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SPAM.....Who buys it?

I find this to be a great mystery. Anyone I talk to makes a face when I mention buying a can of Spam. But every store I go into is well stocked with this canned meat. Someone must be buying it.
Is anyone care to 'fess up and/or share recipes? I am willing to admit that I enjoy fried Spam and eggs once in a while, and I seem to remember a dip that involved Spam, Velveeta and a food processor.

Anyone else?

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  1. That dip which involved spam, Velveeta and a food processor: are you sure there wasn't a (raw) whole fish in the recipe, too?

    1. Breakfast Sandwich. Lightly toasted sourdough bread, mayo, sliced beefsteak tomato, two thin pices of fried spam, and a fried egg. All together it tastes pretty good!

      1. The most disgusting recipe I have yet read (makes Kraft Dinner seem like haute cuisine):

        Categories: Main dish
        Yield: 8 servings

        1 pk Frozen french fry potatoes,
        -thawed (20 oz)
        2 c Shredded Cheddar cheese
        2 c Sour cream
        1 cn Condensed cream of chicken
        -soup (10 3/4 oz)
        1 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed
        -(12 oz)
        1/2 c Chopped red bell pepper
        1/2 c Chopped green onion
        1/2 c Finely crushed corn flakes

        Heat oven to 350'F. In large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, sour
        cream, and soup. Stir in SPAM, bell pepper, and green onion. Spoon
        into 13x9″ baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed flakes. Bake 30-40
        minutes or until thoroughly heated.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mrbozo

          My friend sent me this recipe. We both wondered if there wasn't some sort of processed ingredients that could be substituted for the apparently freshly chopped pepper and onion! Freshness seems so out-of-character for this particular recipe.

          1. re: nofunlatte

            you could buy both frozen chopped onion and frozen sliced bell peppers.

            Hawaii consumes more spam per capita than any other US state, although I think some of the Pacific Trust Territories may consume even more than that. Spam and egg sandwiches, Spam musubi, spam fried rice, fried spam as a breakfast meat, spam in saimin (ramen), you name it, we will find a way to use it here.

          2. re: mrbozo

            That recipe of Mrbozo's seems to need about 2 cups of Miracle Whip. Also surprising to see the use of corn flakes when one could easily use LaChoy canned Chow mein noodles. Then it could be labeled Chinese.

            1. re: FoodFuser

              For shame - you'd be sucking nutrition out of the dish by doing that, though admittedly one could stretch an extra serving or two with your additions.

            1. Where we live, grocery store flyers come out on Wednesdays. When Spam goes on sale, our Filipino relatives start phoning everyone and coordinating mass buys of the stuff. Much of it gets sent to the family back home. Same thing happens with Hereford corned beef.

              1. spam kabobs are my favorite... I just posted it on another thread, but it's no big mystery. You take a can of spam, cut it in chunks, and thread it on skewers with onion, pineapple and green pepper, then grill over charcoal. I think some people baste the skewers with barbecue or hoisin or teriyaki or something, but I don't. I like to serve these with kimchi and some kind of rice.

                1 Reply
                1. koreans and hawaiians love it. I'd die if i didn't have spam ever again ):

                  its tasty especially with seaweed and rice or with kimchi

                  1. I slice it, fry lightly, then make a very good sandwich with mayo, lettuce, pickle, etc., very good. I don't understand the snobishness surrounding it.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: cook52

                      Chop up a can of spam in your food processor. Mix with mayonnaise and sweet pickle relish. Spread on hot toasted English muffins. Yum!

                      1. re: pasuga

                        This is exaclty what my mom did when I wa a kid. Did noit have a food processpr- she used a meat grinder that screwed on to the kitchen table, and ground up onions, sweet pickles and spam. SErved on lightly toasted Italian bread- so good!

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              Very well could be- just remember her grinding up the spam.

                      2. Spam's great in fried rice (white-colored, not dark). Haven't had spam in ages, but I grew up with it as a kid. Spam and eggs. Spam musubi. Spam kim-bop. Spam and potatoes. Spam mac n cheese.

                        1. Spam is simply Spiced Ham. There is nothing weird about it people! Weird is liver, tripe, head cheese and pork rinds! Spam is completely normal and fabulous. Try it cut into cubes and hard fried in a pan. Add a sweet and sour sauce of your choice and pour it all over rice. Yum!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: PJ4

                            Spam is completely nitrates, sodium and glucose. Not that there's anything wrong with that if you're a younger person and this dietary aberration will be infrequent and/or of short duration. Otherwise ..

                            1. re: mrbozo

                              Not completely...

                              It has sugar, which technically has glucose in it (and fructose) but is a disaccheride. Glucose is a monosaccheride.

                              And many of your gourmet sausages and cured meats have nitrites. Yep it's high in sodium... adding up the salt and sodium nitrite, but compared to many Frankenfoods, Spam is surprisingly normal.

                              "Chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite"

                          2. Years ago, I got home from work one day tired and needed to cook dinner for my family. A grocery run was out of the question so I threw together some items in the pantry and refrigerator. I chopped Spam, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and peppers. Then I stir fried the veggies in a little oil. I added a drained can of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, chunk pineapple, the Spam and a mixture of powdered ginger, soy sauce, French salad dressing, and a little brown sugar. I added those to the veggies, and made some rice on the side.
                            That was probably 5-6 years ago and my family still requests it from time to time. Of course, I can never make it quite the same as the first time since I just threw it all in there. It's not my favorite but I still make it every once in a great while.

                            1. Several years ago while packing things to take to a rented beach cottage, I picked up a couple cans. The kitchen oven was horrid so I used the BBQ the whole time. Grilled spam with eggs and english muffins was pretty tasty. They guys had no clue what it was, but they snarfed it up.

                              1. I eat it, Kuai Family Restaurant (Seattle); fried on toast, mustard and mayo. I buy it also, but only one can a year (we can't always indulge to the degree we might want to).

                                1. I like it simply fried, eaten with hot rice and fried egg. About a decade ago, they released a spicy spam with Tabasco on Guam. It makes an awesome fried rice, and a lot of it.

                                  1. My aunt Pauline ... my aunt Pauline eats Spam.

                                    For two reasons, IMO.
                                    1. She got hooked on it during WWII when meat was hard to come by
                                    2. It is inexpensive ... she is tight with a penny

                                    Seriously, World War II is responsible for the popularity of SPAM. It is why it is popular in places where US soldiers were stationed ... like Hawaii and the Philippines.

                                    Here's the Wiki article about it with lots of interesting stuff ... I never knew there was Halal Spam of all things.

                                    The Spam page is kind of fun.

                                    1. There's something about Spam (saltiness, greasiness?) that makes it a great hangover food. It was always a staple at our New Year's Day brunch, which we dubbed "Spam-O-Rama."

                                      3 Replies
                                        1. re: 50sGuy

                                          Guess what, 50sGuy? There really is a Spam-O-Rama festival, held every year in Austin, TX and covered on the Food Network. For years, it was held around April Fools Day, but now Hormel has co-opted it, and intends to move it to an unspecified date in the Fall. Website is www.spamarama.org.

                                          1. re: Thefoodczar

                                            The TX affair is Spamarama, mine is Spam-O-Rama. Big difference! Nowadays, we do our Spam-O-Rama on superbowl Sunday and call it Super Spam-O-Rama.

                                            About half our guests won't touch the stuff, the other half loves it. Not much in between, I guess.

                                        2. Highest per capita consumption in the world for Spam is in Hawaii. My assumption is that alot of that stuff passed through the Islands during WWII on its way to our starved troops throughout the Pacific theatre. Being that Hawaii was one of the major staging areas for troops, equipment, armaments, and supplies, I'm sure a fair amount of it stayed there, being shuffled off to the locals who used their Island inventiveness in creating many dishes with Spam. Refrigeration was always an issue in the tropics back then, so salted, canned and/or preserved foodstuffs were a matter of course in the average Islander's diet.

                                          Spam musubi is probably the most popular use of Spam - once you try it, you'll crave it and grab it whenever offered... and Spam will have a positive connotation for the rest of your life...

                                          15 Replies
                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                            ok, I'll bite - what is spam musubi??

                                            1. re: pasuga

                                              Musubi is a triangular rice ball made with hot Japanese rice and a bit of salt; place a chunk of Spam in the middle for Spam musubi.

                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                I dunno, Sam, my experience with Spam musubi is that it looks like a giant demented piece of nigiri sushi. It starts with a rectangular cake of sticky rice with slightly rounded corners, I suspect because the Spam can was the original musubi press. That's topped with a slice of fried Spam, maybe with a little teriyaki sauce in between, and the whole thing is wrapped with a wide strip of nori. Like this: http://www.platelunch.net/blogs/media...

                                                Broke da mout for under $2. What's not to like?

                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                  This is the spam musubi that I remember! I liked the stuff a lot, but it may have been the novelty of it.

                                                  Nope, I thought about it. I like Spam. May be an Asian gene thing. I don't eat it very regularly, but I'll eat it if presented with it, and enjoy it.

                                                  1. re: moh

                                                    Looks OK, but musubi is traditionally formed using two hands and less than a rice bowl of rice, rusulting in the squared triangle shape. I'd use "giant demented piece of nigiri-like of Spam and gohan ".

                                                      1. re: moh

                                                        I guess something to consider about comfort foods like Spam musubi is that there's no regulatory authority dictating the parameters of the specific shape, size, or ingredients that go into this. Unlike say, pizza from Naples or balsamic vinegar from Modena where specific guidelines must be followed, this is homey "what do we have left in the pantry that will make a decent meal or side dish for today's local gardeners' federation picnic?" kind of food. I don't think every family that makes Spam musubi has their own unique take on it - the components are just three in its most basic form: grilled or cooked Spam, rice, and nori (regular are seasoned (ajitsuke). But as those of us that are familiar with this piece of our humble childhood, we've all seen some variations.

                                                        The basic triangular shaped has its advantages - with a rectangular-shaped cut of Spam, some moms would purposely sandwich the oversized piece to hang out of the sides of the musubi - this increases the meat/rice ratio on a lot of the bites. Some would cut the Spam to the approximate size of the finished musubi - neat and very Japanese-y but not a Manwich-like musubi. My guess would be that the anal tidiness gene that so many Asian moms are implanted with kicks in to hyperdrive, blinding them of the potential bliss that the extra portion of Spam would create.

                                                        Rectangular musubi are like a Spam sandwich bound together with a ribbon of regular or ajitsuke nori. You're practically guaranteed a piece of Spam in every bite, but they often tend to be victims of structural unsoundness - they will start to flop and fall apart in the hands of a novice. If the Spam slice is on the thin side and if the ribbon of nori is too narrow, this musubi will bow to gravity - I eat it in its horizontal position but all the time palming it in the cradle of my hand (the other hand - my good hand - is holding either a can of soda or preferably a beer).

                                                        I've had Spam musubi where the mom obviously took great care and pride in panfrying the Spam to develop a nice crust on it (patina just doesn't seem to fit this humble food). Others will do the "teri" thing to it. Oftentimes it is embellished with other seasoned nori like Tsukudani, some anointed with a dab of hot Chinese mustard or plum paste, some with the rice portion rolled in sesame seeds, and I see kids dipping Spam musubi in ketchup - later in life they will realize that this act was a slap in the respective mom's face...

                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                          Sounds similar to the dietary frolic some of us enjoy with Kraft Dinner (as is covered in-depth in another thread).

                                                          Spam's not my thing, but corned beef in a tin, don't get me started ... (again something for another thread)

                                                      2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                        Sam, L&L Hawai'ian BBQ called. Your job interview for the position as their marketing director has been cancelled.

                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                          Wassamadda dem? Dey wanna some kine haole guy who like BIG spam on some kine Waimanalo musubi.

                                                  2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    spam musubi is a "hapa" food, so it doesnt really conform to true musubi form. The rice is formed into a rectangle, slightly larger than the spam slice...so roughly 2 by 3 inches, maybe a half inch thick. A quarter inch thick slice of fried spam is placed on top, then wrapped with an inch wide strip of seaweed (nori) to hold it together.

                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      It can also be made with the seaweed fully covering the musubi. Great snack food to pack up for a ski trip. Have had it both ways, w/just a strip of nori or wrapped in a full sheet.

                                                2. re: bulavinaka

                                                  Are you sure that Hawaii has the highest per capita consumption. I thought Guam did.

                                                  1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                    I grew up hearing the same thing on Guam. That and we consume the most Tabasco per capita and drink more Pepsi than Coke. Honestly, I don't know.

                                                    1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                      I heard this stat straight from the mouth of a spokeswomen for Spam at a Spam national cook-off event that was televised a few years back. Now she very well might have meant, "of the 50 states..." Since Guam is part of the US but not a state, who knows... but you get my point...

                                                  2. A better question is ... Who doesn't buy Spam?

                                                    21 Replies
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      I have never bought Spam, or eaten Spam.

                                                      1. re: swsidejim


                                                        I think you owe it to yourself to try it at least once.

                                                        Is it the epitome of great food? Hell no. But it's interesting enough, and has enough food history pedigree, that it's worthy one can ... right?

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          my wife from the phillipines says they used to eat it alot growing up, but there is just something about canned meat I cannot get into.

                                                          1. re: swsidejim

                                                            I hear you on that point. When you pop open the can it does look mighty disgusting.

                                                            In many ways, Spam isn't all that different from ... pet food. Heavily spiced "meat" in a can ...


                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              I have nothing against Spam, other than my aversion to canned meat, perhaps it is good, but I doubt I guess will never know.

                                                              1. re: swsidejim

                                                                We of the Canned Pork Brotherhood do indeed beg and beseech that you not abandon the idea before you try the ultimate rendition: The Fried Spam sandwich.

                                                                Two slices of Spam, cut 1/3" thick, pan seared to perfection to add a crunchy seal to the toothsome interior of the meat. If fully seared, you will notice the same sensation that hot dog lovers seek in a natural casing dog, that certain "pop".

                                                                These two slices will fit perfectly between 2 slices of Wonder Bread that have been slathered with mayo. Trimming the bread crust. while not mandatory, does indeed allow the sensate user to focus on only the three important textures of the bread, mayo, and crusted Spam.

                                                                A few tips for the first time user:

                                                                - Run some hot water over the unopened can to melt the gelatin layer encompassing the brick of meat inside.

                                                                - For the perfect sear, use the can rim as a cutting guide to give a smooth face and uniform slice thickness, both of which are critical for the perfect sear. Indeed , a "tapered" slice will elicit embarrassed mumbles and averted eyes from judges at the spam cookoff.

                                                                - Observe caution if using this product in the vicinity of people who are native to Pacific islands of previous US military occupation, lest they return to previous levels of spam consumption. In other words, watch out for relapse on the part of your wife.

                                                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                  Curious, but have you ever tried frying spam with a batter coating?

                                                                  Sort of like a "Spam-pura" (as in Spam + tempura)

                                                            2. re: swsidejim

                                                              Without a doubt, your wife loves canned "Vienna sausages".

                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                Vienna Sausages!! We used to keep those in the cabinet at the lake, for quick eating. They were right alongside the canned tamales. I have discovered that a vienna sausage wrapped in a thwock biscuit makes a really nice pig in blanket.

                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                  you are correct, I have not figured out the seeming allure of canned meats to the Filipino's I have met. But then again they probably think some items of my diet are odd as well.

                                                                2. re: swsidejim

                                                                  You, sir, are in need a SPAM epiphany. It can come in saimin, or on a kebab, or in fried rice. You can't plan it. You shouldn't even try to anticipate it. If you know it's coming, it can't occur. But one of these days if you're lucky you will bite into a nugget of salty, fatty, porky goodness, and your spamophobia will vanish like atomized grease under a powerful vent hood. It's all downhill from there.

                                                            3. re: ipsedixit

                                                              Sam a lot of Vets don't buy Spam, that's who. It's in the same category as C-rations for me. Only fit for target practice. There are too many delicious real foods to eat instead in this short life that we live. Eat, drink and be merry........Keep the Spam in the can for national emergencies.
                                                              Mod squad, please don't edit me again. Vets don't like it!

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                My guess is that the average vet out in the field wouldn't be making alot of the above-mentioned dishes or using the techniques to transform this underappreciated food. I would definitely see the aversion to this if I were to open a can and be greeted by that jellified mess - but there's potential beauty if you know how to wipe away the mess and gussy it up. Moreover, I think our folks in the armed forces have some pretty decent chow nowadays - I couldn't see even considering Spam when given all of the other choices. I just hope one of these days you get a chance to try Spam in a dish at its best form...

                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                  You can tie a ribbon around it and put a sack over it but it is still what it is. I like to know what I'm eating. If I choose to have tripe or lung, etc. in my Pho, then fine. I choose it and I can see it. With Spam you have (?) mixed in with enough palatable meats to make it edible.
                                                                  I like Spam about as much as bologna. As Pass said there is some much more out there. YMMV.

                                                                  BTW: Vets end up with enough cues to remind them of a difficult time in their life, as it is. There, but for the grace of God, go I. May you always eat venison tenderloin if you wish, Pass and may all Spam be used for target practice.

                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                    I know folks in war have lots of cues to remind them of difficult times... my dad survived three ship sinkings when he was conscripted to run supplies to the Philippines, and the A-bomb in HIroshima... he still can't eat grilled chicken - reminds him too much of a lot of bad bad memories... still, he has no issues with the taste of well-prepared Spam - he just needs to watch the salt...

                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                  Pax: cold c-rats (like Meals Rejected by Ethiopians) are supposed to keep body and soul together until better food is available. They're not the highest expression of the ingredients involved.

                                                                  If you developed an aversion, it's your prerogative not to eat the stuff. But four generations of vets in my family are SPAM fans.

                                                                  (Hold hands and sing) All we are saying, is give SPAM a chance...

                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    What the Pho! Meat in a can is a perversion. I belong to the First Church of Pure Meat. Shoot it, gut it, skin it, and fry or stew it up. Now that's communion...with nature. Gimme some nice fresh thinly sliced beef and go PHO BO!
                                                                    As Patrick Henry said, "Gimme Pho or give me Spam(Death)!

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                      Have you ever canned part of the hunt for future use? Nothing gives a better stew then chunks of tough meat that have been home canned.

                                                                      1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                        No, I jerk it out. Nothing better on a cold winter's evening than New Mexico style posole or red chile made w/ deer jerky. This is the food beer was invented for!

                                                                    1. re: malibumike

                                                                      diff memories, diff place, diff world

                                                                3. I fry spam with butter & onion and make grilled cheese sandwiches... I'm getting hungry!

                                                                  1. Spam is a guilty pleasure of mine. My dad used to bring it along on camping trips and grill up slices on the BBQ. I still buy it every now and again -- it's great for fried rice especially. Spam musubis are good too, especially with a light slathering of teriyaki sauce.

                                                                    As someone has already mentioned, it's huge in Hawaii. We have a handful of Hawaiian transplants at my office in San Francisco, and they make their run to L&L every now and then to get their fix.

                                                                    We have a relatively high turn-over rate, so we're always hiring newbies, many of whom have just moved to SF from the midwest for some reason. Soon enough, the topic of Spam will come up during our daily discussion of what to have for lunch, and the newbies always react negatively to the thought of actually eating it. At least until we make them try it. Most love it enough to keep a can of it at home.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: aburitoro

                                                                      I was introduced to SPAM by a friend of mine as an afternoon snack. Sweet fried plaintains, toss the SPAM in the same oil and deep fry. Serve with a pina colada. I tried to make it at home and it wasn't the same. Now its become a traditional meal whenever she's in town.

                                                                    2. We buy low sodium spam and serve it with eggs sometimes. I also like to cut it into thick strips, roll it in those crescent roll squares..bake and serve as a snack..dip in mustard! Hey, we enjoy it.

                                                                      1. Train Wreck-- mix diced (1/4") spam, hashbrowns, some diced onions, and eggs, fry with some stirring until the eggs are set, toss in a can of diced tomatoes and heat until the moisture is adsorbed. Great breakfast dish.

                                                                        1. Spam candy is tasty.

                                                                          In the competition barbeque world, cooks make what's called pig candy. That's bacon smoked until halfway cooked, glazed with brown sugar and chili powder and cooked until crisp.

                                                                          I recently tried the same idea at a contest with Spam. Several dozen brave people bought a sample during the People's Choice vote. Some of them came back and voted for my team simply because they loved the Spam candy so much. We won the People's Choice award, incidentally. I'm sure our pulled pork, brisket, chicken and ribs had nothing to do with it...

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Professor Salt

                                                                            Bought a sample? They paid to try your Spam candy?

                                                                            1. re: Scargod

                                                                              sheesh, i'd pay to eat that.

                                                                              prof. salt: It looks fantastic!

                                                                              1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                                Looks like ceramic tiles to me... might be good for skeet...

                                                                                Above Bulavinaka says,"the taste of well-prepared Spam".
                                                                                Isn't that oxymoronic? Please pass the salt. I'm going to limit myself to one slice.

                                                                                I sure am having fun at the expense of Spam lovers.

                                                                          2. Good news for those of you who have never tried Spam. It is now being sold as singles. One slice of spam in a foil pouch. It is not rectangular like the canned stuff. It is square, just the size for a sandwich on white bread. Just saw it in SuperFresh today. I will try to attach a pic I took w/my phone

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                                Spam by the slice? That's like selling ice cream per spoonful!

                                                                                1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                                  They had it at my 99 cent store.

                                                                                  I've never had Spam so I bought a slice... still haven't pulled the trigger ; )

                                                                                  1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                                    Wow ... great idea. I'll put a few away for emergency eats. When the big one hits SF, it's spam sandwiches.

                                                                                  2. My wife tells me I was mistaken in my original post. It wasn't Spam and Velveeta. It was Spam and Cheezwiz!