05-16-2016 Journal–Happy Birthday to SPAM!   Leave a comment

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No, I’m not celebrating computer Spam, that would be stupid.  I’m celebrating my all time favorite meat product much loved and much hated around the world.  I began my love affair with SPAM while in the service of our great country. The Army introduced me to discipline, mean DI’s (drill instructors ), forced marches, and much, much, more including SPAM. My love for SPAM was one of the only things I left the Army with except for a bag of really ugly olive green clothing.

Many people, my better-half included, hate SPAM. I’ve never understood why because it’s freaking delicious.  Since this blog is dedicated to all categories of trivia I thought it only fair you learn something about SPAM today on it’s birthday. I collected a great deal of information from around the Net and elsewhere on this subject and here it is.

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  • George A. Hormel & Co introduces SPAM on this date in  1891 although it wasn’t marketed until 1937.
  • During WW II, Hormel sold more than half of its output to the U.S. government, which supplied SPAM to the armed forces of the U.S., and also to the U.S.S.R. under the lend-lease program.
  • A convenient source of protein that required no refrigeration, 100 million pounds of SPAM were shipped to Allied troops during World War II. Russian president Nikita Khrushchev is quoted as saying, “Without SPAM, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”

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  • No one outside the company really understands what the name SPAM represents. While people have posited “Something Posing As Meat” and “Specially Processed Artificial Meat,” the title is likely derived from the words “spiced ham” or an acronym for “Shoulders of Pork And Ham.”
  • To distinguish Hormel’s "spiced ham" from similar products, the company held a contest to come up with a unique name. Kenneth Daigneau, brother of a Hormel executive, won the $100 prize with ‘SPAM.’
  • Hormel produces 44,000 cans of SPAM every single hour. If that sounds like a lot, consider the facts that the canned good is available in 41 countries and comes in 14 varieties. Despite what critics may say, the world loves “Swine Parts and More!”

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‘SPAM Sir-fry’

  • The 1 billionth can of SPAM was sold in 1959.
  • The 6 billionth can was produced in 2002.
  • The 7 billionth can was sold in 2007.
  • In 2012 SPAM was being sold in more the 44 countries.
  • Hawaii ranks highest amongst the states in SPAM consumption, downing seven million cans a year. Found in grocery stores, on the McDonald’s menu, and featured at high-end restaurants, Spam should probably be added to the state flag.

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‘SPAM & French Fries Casserole’

  • Richard LeFevre holds the world record for eating SPAM by eating 6 pounds in 12 minutes.
  • In the United States alone, 3.6 cans of SPAM are consumed every second, making it the number one product in its category (canned meat) by far.
  • On the island of Guam, more than eight cans of SPAM are consumed by every person each year.
  • West Yellowstone sponsors the ‘SPAM Cup’ cross country ski race, with the winner receiving one can of SPAM.

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‘SPAM Sushi’

  • In addition to the U.S., spam is produced in 7 other countries: Australia, Denmark, UK, Japan, Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan. SPAM is distributed in more than 50 countries.
  • The SPAMJAM Cafe opened in February 2004 in the Philippines. Except for hot dogs, French fries and desserts, all other menu items are made with SPAM, including SPAM Burger, SPAM Hero, SPAM Club, SPAM Spaghetti, SPAM Baked Macaroni, SPAM Nuggets and SPAM Caesar Salad.

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‘Only True SPAM Lover’s Can Pull These Off’

  • SPAM even has a mascot — Spammy, the miniature pig. In 1991, for its 100th anniversary, Hormel Foods opened the First Century Museum. The exhibit of SPAM memorabilia quickly became the most popular.
  • SPAM has earned a place in pop culture history partially thanks to the Brits. The canned creation made its television debut on "Monty Python’s Flying Circus" in 1970.
  • A collector’s edition SPAM — Stinky French Garlic — was introduced to celebrate the opening of "SPAM lot" in London. Not shockingly, the stinky SPAM tasted far better than anything else in the culinary-challenged country.

So there you have it. Everything you ever needed to know about SPAM but were afraid to ask.  I love it so much I always have at least one can hidden away in the house. Once my better-half goes to work I’ll get it out and prepare any one of a dozen recipes I love.  My all time favorite is my version of SPAM Fried Rice and it’s to die for.

MORE SPAM . . . MORE SPAM . . . MORE SPAM

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