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In the Can: It's Spam Week

Foodies welcome the first week of July with National Canned Luncheon Meat Week. Who’s up for a Spam sandwich? How about some deviled ham on toast?

Canned luncheon meats have been the butt of jokes for ages. Of these, Hormel’s Spam may be the best known, along with Underwood’s Deviled Ham. For generations, children have toted baggied sandwiches made from canned luncheon meats in lunch boxes on school buses.

Recently, of course, “spam” has taken on a new meaning as a tag for unwanted internet correspondence, often containing questionable content. (Readers may draw their own conclusions here.)

Folks still shell out for canned luncheon meats, particularly Spam. Check out these Spam recipes from several online food writers.

Barbeque Spam Casserole – Tina Gallagher
Humble Spam comes to my barbeques. Kids gobble it up until they find out what it is, and then it's too late to say, "I don't like it." They're surprised to find out they actually like the meat so many people talk about. Why not have Spam at your next barbeque? It's as American as apple pie. Here's a quick and tasty recipe.

Fried Rice with Spam Recipe – Darlene Smith
Fry together leftover meat, vegetables, Spam, and rice to make a wonderfully easy dinner. I call it Special Rice.

Spam Spread – Pat Burroughs
Sometimes when I'm in a bind for something fast to fix for lunch, I grab a can of Spam from the pantry and use it in a sandwich spread. My husband loves it, especially on toast.

Try this recipe for spam musubi, a Hawaiian variation of sushi. Spam musubi is basically a slice of grilled Spam placed on top of a block of rice and wrapped around with a piece of seaweed. A plastic mold is often used to press everything into shape but is not required.

Spam, the humble, meat-like substance in a can, makes a great casserole when paired with potatoes and cheese! Enjoy this Spam and Potato Casserole Recipe with your family.

Crunchy Spam Cheese Ball – Margie Lynn
This Crunchy Ham Cheese Ball is made with cream cheese, Spam, pecans or peanuts, mayonnaise and seasonings. This delicious appetizer is quick and easy to assemble. Crunchy Spam Cheese Ball is a great recipe to use for the holidays or any special occasion.
Have you ever tried Spam?

Sorry, but I won’t eat Spam these days. The gelatinous meat in a can is filled with fat, sodium, and calories. According to the product label, a two-ounce serving (one-sixth of a can) contains 180 calories, 16 grams of fat and 790 milligrams of sodium. Sure, there’s a lighter, lower-sodium version, but it’s not a whole lot better.

If I’m going hog wild and departing from my diet, I’d rather have bacon. Something about Spam brings back memories of college cafeterias and summer camp casseroles.

I can still remember opening my lunch sack and groaning to find two slices of Wonder Bread, packed with a chunk of Velveeta and a slab of Spam.

“Who wants to trade for a PB and J?” I’d ask my classmates at the school lunch table. And I never had any takers. Not one.

But this week, we celebrate National Canned Luncheon Meat Week.

Do you have any favorite Spam recipes? How do you camouflage this mystery meat to make it memorable at your table?

Spam photo by Matthew W. Jackson
Creative Commons Licensing/Wikipedia Commons Photos
Underwood’s Deviled Ham
Promo Picture/Fair Use Photo
Spam and Eggs by Arnold Gatilao
Creative Commons Licensing/Wikipedia Commons Photos

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