I love Spam.
The kind you eat.
Well, maybe love is too strong a word. But I like Spam. In a world where people eat raw fish — and pay premium prices to do so — Spam is not only a taste sensation but a bargain.
Okay, maybe there’s a bit of tongue in cheek — not to mention meat byproducts — in this ode to Hormel’s processed meat. But I genuinely enjoy the stuff.
My dad was a Spam eater from way back. (Or, if you prefer, SPAM. But that seems kind of stilted, so for the purposes of this blog, it’s Spam.)
Spam was a taste my dad acquired in World War II, when he was stationed in the Pacific Theater and spent part of his time as an Army cook. Hormel says 100 million pounds of Spam was shipped overseas during World War II. Some of it was even eaten. Much of it was used by my dad in various recipes.
During the war, my dad ate Spam because he had to but retained an appreciation for it, which he passed along to me.
Some of the foods of my youth — most sugary cereals, Beanie Weanies — don’t stand the taste-test of time today. Spam does, however.
I can eat it fresh (well … ) out of the can. I can eat it cold. I can eat it fried, preferably with eggs.
Part of the continuing appeal of Spam, I think, is that it horrifies my son so much. I enjoy torturing him by pulling a can of Spam out of our cabinet — I think that can has been there for much of his young life — and telling him, “What do you think? Should we have Spam tonight?” He reacts with disgust, of course, and so far I haven’t actually made him eat any.
Spam has gotten a bad rap in recent years. Its reputation took on a new luster with Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” but there’s not a lot that even a spoofy Broadway musical can do to overcome the onus of having particularly obnoxious junk email named after it.
Dang. All this writing about Spam is making me hungry. I don’t have any reason to worry that the can of Spam has been eaten, but it might have disappeared from the cabinet through some Spam-preventive skullduggery.
Ah, no. Still there. Waiting for me.
Soon, Spam. Soon.