What's really in Spam?

What’s really in Spam?

Well after reading the parts about the oceanic I’ll like to reply with this:

My class visted my cities main art gallery and there was a cow made out of cans of Spam (or Corned Beef as its know here) and we got it explained to us why Pacific Islanders love spam…

Pacific Islanders like their spam because, when people come over for a party serving fish is seen as what a poor person would do because it is so common and cheap, this is their way of being cultured.

Hi LykaiosFreedom.

I’ll just point out that corned beef, while canned and of a similar texture, is actually made of beef, while real Spam is made with pork. Having said that, your calling it this may be a local colloquialism - which Pacific island are you on?

I’m actually from New Zealand, this guy who told us was from Samoa or the sorts. Thank for the info though.



I was not old or even born yet, but my father said, in world war 2, the British ate alot of Spam on their ships, because it was given to them by the americans as rations, but as the other food slowly ran out Spam was what they had alot of.
hence Monty Python’s saga about "Sam and eggs, spam and toast, Spam, Spam, "
etc. Anyway my father was English and that.s what I heard.

I’m not quite old enough to remember the war, but I remember enough from old magazines that I read as a child that I can say that, yes, Spam was a big running wartime gag.

We lived for 6 years on Saipan (same island chain as Guam) and Spam was big there. There was a Costco, and people would leave with an entire flat of the stuff. It was featured in many meals, even at school. We had a variety there I have never seen in any part of the lower 48 (and I’ve shopped in many states): Hot and Spicy Spam. Actually, it was pretty good fried. I have eaten spam occasionally, and if you gotta eat it, Hot and Spicy is the way to go. Interesting to read about visitors being repulsed by the stuff. In Micronesia, if you are offered food, you take it. To turn up you nose at anything, even if gross to our American tastes, is a great insult. So we had octopus, fruit bat (tiny piece) uncooked venison (marinated in acid so sort of cooked), and spam. I’ll take spam over octopus any day.

Why is that?

Spam is sort of meat, almost ham-like. Chewing octopus, on the other hand, is like chewing on fishy-tasting rubber bands. And the Chamorro (indiginous people to Saipan) octopus dish was kelaguen, lots of onions and boonie peppers, which do bad things to my stomach.
Spam can be hidden in a sandwich, camouflaged with bread and condiments.
Plus, my husband has a soft spot for octopi, so eating an octopus is like eating Otto the Octopus. Don’t want to do that.

I’ve never had octopus, but I have had squid, which I would imagine is very similar. If done right, squid is absolutely heavenly, but if done wrong, it’s rubber. I think, though I’m not sure, that the toughness comes from overcooking it.

Of course, that’s not much help if you’re served poorly-prepared tentacle-beast as a guest, and courtesy demands that you eat it.

I have had both squid and octopus more than once. While what you said about overcooking squid is absolutely accurate octopus is different. It definitley has more, ummm… tooth resistance than squid when properly cooked. So I would say it is more chewy for sure.

Well, actually a well cooked octupus is a delicacy of its own. Mediterranean cuisine is renowned for great octupus, and when done correctly (ceviche, ummmmmm)it is great. Spam on the other hand is a pretty mundane vehivle for delivering salt and fat, great with hash though.

Well, to get back to the question asked by the OP, here’s the official word from the Hormel SPAM website:

“SPAM® Classic is made of just a few simple ingredients. Ham, pork, sugar, salt, water, a little potato starch, and a mere hint of sodium nitrite to help SPAM® keep its color. Sounds delicious, and it is.”

I found it interesting that in two different autobiographies of German officers who
were Russian prisoners after WWII both were rapturous about Spam.
Both men stated that the Russians disliked Spam and that it was all given to
the German prisoners. The prisoners were always on the verge of starvation and the Spam provided needed calories and fat for their deficient diets. Both said that without the Spam they would not have survived the 5 years in prison camp.