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Ingredient of the Week, March 4: Spam

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM
  • 26 Replies


Spam (derived from SPiced hAM) 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. The product has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it part of pop culture and folklore. 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.

Spam that is sold in North America, South America, and Australia is produced in Austin, Minnesota, (also known as Spam Town USA) and in Fremont, Nebraska. On average, 3.8 cans are consumed every second in the United States. Spam is still quite popular in the United States, but is sometimes associated with economic hardship because of its relatively low cost.

As of 2003, Spam is sold in 41 countries worldwide, sold on six continents and trademarked in over 100 different countries.

                                  Hawaiian Spam Musubi

The residents of the state of Hawaii and the territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) consume the most Spam per capita in the United States. On average, each person on Guam consumes 16 tins of Spam each year and the numbers at least equal this in the CNMI. Guam, Hawaii, and Saipan, the CNMI's principal island, have the only McDonald's restaurants that feature Spam on the menu. In Hawaii, Burger King began serving Spam in 2007 on its menu to compete with the local McDonald's chains. In Hawaii, Spam is so popular it is sometimes referred to as "The Hawaiian Steak". A favorite Hawaiian way to eat Spam is in the form of a musubi (pronounced moo-soo-bee, with no accent). It is a fried slice of spam on rice pressed together to form a small block, then wrapped with a strip of seaweed. The Spam musubi is eaten as a sandwich, and it is perhaps the Island's favorite "to go" or snack food. Spam musubi is literally everywhere in Hawaii, including local convenience stores, grocery stores, school cafeterias, and even at the zoo. Eating a Spam musubi seems to serve as a rite of passage for newcomers anxious to attain "local" status.


                        Breakfast meal at McDonald's in Hawaii

Spam was introduced into the aforementioned areas, in addition to other islands in the Pacific such as Okinawa and the Philippine Islands, during the U.S. military occupation in World War II. Since fresh meat was difficult to get to the soldiers on the front, World War II saw the largest use of Spam. GIs started eating Spam for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Some soldiers referred to Spam as "ham that didn't pass its physical" and "meatloaf without basic training".)[17] Army soldiers commonly refer to SPAM as Special Army Meat due to its introduction during the war. Surpluses of Spam from the soldiers' supplies made their way into native diets. Consequently, Spam is a unique part of the history and effects of U.S. influence in the Pacific.


Spam products currently being sold in Korea are made with more high-quality ingredients than other countries as Korean manufacturer took advantage of the name which gained its popularity during and after Korean War as a smuggled or leaked ration and improved it over time as the country became richer. Because of this, Spam in Korea tastes different from the ones sold in other countries, and is a relatively expensive product compared to its competitors in Korea.

Spam and similar meat preserves can be bought in gift sets that may contain nothing but the meat preserve or include other products such as food oil or tuna. When invited to another person's home, guests may present their hosts with such a set

Spam is typically sold in cans with a net weight of 340 grams (12 ounces). A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of original Spam provides 1,300kJ (310 calories), 13 grams of protein (26% DV), 3 grams of carbohydrates (1% DV), 27 grams of total fat (41% DV), including 10 grams of saturated fat (49% DV). The cholesterol content of Spam is 70 milligrams (23% DV). A serving also contains 57% of the recommended daily intake of sodium (1369 milligrams). Spam provides the following vitamins and minerals: 0% vitamin A, 1% vitamin C , 1% calcium, 5% iron, 3% magnesium, 9% potassium, 12% zinc, and 5% copper



Do you eat Spam? If so, how do you prepare it for a meal or a snack? What do you think of it?


by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:41 AM
Dh loves spam. The only way I use it Is it is for breakfst - slice thin n fry till crispy serve with eggs n hashbrows. Would likesome other ideas thu since he likes it so much.
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by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 9:59 AM
Blah! I hate spam
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by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I haven't had spam in years.

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM

 lol we just had it with brkfst yesterday morning. 

Dh and I like it but it's dd that asks me to buy it LOL ...she LOVES it.

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 12:08 PM

 i've never had it before, I would try it somewhere, but probably not buy it to make myself.

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Me either... but I normally fry it up and serve with eggs and hashbrowns

Quoting MamaBear2cubs:

I haven't had spam in years.

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by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM
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by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 3:48 PM

ick lol

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 4:14 PM

 We love spam here but use the generic version fom Wal-Mart. It used to be $1 a can while name brand was closer to $3. Our favorite wasy to eat it is cooked as shown on your pics then made into a sandwich like a BLT. To feed my guys now though I need to prepare 2 cans of it.

For awhile in our small Podunk town we had a Hawaiin restraunt it was so good!! She had several dishes with spam being the main ingredient. Too bad she went under - just not enough fluid income in our town to support a non-banded restraunt. :(

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:38 PM
I just cannot stomach it
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