Emergency Provisions

SPAM was introduced to an adoring public in 1970 by the Monty Python Corporation.

That was a flat out lie.

SPAM

That’s 8 cans of low sodium Precious, guarded by a ferocious Maltese.

SPAM is actually a mystery concoction featuring pork shoulder, packed in a can by caring essential employees at the Hormel meat packing plant in Minnesota.

USA! USA! USA! Freedom eagle, yeah! One more reason for the world to love us!

Wikipedia tells us that SPAM’s basic ingredients are pork with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Natural gelatin is formed during cooking in its tins on the production line.

Personally, I think that super yummy and visually enticing “natural gelatin” floating on the top of SPAM explains the unique taste and texture of the ostensible meat.

Others suggest that the sodium nitrite is the best part of the product. Chacun à son gout.

There are about 20 variants of your basic gelatin-encased pig parts including a SPAM spread, SPAM Macadamia Nuts, and SPAM Pumpkin Spice.

Pump Spice

I kid you not.

Ever sensitive to consumers’ health consciousness, SPAM also comes in low sodium and low calorie versions (SPAM Lite).

SPAM has always had a reputation problem, even before it became the popular term for unwanted e-mail. It is mocked with abandon.

SPecial Army Meat, Superfluous Pieces of Additional Meat, Stuff Posing as Meat, Super Processed Artificial Meat, Satan’s Preferred Alternative Munchy…yeah, yeah, yeah.

I won’t even mention the Broadway musical Spamalot or Weird Al Yankovich’s eponymous song in bubblegum pop style, no less.

Rarely do Michelin starred chefs make SPAM the focus of their culinary talents. Indeed, the sliceable jellied oinker is typically associated with lower socio-economic classes and poverty.

I’m told Scottish people use the colloquial term “Spam valley” to describe certain affluent housing areas where residents appear to be wealthy but in reality are poor.

SPAM is not a big hit in Muslim countries. Quelle surprise.

loof

Geshmak!

It’s not a huge success story in downtown Tel Aviv, either.

However, Wiki informs us that a kosher variant of Spam, known as Loof (“לוף‎,” a Hebrew linguistic play on meatloaf), was produced as part of field rations for the Israel Defense Forces.

Kosher ham, who knew?

Despite spurious assaults on its character, SPAM is celebrated by folks in Hawaii, Guam and around the Pacific Rim where it is recognized (correctly) as a delicacy and the first protein choice when stocking a survival pantry because its sell-by date is “whenever” and its expiration date is “12th of never.”

These people know that SPAM is a versatile product that rivals Bubba Blue’s shrimp in the ways it can be served; for example, egg and Spam, egg bacon and Spam, Spam egg sausage and Spam, Spam egg Spam Spam bacon and Spam.

Hey! Can I get a little praise here? It’s not often one can combine a classic Forrest Gump reference and a classic Monty Python reference.

Anyway, in Max’s house we eat SPAM and the doggo gets small pieces, too.  But only a little or there are, well, poo issues if you know what I mean and I think you do.

pup with meat

Yum! Pink meat! (Not SPAM)

Our favorites are SPAM and eggs, as an ingredient in the AJF’s absolutely killer fried rice and as the classic Hawaii SPAM musubi, a sort of SPAM sandwich substituting rice, furikake and nori seaweed in lieu of bread.

musubi

SPAM musubi. The official snack of Hawaii. 

We always keep a half dozen cans in our emergency food supplies. Just in case…

So go ahead, abuse our lack of sophistication and taste and act all snooty and judgey, neener neener, neener.

If Covid-19 mutates into the Zombie Virus, we’ll be sitting pretty chomping our pink stuff and having the last laugh.

 

82 replies

  1. I had a stepson who loved Spam, I think partly because it totally grossed me out. Eventually he got over it. The sight and smell of the grease coating the walls when we cooked it probably helped. If he had known about musubi, though — Spam with the salt and grease soaking into the rice — better than a sandwich! He’d never have given it up. Over here we make do with cassoulet: pig parts and beans. Yum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t even try to defend the product. It’s one of those polarizing foods that you either like or hate. But I failed to mention in the post what brought this whole topic to mind; namely, Hormel is shutting down its SPAM manufacturing plants due to a virus outbreak. The supply chain is under threat! I like a good cassoulet and have never had a bad cassoulet in France.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had No idea there were so many varieties! Pumpkin?! Who knew? Not me for sure. On Monday I pulled out my own can which I always keep around just in case and put a couple of green eggs (the Easter variety) with it….ode to Dr Seuss right there and I was mighty happy 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spam was banned from the house in father’s lifetime….to remarks that in wartime you were lucky to get it he replied that at any time you would be lucky to get over it.
    Corned beef was banned likewise for some reason.
    In a friend’s house however, Spam was available as fritters…food of the gods for hungry kids coming in tired and grubby after a day roaming the countryside.
    It has a weird hold over one, once the ‘taste’ is acquired…but it is banned from this house too, Higher Authority believing it fit only for lesser breeds without the law.
    Oddly enough corned beef was banned in his parents’ house too…on the grounds that that was what they fed their dogs in the Congo.
    Damn and blast you…I now hanker after a Spam fritter…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is that expression “SPAM Valley” familiar to you? I’d never heard it before. As I think about it, I’m pretty sure my father had the same opinion as yours did re SPAM. All those years in Hawaii but I can’t recall him ever eating it although it was always gobbled by everyone else.

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      • Spam Valley is probably after my time…’red hat and nae drawers’ was probably its equivalent and a friend’s daughter who teaches refers to the ‘baked beans minus brigade’ for the kids from middle class enclaves who turn up hungry to school.
        Do you know the Jeelie Piece song…a protest at high rise dwellings/////https://youtu.be/MMNDwtvAtPg

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        • I tried, Helen, God knows I tried but I could not for the ever loving life of me understand a single word that Matt was singing. Not. a. word. He could have been singing in Klingon for all I could tell. But I loved reading the nationalist comments that went with the YouTube. “The soul of Scotland!” “Scotland Forever” Scotland in a nutshell!” “We all sang this as wee ones!!” So, I guess you nailed it in terms of referencing a defining song of your people but it was flat out incomprehensible. 🙂

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          • A jeelie piece is a jam sandwich…in the days of the tenement dwellings kids playing in the street would shout up to their mothers for such to sustain them…she would make it and, with a warning cry, chuck it out of the window to be caught by her offspring. Given the height of the high rises, which replaced the tenements, the trajectory of the jeelie piece was impossible to track…It is a song based on the Glaswegian tongue which might well explain your problems in understanding it.
            Try this
            Errabus.
            Werrabus?
            Errabus oerer….
            This is two Glaswegans – weegies – at a bus stop
            There is a bus
            Where is the bus
            There is a bus over there….

            Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! When we first got married, my husband use to go to the store to buy Vienna Sausage to fortify him during his all day fishing trips. That was short lived when I told him I would make him sandwiches to fortify him. SPAM would have been grounds for divorce.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Vienna sausage is almost as equally beloved in Hawaii as SPAM. Right out of the can, scrambled with eggs, as a beer chaser…it’s bought by the case in the islands. I’m not a huge fan but I’ve eaten my share. The AJF loathes Vienna sausage.

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    • Truth is, anything more than a smidgen of SPAM and his digestive system goes south, big time. He’s sensitive to the amount of fat in his diet. So a video of El Senor eating the delicacy would be a short video. And while we have Can ‘o SPAM we don’t have a SPAM cam.

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    • I’ve never seen SPAM as an ingredient in southwest cuisine. We’ve put it tortillas with veggies and that’s pretty good. Scrambled with eggs and peppers is tasty too. I don’t know if Arizona folk even know what joy-in-a-can tastes like. Desert people are strange.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I will NOT try to steal your Spam! I will not test Max’s ferocity! 😉 😛
    The Spam vids/songs made me snort-laugh!!! 😀
    We were fed Spam as kids…I liked mine sliced thinly and saute’d in a skillet.
    In college we had Mystery Meat and it was not as good as Spam.
    Say…Do you eat your Spam with a spork?!?!
    Say…Do you know the four food groups of the Apocalypse?
    Chef Boyardee, Campbell’s Soup, Hershey’s Chocolate, and Spam! 😉
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Nowadays we have to add Cup Noodle ramen to the essential food groups at world’s end. Yes, Max is terrifying. Actually, he is so gentle and not food reactive at all. We can take food out of his mouth and never a growl or negative response. Likewise we can put fingers into his mouth and he just sits quietly. He doesn’t defend food against other dogs either. Mr. Mild. So I guess you steal his SPAM if you wanted to. He’d probably just give it to you. Bon appetit.

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  5. Raised in a poor house one short step from the Workhouse where dad’s £7 a week barely fed the six of us we were forced to bring in Spam. We were indeed poor, so poor that at school the teachers would always mark every test or exam I did with ‘Poor’ at the bottom, thereby indicating malnutrition the cause of my education failures.
    Corned Beef, ‘Bully Beef’ “used to fill the troops” as my dad used to say was another constant. He never mentioned what troops constantly fed ‘Bully Beef’ used to say about it mind.
    Spam fritters were always OK in my mind as a kid, however, I tried Spam again a few weeks ago hoping it would share space with the tins of Corned Beef left over from the Brexit emergency store and sadly had to report the taste was foul! Mum’s cooking must have been better than I thought, or maybe my taste has become more exotic…actually no-one who eats here would say that was true.
    Spam was imported along with Baked Beans during the war I believe, many have yet to forgive the USA for that. There again Pilchards, the small fish that fed many during the war was such an important part of the wartime diet that they had to change the name to ‘Sardines’ afterwards because otherwise no-one would buy them. Spam still fills many larders here. Sadly not mine, that time was awful, how did I like it as a child?
    Well done Max, being unable to eat Spam is a reflection of your high standards.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ewwwwww!! Spam, brussel sprouts, liver, and what my mother used to pass off as “spaghetti sauce” should all be banned from existence!

    I’m with Lois…..Grossed Out!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you on liver. Just not into organ meats. Or piano meats either. :snorf: As I say, SPAM is indefensible. It is its own force of nature. But let me ask you this…if SPAM disappeared, where would we put all those extra pork shoulders and pieces of pig? Huh? Huh?

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    • Wait, wait, wait a minute. Your family in HAWAII doesn’t eat SPAM? in HAWAII? Please tell them to never, ever tell anyone else lest somebody decide to kalua them. And taro root…you’re talking poi? Ah, c’mon man, they might as well live in Boulder. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • I guess just about every regional “cuisine” offers something (cough, haggis)that’s a turnoff to non-locals. I mean, Rocky Mountain Oysters? Mmmm…that’s a nope for me although I once gave ’em a try and it’s the concept rather than flavor/texture that makes me give them a pass. I’ll eat jellyfish and sea cucumbers prepared in the Japanese manner whereas that gives the bad gulps to a lot of folks. So each to his/her taste and I’ll bet the Hawaii branch of the clan gobbles the papayas, mahimahi and Portuguese sausage, no?

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          • Most definitely…to each his own. Though I personally would never criticize Haggis to our friend, Helen. The Hawaii clan is a-gaga over lilikoi; I’m kind of ‘meh.’ Am learning to ‘appreciate’ poke though it probably will never be my absolute favorite. Never tried Rocky Mountain Oysters (don’t they resemble chicken gizzards) as I’m a long time vegetarian), probably would have the same textural problem you noted that put them in the off limit status even if I did eat meat.

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            • Funny you mention poke. It’s all the rage of course in Hawaii and here on the mainland too. I never got hooked on it. Strictly take it or leave it which surprises even me because I am a fiend over sushi (the nigiri type – chunk ‘o fish on rice, not the roll style) , can’t get enough. Maybe because my first experiences with poke, back when fish were first invented, had a lot of kukui oil and ogo seaweed both of which are strong tastes.

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    • I wonder how long said can has been in said pantry? I don’t know if Mav ever gets any human food treats from you but, take it from me, SPAM is a poor choice for a doggie nosh. Nothing on Earth gives a dog a case of projectile diarrhea like an over abundance of SPAM. As to furikake vs fruitcake I’d have to say I prefer furikake and when a mixture of seaweed and sesame is better than a baked good, well that just tells you how bad a fruitcake actually is.

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        • I’m with you on the fruitcake. Normally I would soak it in rum and give it a second chance but I’m pretty sure the only proper use of a fruitcake is as a doorstop. Don’t underestimate the appeal of SPAM to a dog. It seems to have some magical attraction (maybe like other dog poop) and they eat it like it’s prime rib. Then, pow…right out the back.

          Liked by 1 person

          • What is prime rib to other dogs will cause Maverick to turn up his nose and walk away. I swear to the Goddess, this dog is not normal in any way. He will refuse string cheese. Today I bought dehydrated white fish treats – nose went in air, and I was treated to the sight of his butt swishing away in disgust. He does, however, enjoy Ziwi Peaks – which is about $35/lb. Not spoiled. Nope, not at all.

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            • One trusts that Maverick’s consumption of Ziwi Treats is limited or perhaps you listed him as a dependent for those stimulus checks? I tried with Max but couldn’t come up with identity documents that passed inspection. I guess Vet reports, a dog license and a rabies certificate don’t count. Hmmph. 😒

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    • Well, we love having you around here but keep it on the quiet to protect your reputation. People start hearing that you hang around this silly dog blog and next thing you know the neighbors stop speaking to you. 🐶

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  7. Nope. I Can’t Go For That. No can do. I think it’s because I was raised on tofu from the first Whole Foods. Any gristle made me gag. Fatty parts of meat just looked like boogers. I wouldn’t eat hotdogs because I didn’t want to bite into a whipped hoof or a bum. I even went to Taco Bell and ordered the burrito supreme with no beef. So you can see how the fact that I eat plenty of meat now is a big step, and SPAM a complete impossibility. However, if you can find a spouse who enjoys it, more power to you both. To you throth, as it were.

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    • You are what my Grandmother would call a “picky eater.” That was the curse of death for any date that went with me to Nana’s for dinner and didn’t scarf down everything in sight. “Well, she seems nice …(wait for it)…BUT she’s a …(here it comes)…picky eater.No sooner than those words spilled from her lips I knew my date was a goner in terms of family acceptance. Still, avoiding the Taco Supreme simply shows good judgment.

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  8. Just so you know your comments did not go into my SPAM folder…. !! 😀 😀 This is so frustrating! I saw your comment both yesterday and today but the only place they show is in my Inbox. Yeah, that little bell…..show yourself, dammit! From what I hear, I am among many who are having problems. I just had to get visual about it. Not to worry, Tom–I will be ignoring you for real, soon enough! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe a big ole slice of the magic meat is just the thing to entice Jett back on his feet? It’s very nutritious with sodium nitrate and everything! And no worries sbout doggie, uh, constipation if you’ll pardon the expression.

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  9. I wonder how Spam would go on a Vegemite sandwich? I suspect the combined salt content could cause an instant heart attack and saltification of the arteries.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

    Liked by 1 person

  10. MAX! So nice to finally meet you! My name is Anthony, and I am currently in Hawaii. I am actually on my way to Mrs. Nanako’s right now to get my grooming on. Mega thanks to your Mom and Dad!
    This is the first post my Mommy read to me, and what a doozy! We were laughing SO hard-but every word is true! Spam for the win! 🐾🐾
    Will be cruising around the site to hear more. You are terrific!

    Thank you,
    Anthony👑🐶

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Welcome Anthony! (You too, Michaëla) Max is so glad that you made it to his silly dog blog. There are a lot of Hawaii stories here and maybe you’ll find some of them interesting as you explore Oahu and the neighbor islands. Try use the “search” box and enter “heiau” or “Hummingbirds” or “bombing volcanoes” for just a few oddball entries. Also, please disregard all the smart aleck remarks made the people who post comments, they are just jealous of me and Max. (Actually the comments are the best part of the posts.)

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