandwich with it (topped by cheese and ketchup) to be his introduction to tinned meat (pictured at right). I've eaten it right out of the tin at work, as a sandwich when it has been fried, and cut up to be included in an omelet. There are a LOT more flavors and recipes of SPAM offered today than what I was used to, so I encourage you to try them once in a while. To answer your first question, no, he didn't like it much. But then again, he doesn't like ham in general, which is what SPAM is made of.

Which brings me to my last point of this entry. If you want to know more about SPAM and the recipes that are available, click on the links above. But how does it compare to a similar sized beef hamburger? Here you go. Some nutrients differ, but overall, it is about the same. Keep a tin in your pantry when you need to raid it... your tongue will occasionally appreciate it...


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