Ah soup! Makes you feel good...I originally intended to write Reminisce with memories of soup suppers. That led to memories of those wonderful church potluck dinners, which led to potluck horror stories where I discovered one person's horror was seeing a huge tray of all different kids of SPAM. So, SPAM it is!
What exactly IS SPAM?
SPAM is pork with ham, salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate.How did SPAM get it's name? According to Wikipedia, Hormel claims that the meaning of the name "is known by only a small circle of former Hormel Foods executives", but popular beliefs are that the name is an abbreviation of "spiced ham". SPAM was introduced in 1937 and Ken Daigneau won a contest and $100.00 for naming SPAM.
The difficulty of delivering fresh meat to the front during World War II saw Spam become a ubiquitous part of the U.S. soldier's diet. It became variously referred to as "ham that didn't pass its physical", "meatloaf without basic training", and "Special Army Meat". Over 150 million pounds of Spam were purchased by the military before the war's end.
SPAM was so popular the mystery meat even had it's own 60 member performing troupe called The Hormel Girls who toured cities across the United States in 1947 generating awareness for it. Wow!
In 1991, the SPAM museum was opened in Oak Park Mall in Austin, Minnesota,(which later expanded to a museum downtown) where folks can learn all about the "Special Army Meat".
SPAM even has it's own "Knight in Shining Armour" Sir-Can-A-Lot, the official spokescharacter for the SPAM® brand in America. The diminutive knight is a messenger for the SPAM® brand, on a self-proclaimed “crusade to rescue the world from routine meals.” He approaches this mission with equal parts motivation and mischief, taking sleep-cookers by surprise to suggest they make their meals more interesting by adding SPAM® products. What the SIR CAN-A-LOT™ character lacks in size, he makes up for in bravado. Whether fumbling or composed, he is courageous and determined in his pursuits. Through it all, it is clear he reveres SPAM® products — or, as he puts it, “Glorious SPAM®!”
So, just what all flavors/varieties is Sir-Can-A-Lot revering? Here's the list from the SPAM website:
w/Real Hormel Bacon
Oven Roasted Turkey
Hot and Spicy
w/Portuguese Sausage Seasoning
and SPAM Spread.
I remember my dad eating SPAM sandwiches. I never liked the jelly goo that popped out of the SPAM can along with that perfectly formed, rounded corner, block of "whatever it was." I 'm sure my folks cleaned the SPAM cans and stored nuts, bolts, washers, screws and other odds and ends in them - they were the perfect size, you know. To the best of my knowledge, I have not eaten SPAM since I was a kid. But, I suppose America's Favorite Mystery Meat could have been disguised as a meat, cheese and cracker snack or perhaps even worse - meatloaf.........