Things you need to know:
1) The derivation of the term “spam” for torrents of unsolicited e-mail and posts comes from a Monty Python skit where a diner serves SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, and more SPAM.
2) While tidbit 1) advanced the cause of literature and the arts, the following tidbits will extol SPAM’s contribution to culinary history.
3) SPAM was first canned in 1937. It’s jingle was: “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, Hormel’s new miracle meat in a can. Saves time, tastes fine, to eat something grand as for SPAM.”
4) SPAM featured in soldiers’ meal during World War II as it is a good source of protein and is easy to eat. Famous people have spoken out about Spam.
“Without SPAM we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”
– Russian President Nikita Kruschev
“SPAM was a war-time delicacy.”
– Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
“I ate my share of SPAM along with millions of other soldiers, I’ll even confess to a few unkind words about it – uttered during the strain of battle you understand. But as the former commander-in-chief of the allied forces, I believe I can still officially forgive you for your only sin: sending us so much of it.”
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
5) The SPAM Museum is Austin, Minnesota, “SPAM Town, USA.” Admission is free. Number One Son and I have been there. The poster picture on this blog is from the gift shop.
6) Restaurants in Austin, Minnesota serve SPAM. Sometimes it’s on the menu. Sometimes you just have to ask.
7) In 1989,Americans purchased 1,750 tons of SPAM. Purchases for other years is apparently a secret.
8) Hawaii has the largest per capita consumption of SPAM in the world. These islanders acquired their love for SPAM during World War II when millions of soldiers, marines, and seamen stationed there were fed vast amounts of SPAM.
9) There is an annual SPAM Jam block party in Waikiki. McDonald’s restaurants in Hawaii include SPAM, eggs, and rice on its breakfast menu.
10) Koreans love SPAM. Who knew? Okay, smarty pants, besides Koreans.
11) Many Koreans went hungry during and just after the Korean War. Thousands and thousands averted starvation only by getting food from nearby American army bases. The most prevalent gift from the GIs were cans of SPAM. People there are still grateful for this food and SPAM has been adopted into Korean cuisine.
12) I’ve heard that SPAM is popular in the Philippines as well because of the SPAM American soldiers brought with them in 1944 to 1946. My father was stationed in the Philippines after the War as part of America’s SPAM diplomacy.
13) South Korea is a firm ally of America and a strong trading partner. North Korea, however, threatens us with nuclear attack. Why? Because America never got a chance to get its SPAM bearing armies into that land. SPAM brings peace and amity everywhere. Wonderful SPAM, glorious SPAM.
14) Some years ago, I was asked to participate in the International Bento Contest. SPAM was part of my recipe.
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.