Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday’s Cupful: SPAM

A can of porky flavors

Opening a can of the stuff will present you with a pink-colored mystery meat. Hormel’s SPAM (short for spiced ham) mainly contains cooked and processed pork shoulder and ham. This food item first appeared on the market in July 1937. Some would describe it as one of America’s most visible brands. U.S. forces brought and passed out the meat product in the U.K. and other war-torn regions during WWII. This may be why the canned meat is a staple food in Hawaii and Guam.

Today, this tasty meat product has become a pop-culture icon. Most of this canned meat is produced and manufactured in Austin, Minn., and experts estimate that roughly four cans are consumed every second in the U.S. Look for a soft meat consistency and a gelatinous coating to the rectangular meat loaves. It can be eaten right out of the can; however, aficionados usually fry slices and serve them as a breakfast meat or in sandwiches. Meanwhile, Hawaiians love their SPAM Musubi.

This food item has always been a convenient, savory, and tasty canned meat product that also has a very long shelf-life. The canned meat is available in 12 oz cans or 7 oz cans at most major supermarkets. The only other ingredients are water and sodium nitrate, which preserves the pink color and prevents the growth of bacteria.

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