Despite popular belief not a mystery meat


Matt Allen

Nicely Fried Spam

Everyone has heard of this sodium-rich luncheon meat, but very few have actually eaten SPAM. For those that don’t have much money, SPAM is a cheap option in order to get some protein, an incredible shelf life, and a variety of uses.

Its roots back to the second world war. Originally made in 1937 by the Hornel company, SPAM was widely used during the Second World War. U.S. soldiers were often served this canned meat as it was a cheap option to get the soldiers their much-needed protein on the front (where fresh meat was rare).

SPAM is also surprisingly simple, comprising of only six ingredients…which made production very easy. After WW2 ended it became known as the hurricane shelter food. It is also extremely popular in Asian and Hawaiian cuisine, with the state dish of Hawaii even including this wonderful luncheon meat.

Plain: This option, while really easy, is not recommended at all. This is very simple, get a can of SPAM, cut yourself a piece, and eat it. Some people compare its taste in this raw form to cat food.

Fried: Equally simple, but elevates it to a whole new level. This makes it way, way better.

SPAMwich: The SPAMwich involves using SPAM in the stead of lunch meat. For ingredients, it’s really simple:

  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Mustard
  • Fried Spam
  • Cheese
  • Bread

That’s the whole recipe, just assemble like you would a sandwich; in theory one can will get you six servings.

SPAM Omelet: It’s an omelet with SPAM!

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder (optional)
  • Cheese
  • Partially Fried SPAM (DO NOT FULLY COOK FIRST)

To make your omelet first whisk your eggs in a bowl until fully combined. Add a dash of milk if feeling courageous. Salt and pepper your eggs, then pour into a hot pan with some cooking spray, butter, or oil. Partially cook the omelet, pushing the eggs from the outside to the center once they’re cooked. When approximately half-cooked, add the SPAM, which should be diced, and cheese. Finish cooking and enjoy.

Spam Fritters: Deep fat fried spam. How wondrous!

  • Flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Breadcrumbs(optional)
  • Raw SPAM
  • Vegetable Oil

Crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk till fully mixed. Get another bowl and fill about ¾ of the bowl with flour, repeat again but with breadcrumbs(if you’re using them). Cut your SPAM into six equal sized pieces, lengthwise. Get a pot (preferably a Dutch Oven), fill it ¾ of the way full with oil, and heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

First, dip the SPAM into the egg wash, then flour it, then egg wash, and back to flour (or breadcrumbs, if you went that route). Drop your battered SPAM into the oil and fry for two to three minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the pot and enjoy your fritter.

Spam has a lot of variety, as it is by nature an amalgam of different parts of the pig. These are only a couple of the many, many things you can do with this spectacularly economical canned meat…and only a fraction of what can be cooked cheaply.