|Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam....|
As a school kid in the 1960s, I used to look forward to lunchtime with a relish born of extreme hunger. I'd wonder what delights dwelt within my grubby, ink besmirched sandwich box. Perhaps it was deli ham topped with tangy relish on thick wholemeal bread? Or could it be a French baguette filled with beef and salad; lightly seasoned and festooned with a thin slice of Edam? I would be full of anticipation and joy and could hardly wait until the noon lunch bell clamoured. Then, I'd rush into the dining hall and quickly release the catch on my lunch box with gleeful, eager abandon. With eyes squeezed shut, I would wait until I could bear it no more........
Spam! Spam on limp, budget, sliced bread with a hint of cheap margarine. Fuck, it was always Spam. Every fucking day my lunch consisted of spam sandwiches. Don't get me wrong, I quite liked spam, but not every day. Luckily, Billy Wilson used to have a lunch box replete with a cornucopia of sweetmeats- the bastard even had a Mars bar. And as Billy Wilson was a lot smaller than my good self, Billy Wilson tended to eat a lot of spam. Life ain't fair, is it?
Why spam is called spam is shrouded in mystery. Apparently only a few key executives were initiated during its conception/inception. Some have concluded that SPAM is an acronym for 'Spiced Ham' or 'Specially Processed American Meat’. In truth, only a few former high-level executives of the American manufacturing company, 'Hormel Foods' are/were cognisant of the real meaning of the name.
Spam was first introduced in 1937 and became immensely popular during the Second World War with the troops. During the conflict over 150 million pounds of spam were consumed. After the war, Spam in bulk was distributed to the populations of war devastated Europe and quickly became a staple for many.
Today, in the West, Spam has become associated with the 'economically impaired'. However, there are parts of the world where the pink meat is considered a luxurious delicacy. The Japanese (who else) add Spam to their traditional dish chanpuru and Spam burgers can be consumed at ‘Burger King’.
As an emergency food, Spam has no peer, although canned corned beef comes a close second. It is cheap, readily accessible and lasts forever. The composition of Spam can vary and a plethora of speciality Spam has come into being. However, ‘Spam Classic’ comprises of the following: pork shoulder, ham, salt, water, potato starch and sodium nitrite. Anyway, I’m off to enjoy a few slices fried to a crisp, smothered in ketchup and lovingly placed betwixt two pieces of processed, white bread.
Apparently, the term 'Spam' has a new, modern connotation.