Monday, March 5, 2012

Foods To Eat Before You Die: #91 Spam

SPAM (SPiced hAM) was introduced to the world in 1937 and all social stigmata aside, it has been going strong since. This was the food item on my 101 foods list that I was looking forward to eating the least. It is a food that I associate with poverty. I grew up in a poor (monetary) household and we would have a can of this around occasionally, but I don't remember ever eating it. My cousins, who had even less money ALWAYS had a can of SPAM in their cupboards. When I think of SPAM, I think of opening a white cabinet with chipped paint and seeing cockroaches running across the face of the metal container. Not something people want to associate with any food.

As it turns out, SPAM still sells millions of cans. In Hawaii alone. But in, Iowa, where pigs outnumber humans, SPAM is not a prevalent as in the Pacific Islands. But this all makes sense. During WWII, GIs ate SPAM for every meal due to its ease of transport and long shelf life. For many, SPAM substituted but didn't replace fresh ham while overseas. 

But when they returned home, many stopped eating the product. In Hawaii, this is simply not the case. Many native islanders refer to SPAM as "The Hawaiian Steak". 

I have lived in Iowa my entire life and never had a need for using a pork replacement because Iowa is responsible for more than 25% of the US' pork products. First off, I really didn't know how people eat SPAM. I didn't want to start off by making a dish that masked the thing that I was checking off my list, so I started off simple. I cooked it on a skillet. The jelly that encapsulates the meat kept it soft and created a crust with the heat.

While my first taste of SPAM was incredibly salty, it wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be. In fact, it seemed to me like something that would be well-suited for an omelet or breakfast burrito, much like bacon. So I took a piece of the SPAM and chopped it up. Next I cooked it cooked it with a scrambled egg, melted some cheddar cheese over it, added some Sriracha and wrapped it up in a tortilla. It was pretty yummy.

Emery ate half a piece before she decided that she didn't want anymore

Tate Had Two Slices

1 comment:

  1. Sliced thin, fried, served between two slices of buttered bread. Simple is best.


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