Posted by: Jim E | June 25, 2012

Spam…No, No…You Eat It…And Hawaii…And The South Pacific…And WWII…

Spam…it’s ubiquitous…it’s everywhere…constantly encountered…well, that’s what Spam is…the spam that most talk about is the “spam” that is found on the internet…and that’s where it got its name…from…”Spam”, the eatable kind…and the reason for naming spam, spam…is because of Spam…it was everywhere, especially during WWII…my Dad, who served in the Navy in the South Pacific, came back telling stories of how much Spam was served during his time there…even today Spam is eaten throughout the world…and also in the United States…it is made by Hormel in a couple of locations, I believe, but its home is in Austin, Minnesota…if you travel through Austin (it’s on Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota)…and they have the Spam museum there…and worth the time…

When my Dad came back from WWII, he didn’t ever want to see a piece of Spam again…they had it all the time…that didn’t mean he didn’t like it…he just didn’t want to have it anymore…it’s like any food, if you have it everyday, it gets tiresome and you want a change of pace…and there were times when we did have it when I grew up but not much…I acquired the taste for it after I left home…we used to have it when we went camping…but no doubt a generation of Americans, after WWII, didn’t want it served to them…the Sad Sack comic attests to that…he had it and had it, and then received it from home…and it was considered “poor people’s food”…or mystery meat…or worse…the truth is Spam is not from scraps in the processing plant…it’s not scrapple, more about that later…

Let me give you something from Wikipedia here: “Spam (its name a portmanteau of the words “Spiced” and “Ham”)[1] is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation, first introduced in 1937. The labeled ingredients in the classic variety of Spam are chopped pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Spam’s gelatinous glaze, or aspic, forms from the cooling of meat stock.[2] The product has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it part of pop culture and folklore.[3] Through a Monty Python sketch, in which Spam is portrayed as ubiquitous and inescapable, its name has come to be given to electronic spam, including spam email.”

So Spam is well known…but the much-maligned mystery meat is loved in Hawaii…and in fact throughout the South Pacific…America took it to war with them…and whether the Hawaiian Islands. or the Philippines, or Guam, or the Marianas…all consume huge amount of Spam even today…most of you would say about the food served on Hawaii…that Spam would not be high of the menu…but you would be wrong…Spam is served all over the Islands…in fact it is on the MacDonald’s menu…for breakfast: the Breakfast Platter, with eggs, rice and Spam…or lunch: the Spam Musubi, sticky rice, a slice of Spam, wrapped in dried seaweed…here are the pictures to prove it is so…maybe you have been to the Islands and can attest to this…Hawaii consumes 16 times more per capita than any other state…Wow…and you know, I love the stuff…

I remember so well, when we went camping as a family…our kids didn’t know they were eating “poor people’s food”…they, like me, just liked the taste…and it is good…but many people on the mainland consider it, even today, as for poor people and not to be eaten by “better folks”…I guess the message never got to me…I remember when we went camping, one of the ways we loved to eat Spam was…well, let me describe it…cubed Spam, with onions and potatoes in a frying pan…after heated and everything was well cooked…we added scrambled egg mixture…and when just about scrambled, we added grated cheese to the mixture…(Oh, you could put in anything else you wanted…soooo good)…now, I remember when our boys brought their wives along…those poor young women took one look and kind of “rolled their eyes”…kinda like in the movie “Uncle Buck”…when the young, spoiled boy peeks in the kitchen…and Uncle Buck was making something very similar…the boy turns around and in a “stage whisper” says to his sister, “Holy smokes! He’s cooking our garbage!”…well, if that was what was…we loved it…

Now, let me get into Scrapple for just a minute…some would like to put Spam and Scrapple into the same category…but not so…Spam is made from “real” meat sections of the animal…Scrapple on the other hand is made a bit differently…it is kind of like this…when all the butchering is done at the meat processing plant and they are cleaning up all the scraps of meat…and the bones and the heads, etc…that is boiled and all the fat and meat come off…the fat is taken off and the mush of scraps of meat are saved…added to that are spices and corn meal to bind it together…and refrigerated…now, I have eaten Scrapple…not often nor did I necessarily like it…it is sliced and fried…it pops and snaps in the pan…but it is eaten more on the East Coast…mostly in Pennsylvania and nearby states…but nothing like Spam…thank you…

So if you haven’t yet tried Spam…just slice off a piece and fry it up…with eggs and toast…Heavens, make it a Spam, fried egg, cheese, toast sandwich…or whatever, it is good…and that’s all I have to say about that…

Well, that’s all I have to say, except there is the Spam festival in Hawaii or the one in Austin, Minnesota…both touting the goodness and taste of Spam…so the next time you hear about spam…think of Spam…

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Responses

  1. […] the Hawaiian Islands. or the Philippines, or Guam, … … Go here to read the rest: Spam…No, No…You Eat It…And Hawaii…And The South Pacific … ← Oz in the News 6.25.12 | the Daily […]

  2. Reblogged this on 1 Million Reblogs.

  3. We love spam at my house we eat it for breakfast and dinner. I fix it with spaghetti. My mom turned 75 this year spam was one of the things I put in the basket I made her (everything that turned 75). She loved it, hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I took this summer off first time since the boys were little. I am loving it! Have a great fourth.

    Saun

    • Hi Saun…yup, Spam is a keeper…yesterday I had fried Spam, fried egg, cheese, toast sandwich for breakfast…hmm, hmm, good…all is good here…Judie just took off for Montana to see her 92 year old Mom…she will have a good time there…Jeremy and I are holding down the fort here…it was 106 degrees yesterday…more today and next week…no rain for a month…not good, though the humidity was down yesterday…it was more like Tucson, AZ weather here…that is unusual…humidity comes back tomorrow…cooler temps, but it will be more uncomfortable with the humidity…in Ohio, I know you have humidity but the weather is more tolerable than here…ups and down’s with temps I suppose…in Minnesota, it changes back and forth…but here, it is this way until October…the A/C has been on here since May…never a let up…

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by…I love your pictures…the barn one is great…I think Ohio had Centennial Barns painted a few years ago…have they kept that up, meaning is the paint still holding up???…I remember following that somewhere back then…your puppies are not puppies anymore…still a fun age though…and the Goldfinches are great…we lose them to up North in April, before they turn back to the bright yellow…and get them back as they turn back to brown…so your shots were a great reminder to an ex-northerner…thanks again…

      One more thing…I don’t know if you still check up on Matt Green, I’m just walkin’…or not…I go there once in a while…I just can’t get into it, I guess…I can handle only so much of dirty buildings and unkempt streets, etc…I will still go from time to time…but it’s not like a trip to see all of the Centennial Barns in Ohio, that should be his next trip, whatcha think…Jim E


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