Pacific Ties: An Ode to SPAM

SPAM.  No, I am not talking about the hundreds of junk email that you receive on a daily basis.  I am talking about the pink meat that comes in the blue can.

First introduced to the American public in 1937 as “HORMEL Spiced Ham”, SPAM has survived the Great Depression, World War II, the psychedelic turbulence of the 60’s, and the hair metal bands of the 80’s.  Since then, SPAM has gone global.

SPAM Luncheon Meat has been a fixture in my diet for as long as I can remember.  SPAM with rice, in soups, the occasional salad when I’m dieting, California rolls, and whatever else I can think of at the time.  And I cannot forget my discovery of SPAM musubi while I lived in Hawaii.  Made of simply of rice, seaweed wrap, and a fried slice of SPAM, it is an ode to THE MEAT.

You may be asking yourself, “What’s with the love?”  The answer is simple:  SPAM is getting a bad reputation.  I am here to defend it.  Sure, it’s mystery meat.  Yes, there is that gelatin that coats it.  And it really has no nutritional value.  But, it has its good qualities.  It’s easy to prepare, can replace meat in any recipe, portable, and cheap.  On a college budget and the raise in tuition, how else can you survive?

Some of you know what I am talking about.  Those of you who go to the grocery store and sneak that can of SPAM into the cart, or those who cannot walk past the monument of SPAM in an Asian market without paying homage.  There is a reason why Hawaii and some Asian countries have the highest consumption of SPAM in the world.  Some even consider it a delicacy.

I can remember so many mornings, the smell of SPAM traveling into my room and awakening me from deep slumber.  I would go into the kitchen and watch my mother fry up my breakfast, and then she would send me off to school with my SPAM California roll.  SPAM is a link to my past; it is a part of me.

SPAM is also a part of your identity.  Do not deny it any longer!

I am here to beg you all to let go of your inhibitions, go against the norm, and declare your love for SPAM.  Put on your SPAM memorabilia, visit the SPAM museum in Austin, Minn., learn the history at, join the fan club, walk down the sidewalk carrying SPAM on a fork, or simply open a can, fry up a few slices, and enjoy your delicious meal.  Whatever you do, do it true to SPAM.

In conclusion, quoting the great and fantastic band Save Ferris, “Forget your O-S-C-A-R. There’s one meat by-product that’s best by far.  It’s S-P-A-M!”