Week 1: SPAM
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
An ode to processed pork.
More than junk mail.
When you hear Spam, images of junk mail and trailer-park dinners may pop into your head. We are here to change your thoughts! Hopefully next time you hear "Spam" your first thought will be "yes, ma'am!"
Spam is made by Hormel in Austin, MN. It was created to provide luncheon meat to grocery shoppers without having to wait at the deli counter. Being canned and shelf-stable, Spam's popularity rose as the need for cheap pantry items and rationing became the norm for 1940's America.
It's affordability has since been it's appeal and it's curse, UNTIL NOW!
pork shoulder (once considered an undesirable byproduct of hog butchery), water, salt, sugar, sodium nitrate (for coloring), and potato starch (to sop up the infamous gelatin "layer" that naturally forms when meat is cooked).
As founder George Hormel says, he launched a naming contest for the new product during a New Year's Eve party. According to Hormel, Kenneth Daigneau spit out "Spam" as if "it were nothing at all." And the rest is history!
Spam took off as the US Army purchased large quantities for US and Allied soldiers during WWII. By the end of the war, homemakers were used to seeing it, but soldiers were fed up with eating it - a tumultuous time for Hormel in the post-war era. Luckily, new foreign markets were not burnt out on Spam, and it's popularity began to rise in England and the Pacific.
Ever wonder why Spam is so prevalent in Hawaii? Post-WWI, harsh fishing sanctions and internment camps are attributed to Spam's rise on the islands. The need for cheap, available meat sources saw Spam soar in popularity - a trend that has continued into present day.
If you would like to read more on Spam, please read the following article link!