5/30/06 | Delicious Spam Lite
[ Currently Eating: English Muffins ]
Warning: Long post about “lunchmeat” ahead.
I had previously “threatened” to make a post about Spam. Well, since Memorial Day Holiday is one of the biggest processed meats weekends in the year, I thought it was about time I gave Mr. Spam it’s due.
I think he looks much more imposing and stately when you leave him as an unsliced, pale pink, immovable tower of meat, don’t you?
This is actually Spam Lite which is supposed to have 50% Less Fat, 33% Fewer Calories and 25% Less Sodium. As if this is going to do you a whole lot better.
A ton has already been said about it, so I don’t really need to go into details about its history and (un) popularity. Anyhow, I pretty much just need to show the pictures… it sells itself! But for those who are unfamiliar with our solid fatty friend, just know that there ARE Spam Festivals, Spam Cookoff Contests, and Spam Carving Competitions. I think Hormel even has a Spam Museum.
Oh, when I was a kid I tried to make Spam Dice. Cut spam into cubes and use peppercorns for the dice divots. Fun.
A disclaimer before you launch into a diatribe on the un-merits of Spam Lite. I ate an inordinate amount of Spam growing up, especially considering I had health-conscious parents. The keys to this mystery are that I have a Hawaiian influenced background and I used to go camping a lot.
The Hawaii-Spam connection: I was always told that its popularity increased in the “old days” because in Hawaii’s humid weather, everything spoils quicker. So canned, preserved or salted food was very popular. I’m not sure how true this is. Needless to say, you can walk into most any Hawaiian BBQ restaurant and there will be Spam on the menu.
The Camping Issue: Because of it’s portability and sliceable demeanor, Spam was popular whenever we decided to hit the road. Fried Spam and Spam Musubi (more on this later) were old standbys. The important thing is that we tended to travel in large groups. So on any trip, even if my parents didn’t bring it along SOMEONE was bound to bring some.
You might think I’m sick of Spam, but I still get a hankering for Spam Musubi once in awhile. And now, an explanation for those who don’t know what that is. Think of Sushi Rolls, add some spam, and subtract the vinegar taste from the rice. That’s pretty much it.
Unlike sushi rolls, however, Spam Musubi is often rectangular. They sell these plastic rectangular molds (but you can make your own by cutting the Spam can into a suitable size). You put some rice into the mold, then a slice of fried spam (often seasoned with soysauce and sugar) and then some more rice. Press down on the mold top, then take some seaweed and wrap it around the outside. Great stuff.
Ok, for those who want something more normal, you can always make Spam Fried Rice. They also sell this in Hawaiian Restaurants and it’s just like normal fried rice except with Spam as the main meat ingredient. One thing, make sure to brown the spam cubes first if possible… it tastes a lot better.
The rub with Spam is that it is NOT cheap, which is surprising. Or maybe not. It’s meat in a can after all, and for that convenience (and tons of sodium nitrates) you are going to pay. Look for it on sale… or I think I may have mentioned that you can get Generic Spam which is cheaper and not surprisingly, tastes very similar to the real deal.
Found At: Albertson’s
Cheap Eats Score: 5/10