First things first, here’s a visual prompt to get your mouths watering and bellies rumbling.
Now that this flavourful, savoury treat is all you can think of, let’s get down to business. What is SPAM, and why is it so amazing?
Cooked Meat In A Can
Contrary to common belief, SPAM isn’t a chemical concoction filled with artificial preservatives. It’s actually a cooked product made from minced meat.
In fact, the official website states that this canned meat contains only 6 ingredients: cooked pork (two different cuts: pork shoulder and ham), salt, water, potato starch (to keep the meat moist), sugar and sodium nitrite (a common preservative).
The preparation process is also surprisingly simple: mix everything up, heat it, seal the can, then cook and cool.
Pro Tip: Since SPAM is already cooked, that means, you can just eat it straight from the can!
History Interesting Trivia!
Surely it’s crossed your mind at least once, but why the name, and is the similarity with the (much more unpopular) emails clogging up our inbox of any relevance?
Among the several theories of how the name “SPAM” came about, the most popular ones are that it is an acronym for SPiced hAM, or that it stands for Specially Processed American Meat.
As for why junk mail is also called spam, we have a short Monty Python sketch (coined a “bizarre bit of comedic genius”) to thank.
With its repetitive chorus going “Spam, spam, spam, spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!”, this nonsensical jingle has become associated with the metaphor for mass-delivered, unsolicited emails.
Why Is It So Popular In South Korea?
SPAM has become a staple of South Korean life, in which the country is currently the biggest consumer aside from USA.
It was originally introduced to Korea by the US army during the Korean War, when food was scarce – and meat even scarcer. Back then, people used whatever they could find to make a meal, and it was favoured for its convenience.
Thankfully, times have changed and there are now countless ways of preparing SPAM.
So How Do You Eat SPAM?
Simple comfort food for a cold night? SPAM ramen or diced SPAM in fried rice. Craving for some sinful carbs? Just whip up some SPAM fries!
For the more adventurous chefs, experiment with fusions of different cuisines to get amazing results like SPAM sushi and SPAM pizza.
For first-timers, the pale pink appearance of cold SPAM in the can may take some time (and courage) to get used to; but hardcore SPAM fans swear by this versatile miracle food.
What do you think of this long-standing debate? Is it a yay or nay for SPAM? Share your secret recipes or mind-blowing meal combos with us!
Satisfy your cravings now, and embark on your SPAM MasterChef journey starting here.