September 17 , 1999

Depending on when you were born, spam is one of two things: an unwanted, unsolicited, or off-topic communication; or a canned meat product made out of the parts of a pig too unsavory to even be included in hot dogs.

My husband is fond of the pork variety of Spam. OK, well fond may be pushing the envelope, but I'm here to tell you that he recently asked me to purchase some for him at the supermarket. Being the ever-accommodating wife, I did.

I don't know what he did with it though some days later the can had made its way out of the cupboard and was now in the fridge, wrapped in plastic. Clearly it had been opened and some had been consumed. I don't know when. I don't know how much. I don't know why. I don't even know how it was prepared. I never saw it happen. I didn't ask. Didn't wanna know.

About two weeks later the can was in the exact same place in the fridge so I threw it out. I never looked inside. I may have put rubber gloves on to purge it (but that memory is a bit fuzzy).

He absolutely hates the other type of spam. He has been known to start more than one flame war over unsolicited e-mail or off-topic posts and mail on the many newsgroups he participates in.

I was pretty immune to spam (both types) until recently. Having a journal and e-mail seems license enough for those with enough time on their hands to do that sort of thing, to cruise cyberspace looking and then start spamming. I think the journal is the key. I've had an e-mail address for a long time. Never got spam. Oh, it probably also helps that I am a big believer in e-commerce and regularly make purchases over the internet.

Anyway, it never really used to bother me. Until recently. Lately I've started to get a little cranky.

It's not the e-mail thing because I don't get all that much. I'm not on any newsgroups so the off-topic posting doesn't bother me. OK, I was on one notify list that it turned out was a discussion group. I got really fed up with all the cross talk and inane chatter, so I changed my subscription to notify only, no discussion. All this to say that I could see how off-topic stuff could get really annoying.

The thing that is driving me absolutely mad is the spam I get to my ICQ address. Almost every single day I have at least one unsolicited ICQ message waiting for me. And it's always the same thing: porn. I delete it but it's getting really tiresome.

OK, then there's Spam. I grew up in a Jewish household. While we weren't kosher, my mother's parents were, so she was never exposed to pork products growing up. As an adult she discovered bacon and shellfish but she never developed an affinity for ham. As a result we were never served it as children. I didn't have ham until I had lunch at a friend's house when I was 8 or 9. I liked it and got my mother to start buying it. Ham was fine. Spam was never ever never ever considered.

Just the name alone should be enough to make anyone in their right mind think twice, maybe even three times. And if the name doesn't stop you, then the gel stuff in the can should. Or the look of the product. I can only imagine that there is some sort of odd odor that it has. Wouldn't that stop you?

In case you're wondering how I know about the gel stuff, you can thank TVFN. There was a special featuring one of the chef's I have seen several times on Ready, Set, Cook. He's got a chain of restaurants all over Hawaii. Diner-looking sort of things.

Anyway, Spam is huge. He serves it in his restaurant. The Spam items are the most popular things on the menu. Fried Spam over fried rice. Fried Spam with fried rice and fried eggs. Fried Spam with other fried things. (Do you detect a theme here.)

The hostess had a taste of one of the Spam concoctions. You just know this model-thin talking head had never let Spam touch her lips. Now for the sake of her job she was going to have to eat it. She pronounced the concoction delicious. Hard to imagine.

Then they showed the preparation of Spam at the restaurant. They use something like three cases a day. Three. Cases. A. Day. The mind boggles. They showed the kitchen help dumping the cans out onto huge sheets. Gallons of clear gelatinous stuff coming out with the canned meat product. Yummmmmm. Did that look delish!

Apparently Hawaiian's are mad for Spam. It is the highest per capita consumption of all these United States.

In my constant quest to keep you all informed I just did a little browsing and there is an official Spam website. There is a faq page, a fan club, Spam through the ages, and oh, so much more.

(On their FAQ page they confirm what I learned on the Food Channel about the Hawaiian's being mad for the stuff. Apparently the Korean's are too. Who knew.)

Even though my favorite food group is the fried group and I do like pork products I will be keeping as far away from spam (both varieties) for a long, long time.

Until next time. . .


Be the first on your block to read my fabulous new entries. Sign up for my notify list.