Spam is regularly mocked. In fact the word spam for junk mail came from spam being something very unsavoury and unwanted which I think is not really fair. In this blog post I would like to pay homage to this innovative meat product and present a few recipes that might make you change your mind about seeing it in such a negative light. If there is no way I will ever change your mind about sperm I’d like to show you at least some of its iconic packaging and advertising which has been inspiring to me.
So what exactly is Spam and where did it originate?
It is a play on words for “spiced ham” and it was the invention of Jay Hormel, son of George Hormel who founded the Hormel company, which pioneered canned pork products in Austin, Minn., in the late 1920s. According to the Times article for its 80th birthday in 2017, Spam ads aimed at housewives who wanted cheap, quick meals requiring almost no prep. They wanted a meat that didn’t need to be refrigerated which then made it also really handy for the U.S. military when it went global during World War II.
How did internet junk mail become referred to as Spam?
It was monty python! The term comes from a 1970 Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit. In this skit, all the restaurant’s menu items devolve into SPAM. When the waitress repeats the word SPAM, a group of Vikings in the corner sing “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!”, drowning out other conversation, until they are finally told to shut it
Spam fried rice
An obviously favourite in Asia is spam fried rice. It usually has ham in it so why not ham it up with a bit of spam. Great for those emergency dinners. Frozen peas, spam, bobs your uncle. Recipe here
Spam musubi is a popular snack and lunch food composed of a slice of grilled Spam sandwiched either in between or on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori in the tradition of Japanese omusubi. It can be combined with a touch of seaweed to make it more healthy and of course you can dip in soya sauce. Anything dipped in soya sauce is tasty as we all know.
Panko encrusted Spam
Adding a bit of texture to the slimy gelatinous blob that is spam, panko bread crumbs are wrapped around to form a seriously moorish crunchy snack. If you don’t have Japanese panko crumbs you can use any kind of breadcrumbs.
East meets West in this spam slider. AKA a small hamburger. Fry up the spam, add some relish and mustard and 💥 bam, hang over sorted!
Cute Spam Musubi
The Asians just love their cute looking food and spam with its infinite ability to sculpture lends itself perfectly to cute little creations like this spam musubi.
Spam and kimchi pizza
Spam recipes that give spam a bad rep
Any recipe which includes a sloppy texture with corn in it automatically looks like vomit. Everyone knows that corn mysteriously appears in anyone’s vomit. when cooking with spam I would try to add a crispy texture to offset its natural sliminess rather than the other way around. Unless you are lacking teeth, do not try this at home. 🤢
Spam with ketchup
This should never happen, I am not even going to write anything here.