Thursday, April 03, 2008

Spam

No, I'm not talking about the internet spam nor email, but I'm talking about the Spam the food.

Watched Discovery Travel & Living about Hawaiian tourism, and they have this special event called Spam Jam Waikiki.

What is Spam Jam Waikiki?

The Waikiki Spam® Jam is a street festival that celebrates the people of Hawaii's love for Spam®, a canned meat from Hormel Foods. In Hawaii, you will find Spam® at all grocery and convenience stores, many restaurants and in most homes in Hawaii.

This street festival is great for all ages, as the event includes Hawaii's top restaurants, two stages with free entertainment,and a variety of Hawaiian
crafter. This is also a special event that benefits the Hawaii Food Bank, the
largest non-profit in Hawaii that feeds the needy.

According to fist time visitor to Spam Jam Waikiki, the taste of Spam is salty goodness and meaty and I was thinking that maybe it has same taste to canned corned beef.

Beside Hawaii, there is also Spam Jam celebration in Austin, Minnesota.

SPAM Jam (formerly known as Cedar River days) is a yearly festival of the popular meat product Spam. It is held in Austin, Minnesota, where Hormel food company produces the meat.

The festival spans from July 1 to July 7 and includes fireworks, parades, games, a carnival, and of course, the mysterious meat itself. Each year, those who enter the city during the festivities are likely to see copious amounts of blue and yellow (the colors of the packaging), and myriad dancing men and women in large SPAM can costumes.

The 2005 event hosted such guests as Bill Nye the Science Guy, Kurtwood Smith, Jerry Turner the auditor and Jim Belushi. Highlighting the 2007 event is the second annual SPAM Fritters eating competition, with 2006 Champion David "Processed Meat Paws" Stauber returning to defend his title mark of 856 fritters (87.1 lbs).

What is it about Spam that people love so much?

SPAM luncheon meat is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The labelled ingredients in the Classic variety of Spam are: chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite to help "keep its color". The product has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it part of pop culture and folklore.

Varieties of Spam vary by region and include Spam Black Pepper, Spam Less Sodium, Spam Garlic, Spam and Cheese, Spam with Bacon (Hormel bacon), Spam Spread, Spam Fritters, Spam Lite (containing pork and chicken), Spam Golden Honey Grail, Spam Hot and Spicy (with Tabasco sauce), Spam Hickory Smoked, and Spam Oven Roasted Turkey - the latter is also available as halal food (see the halal sign on cans), meaning that it is permissible under Islamic law, and is especially popular in Muslim markets.

Spam is produced in (among other places) Austin, Minnesota, USA (also known as Spam Town USA). In 2002, the six billionth can of Spam was sold. Spam for the UK market is produced in Denmark by Tulip under license from Hormel.

Name origin

Introduced on July 5, 1937, the name "Spam" was chosen in the 1930s when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name Spam was "Shoulder of Pork And haM". According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam – The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president, who was given a $100 prize for coming up with the name. At one time, the official explanation may have been that the name was a syllabic abbreviation of "SPiced hAM", but on their official website, Hormel states that "Spam is just that. Spam."

Many jocular backronyms have been devised, such as "Something Posing As Meat" and "Spare Parts Animal Meat." "Special Purpose Army Meat" has been suggested as another apocryphal backronym referring to the product's WWII roots. Another humorous substitute is Solidified Processed Additional Meats.

According to Hormel's trademark guidelines, Spam should be spelled with all capital letters and treated as an adjective, as in the phrase "SPAM luncheon meat". As with many other trademarks, such as Xerox or Kleenex, people often refer to similar meat products as "spam". Regardless, in practice, "spam" is generally spelled and used as a proper noun.

International usage

As of 2003, Spam is sold in 41 countries worldwide. The largest consumers of Spam are the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

United States and territories

In the United States, the residents of the state of Hawaii and the territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) consume the most Spam per capita. On average, each person on Guam consumes 16 tins of Spam each year and the numbers at least equal this in the CNMI. Guam, Hawaii, and Saipan, the CNMI's principal island, have the only McDonald's restaurants that feature Spam on the menu; Burger King now offers Spam on their breakfast menu as well. One popular Spam dish in Hawaii is Spam musubi, in which cooked Spam is combined with rice and nori seaweed and classified as onigiri.

In Hawaii, Spam is so popular it is sometimes dubbed "The Hawaiian Steak." It is traditionally reheated (cooked), resulting in a different taste than Spam eaten by many Americans on the mainland, who may eat Spam cold. Burger King, in Hawaii, began serving Spam in 2007 on its menu to compete with the local McDonald's chains.

Spam was introduced into these areas, in addition to other islands in the Pacific such as Okinawa and the Philippine Islands, during the U.S. military occupation in World War II. Since fresh meat was difficult to get to the soldiers on the front, World War II saw the largest use of Spam. GIs started eating Spam for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Some soldiers referred to Spam as "ham that didn't pass its physical" and "meatloaf without basic training.") Surpluses of Spam from the soldiers' supplies made their way into native diets. Consequently, Spam is a unique part of the history and effects of U.S. influence in the Pacific

Europe

n the United Kingdom Spam was a popular addition to the menu of fish and chip shops, where slices are battered and deep-fried and are known as 'spam fritters', However this tradition has faded out in recent decades. It gained popularity in the 1940s during World War II, during the Lend-Lease Act.

Australia

Spam is popular on camping or fishing trips and is sold quite regularly in Australia. It is popular with breakfast, particularly eggs or barbecued and served with barbecue sauce. Due to the fairly large Asian and European community, spam is often prepared in an Asian or European way, e.g. with Eggs and Rice or deep fried in batter and served with chips or in a burger.

Asia

Japan

n Okinawa, Japan, Spam has become very popular for much the same reason as in Hawaii. Spam is even used in the traditional Okinawan dish chanpuru-, and there is also a Spam burger sold by local fast food chain Jef.

China

In China, Spam is also a rather popular food item, being served as a sort of Western cuisine. It is often used in sandwiches.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, Spam is commonly used to serve with instant noodles and fried eggs, and is a popular item in cha chaan teng.

Philippines

In the Philippines, Spam is a popular meal, especially when eaten with eggs and fried rice and is often eaten as a breakfast.

South Korea

In South Korea, Spam (Hangul: 스팸; Revised Romanization: seupaem) is popular in households as an accompaniment to rice. A television ad claimed that it is the most tasty when consumed with white rice and gim (laver seaweed used for some type of handrolls). It is also an original ingredient for budae jjigae (lit. "army base stew"), a spicy stew with different types of preserved meat. In fact, Spam is so popular that according to "Why Does Popcorn Pop?" by Don Voorhees, Spam is used more often as gifts than chocolate.

Spam and similar meat preserves can also be bought in gift sets that may contain nothing but the meat preserve[16] or include other victuals such as food oil or tuna. When invited to somebody else's home, guests may present their hosts with a set like this, or with other food gifts such as fresh fruit, beverages or tteok.

The surfeit of Spam in both Koreas during the Korean War led to the establishment of the Spam sushi roll. With no more fish or other traditional sushi products, Spam was put in a rice roll together with pickle and cucumber and wrapped in seaweed. Even in Australia, Korean shops sell these as sushi rolls, in lieu of the traditional style of Japanese sushi rolls.

Uhm... Spam anyone?

3 comments:

Elyani said...

I've never been a big fan of any processed, canned luncheon meat like SPAM or any other brand for that matter. You just never know what goes into those meats. Am not a vegetarian but not a meat lover either. So, No SPAM for me :)

Andie Summerkiss said...

I can confirm that Spam is popular in Philippine.

I don't really eat processed meat. But I am sure they are yummy! One day I should try them :)

Sandy C. said...

I can't believe there's a festival! :) I've never tried it, but I hear it's not half bad!