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AshlynM's avatar

The truth about spam? (the canned stuff, not email)

Asked by AshlynM (9655points) May 22nd, 2012

Spam is made from pork shoulder meat, right?
What is so bad about spam that people seem to hate? Why does it have such a bad rap? Is it all just their imaginations, rumors, and myths? What is your knowledge about the product? I’m talking about the canned stuff, not email. And what exactly keeps it from spoiling on the shelf, since it seems to need no refrigeration?

Should I really not eat it? I’ve never had it before, but I’m a little nervous to.

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32 Answers

filmfann's avatar

It is canned. That is why it doesn’t spoil, and why many people object to it.
Frying it and chopping it up into scrambled eggs is very nice.

syz's avatar

Spam has been the butt (no joke intended) of many a “mystery meat” joke, but I don’t like it on general principle.

incendiary_dan's avatar

It’s just cheap, fatty, salty meat. Nothing outlandish. I’ve heard stories of veterans refusing to have it in their house after WW II, they got so sick of it. The military now has better rations (but not that much better).

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’ve never tasted Spam because it smells like canned dog food.

ucme's avatar

I asked my mother to get me some when I was a kid, because I liked the sound of it primarily.
She had no need to buy the stuff again after that one time, because it tasted like those replacement insoles you can get when your shoes are worn, not nice, not nice at all.

chyna's avatar

@ucme Just curious as to how you know what replacement insoles tastes like? ~

ucme's avatar

@chyna Are you really though? Or just being pedantic? ;¬}
I placed one of my granddad’s in my mouth when I was little, doing an impression of a panting dawg probably. It was very quickly spat out & put down as a minor, but unrepeatable error.

JLeslie's avatar

So disgusting and fatty. I love hot dogs and sausage, but SPAM is gross.

chyna's avatar

Best dipped in ketchup.

ETpro's avatar

I actually like the taste of spam in apple sauce or sliced and fried with pineapple rings on top. I’d eat it often if it were not full of saturated fat and nitrite preservatives.

It is made of sliced and chopped pork shoulder meat, ham, salt water and potato starch binder. The name is a portmanteau for Spiced & Ham. The gelatinous coating (aspic) if from cooled meat stock. Spam is a decent source of protein and calories (310 per 3.5 ounce serving) but that serving alone gives you 41% or the RDA for fats. Still, like hot dogs, it’s perfectly OK to eat it occasionally, particularly if you limit your intake of other fats for that day.

It’s clear not everyone hates it, because there have been 7 billion cans sold since Hormel Foods introduced it in 1937. Today, 3.8 cans of Spam are consumed in the USA every second. So I’m not the only one that funds the taste appealing. Spam facts are from Wikipedia.

GracieT's avatar

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam….

(childish, I know, but I had to say it)

I’ve never had any either- mostly because of what I’ve heard about it. Isn’t it like hot dogs? I confess I don’t know the truth. I’ve never had any either. I just can’t bring myself to because of what I’ve heard about it being unhealthy.

Trillian's avatar

@GracieT well done. I completely forgot about the wonderful Monty Python tribute. Still, I had to eat it as a child and hated it then. The same way I hated Hamburger Helper. I swore I would not eat it when I left my mother’s house. I haven’t. If I get stuck in a mall with a mindless horde of zombies outside, I may be forced to amend that statement, at least until I can scavenge a can opener or swiss army knife. Or team up with @Fundevogel.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s the unofficial Hawaiian state meat!

I used to have it fairly often in Boy Scouts in the late 60s, since we could carry it unrefrigerated, and then fry up slabs to go with eggs or pancakes.

I used to make it for my granddad, my brother, and myself when my parents went out for the evening: score it, dot with cloves, cover with a brown sugar and mustard glaze, and bake for 25 minutes at 375! DEE- lish!

Linda_Owl's avatar

Personally, I like the taste of spam. It goes great with scrambled eggs & it even makes a great substitute for ham in a sandwich. I do not eat it often (due to the reasons identified by @ETpro ), but I have no problem with the taste & once it is fried (like bacon) it goes well with a lot of other foods.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Every few years, I like to eat some if I’m cooking outdoors, preferably a fishing day. My grandfather used to take it with us when we fished. Sometimes we’d slice it and eat it on sandwiches with plastic wrapped cheese slices and other times he’d score it, put cloves in, bake it with a couple of yams and we’d have a psuedo ham dinner just for two.

downtide's avatar

It’s high fat, high salt and not at all healthy. But it is delicious, especially cut in slices and grilled. I treat myself to some every now and again.

YARNLADY's avatar

Spam was a real treat in my family when I was growing up. It tastes kind of like bacon, and is very salty. We used to feel special when we had it.

It is very high in saturated fats, and other unhealthy ingredients, and very low in vitamins and minerals.

flutherother's avatar

I haven’t eaten spam for ages but it used to be nice with chips, or in a sandwich. I tried frying it once, but only once…

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@GracieT Ha-ha. I do remember that song from Dr. Demento’s show. I really don’t care if food is unhealthy, fatty or salty. I just don’t like Spam. I don’t like the “dog food” consistency or the flavor.

GracieT's avatar

@zenvelo, my cousin married a man when he was in the Air Force and stationed in Hawaii and moved with him with transfers. Upon his discharge from the Air Force they returned to Hawaii. They both bowed to pressure and now enjoy it sparingly!

tedibear's avatar

And, it has a really cool museum.

Only138's avatar

Fuck….I like Spam. I like Spam sandwiches….and I also like to fry it with eggs for breakfast. My house doesn’t usually have to many groceries….so I make do with what I have.

rooeytoo's avatar

I love the stuff, we have it once a month or so. Would probably have it more often but it’s too fat laden. But fried up with potatoes and eggs or chopped up in fried rice, it is superlative!

Berserker's avatar

Isn’t spam made for poor people? I mean it has its own key, so it assumes that the target for which it’s aimed at doesn’t even own a fuckin can opener. Then again Chef Boyardee products have had their own tear tips for a long time, and those cost like four bucks for one damn can. What am I, Bill Gates? I ain’t payin four dollars for something that’s probably gonna give me breast cancer, anyway.

All joking aside, I don’t know the truth about spam. I don’t know what it was intended as (besides food) or what it’s made from, not really anyway, (pork, cow pieces?) or why it’s so cheap. But I sure like it, and like @Only138 says, it’s great in sandwiches. I add mustard and banana pepper slices between two taosted slices with the spam, and it sure hits the spot. Whatever the truth of it is though, can’t be any worse than a lot of other processed meat products, I’ll bet. :/ Maybe, maybe not, but it won’t kill you if you try some.

Also the only reason I wrote this was to quote Dawn of the Dead.


Did you bring a can opener?

No, I suppose I didn’t.

Then don’t knock it, its got its own key.

Fuck yeah.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

It’s gross. Why ask the question? Buy yourself some and try it.

ucme's avatar

@Symbeline Nice one. I always think food in a can with a key is locked up for it’s own good.
Open if you dare!

incendiary_dan's avatar

My tip for serving: just use a bit for flavoring something else, not as the main part of a dish.

Kardamom's avatar

Spam is mostly fatty pork meat laden with cholesterol and potentially cancer causing preservatives as you can see Here

A reasonable or low sodium content per serving of food is about 140 mg. Spam has 790 mg per serving.

200 mg of cholesterol per day (not per serving) is considered reasonable. Spam has 40 mg per serving! That is almost half of what your daily intake of cholesterol should be.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Kardamom – that’s why you only have it once a month!!!

Kardamom's avatar

^^ You know, if I wasn’t a vegetarian, I probably would. I remember it as tasting pretty good, kind of like that Underwood deviled ham that me and my brother used to eat as kids.

2davidc8's avatar

Spam is high in salt, high in fat, high in cholesterol, and has nitrites, which is carcinogenic. Do you want to eat slow poison?

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