Spam is on the rise. Yes, your email box is full, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking Spam – the one spelled with a capital S.
As grocery prices continue to rise through the roof, I’ve decided to bring back that often maligned meat in a can which was created in 1937 to feed the Allied troops during World War II.
Now, I don’t go that far back, but the name “Spam” takes me back to the 1950s when my mother would fry up slices of mystery meat and place them between two pieces of white bread. I actually liked “Spammiches” as we called them -which tells you my palate is not terribly sophisticated.
Spam fell into disfavor during the 50s and 60s as American tastes drifted toward T-bone steaks and salads made with a new dressing called Thousand Island.
Now, Spam’s maker, Hormel Foods, announced that it saw strong sales of Spam in the second quarter, helping push up its profits 14 percent. Spam sales were up 10.6 percent in the 12-week period ending May 3, compared to last year. In the last 24 weeks, sales were up nearly 9 percent. Yes folks, Spam is back!
To be honest, I didn’t know they still produced Spam, since its reputation went on the fritz. But there are numerous versions available today if you’re willing to get down on your knees in the grocery store. They put it way low down with the pricier meats at eye level. But it’s still there and you can buy it hot and spicy, reduced sodium, Lite Spam turkey and Spam spreads.
I went out a bought a can the other day and stuck it up under a head of lettuce, so people wouldn’t make fun of me. I brought it home and had some fun in the kitchen producing a sort of Spam sushi. I swear, it was pretty, and pretty good for a mystery meat that retails for about two bucks.
I learned that the product has its own fan club and a whole play list of songs. One I especially like is called “Pam, don’t take my Spam.”
“You can take my whisky and you can take my van, my yellow dog and my red neck jam, but Pam, please don’t take my Spam,” croons the country singer. “You can take my last clean dirty shirt and leave me in a world of hurt, but Pam please don’t take my Spam.” You can log onto Spam.com for some Spam good fun. There’s also a whole cache of recipes available. Here’s one to try:
Enchilada Breakfast Casserole
12 oz can SPAM - cubed 1/2" 4 eggs
1 small onion chopped 2 cups whipping cream
1 small green pepper, chopped 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 small tomato, chopped 4-oz can diced green chilies
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1/4 tsp garlic powder
8 7" flour tortillas Picante sauce
Place about 1/4 cup SPAM, 1 tablespoon onion, 1 tablespoon green pepper, 1 tablespoon tomato and 1 tablespoon cheese on one side of each tortilla. Set remaining cheese aside. Roll up jelly-roll fashion; place seam side down in greased 13×9″ baking dish. In small bowl combine remaining ingredients; blend together with wire whisk. Pour over enchiladas. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Heat oven to 350. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes or until egg mixture is set. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven; bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with picante sauce. Yield: 8 enchiladas. .