Monday, February 15, 2010
A Mr. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly from Ottumwa Iowa asks....
Dear Mr. Knowitall...What is Spam?
Dear Walter, I hope you mean that delectable canned Bit-O-Heaven Spam, and NOT the PC Spam, cause I am very Low-Tech!
The year was 1937, at the George A. Hormel meat packing company, thousands of pounds of pork shoulders were piling up in the coolers. Executives at the company brainstormed the idea to take the shoulders, chop them up, add spices and chopped parts from the rest of the pig, and form it into small 'ham-like' loaves. Put it in a can and fill the excess space with gelatin from the skin and bones from the pig!
They thought that you could probably keep this product edible for months without refridgeration...They were right! They tried it and it WORKED. Hormels tasty spiced ham quickly found a niche in the market, considering that many American homes didn't own an electric ice box yet.
But pig parts were piling up at at other meat packers warehouses as well, and they also produced a chopped formed tasty 'Treat'. Afraid of being lost in the canned pork shuffle, Hormel offered a $ 100.00 prize to come up with a catchy name. Somebody came up with turning the "Spiced Ham" into...SPAM!!
But in the late 30's Americans ate mostly basic natural food, and this canned chopped clump meat seemed pretty gross to most, and sales weren't what company officials had hoped for....Then came WWII.
Because it was cheap, portable, and didn't need refridgeration, Spam was perfect to send to the G.I.'s overseas. It quickly found it's way into the Army mess halls, and many G.I.'s swore that they would NEVER eat that crap ever again.
But ya know, evidence suggests otherwise! Forced to eat canned pork over a period of several years, many troops developed a taste for it, and after the war sales of Spam shot up dramatically!
THIS MUCH IS TRUE.....
*Americans eat 3.8 cans of Spam every second, thats 122 Million cans a year!
*Spam has a 75% of the canned meat market share.
*Since 1937, more than 5 Billion cans of Spam have been sold worldwide.
*To this day it is WILDLY popular in most Pacific Nations. In Korea, young men go a courting with Spam as if it were wine or chocolate!
*Former Russian Premier Nikita Khruschev, credited Spam with keeping their troops alive during WWII, because they couldn't produce any crops or food.
*And the most amazing fact of all...There are NO eyes, lips, ears, snouts, brains, any any other gross pig parts in Spam! It is ONLY Pork Shoulder, Ham, Salt, Sugar, and Sodium Nitrate.
Good Question Walter, I suddenly have the overwelming urge to travel to Hawaii. But not now, because Mr. Knowitall grows weary....