Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Spam, Ma'am

Has there ever been a food product more maligned than SPAM?  Monty Python's Flying Circus used it in a skit.  Surely it was a zonk prize on Let's Make a Deal.  David Letterman quipped about SPAM-on-a-rope in case you got hungry in the shower.  

Like bologna, SPAM was another one of those "meats" I would not eat while growing up.  (I'm not about to start eating it now, either!)  The neatest thing about SPAM was the way you opened it.  There was a little key on top of the can that was used to roll a thin tin strip off the can which would sever the top from the can.  Mom would never let me open the SPAM.

Facts about Spam:
  • SPAM was first created in 1937 by Jay Hormel who needed a way to package pork shoulder so it would not go to waste.
  •  In a contest to name the new product, Kenneth Daigneau won $100 for his contraction of spiced ham.
  • Since 1937, 7 billion cans of SPAM have been sold.
  • People living in Alaska and Hawaii buy the most SPAM.
  • 100 million pounds of SPAM were issued to the US, Soviet and European troops during World War II.
  • Waikiki, Hawaii hosts the annual SPAM Jam
  • SPAM has its own museum in Austin, MN.

 This is a cookbook of mine.  The copyright on it is 1953.  I love looking at the vintage pictures and reading the recipes used back then.  This is a picture from the cookbook.  Crown Roast Dinner from the Jiffy Cooking section. 

Here's the recipe.
  Crown Roast Dinner?  Really?  How can you think SPAM could look like this?
Maybe that is why in this cookbook copyrighted some time in the mid-1970's (I lost the cover page!)...
the recipe was reworked and renamed.

The 1970's cookbook also has this recipe using SPAM.

It doesn't matter how you slice it - I'm not eating it!

SPAM facts gathered from and

It has been a long time since I have joined my vintage loving friends at Vintage Thingies Thursday.  I'm going to join the party this week.   If you like vintage things, you will like what you see at Suzanne's.



Coloradolady said...

Bea....I loved this!! Can you believe my husband loves this not so much, but I do remember my mom frying it when we were kids and I guess we ate it then...Hahaha. Love the cookbook! I have a new edition that was my mother in laws!!

Happy VTT!

The Paint Splash said...

We ate a LOT of spam growing was a "cheap" meat and we lived in the city where you didn't get the opportunity to raise chickens I posted the winner of the truck contest my sisters and I had back in September. I also am having a give away for my 100th blog in just a few days so hope you will be able to come by for a visit. Debbie

Serendipity Handmade said...


I have to admit, this makes me think of the Monty Python skit! :-)

I love the 50s cookbook -- my mother had a newer edition from the 60s but it wasn't far off from this one in terms of content!

LV said...

My family would never eat spam either. That is just not a healthy thing for anyone. I have an old Better Homes and Garden cookbook as well.

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

We had alot of Spam, too. Thinly sliced and fried in butter, put it on white bread with Miracle Whip, oh my! Not healthy, I know, but it was good.

Sandra said...

We ate a lot of spam in the early days of our ministry. I had this same cookbook! Was gonna sell it at a garage sale but my DD grabbed it up...I am glad she did!

Sandra said...

We ate a lot of spam in the early days of our ministry. I had this same cookbook! Was gonna sell it at a garage sale but my DD grabbed it up...I am glad she did!

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

A very fun post!! I LOVE old cookbooks and have my own vintage, red-checked BH&G book! Spam is a very serious subject in Minnesota...we lived there for many years and people are proud that it comes from there...funny that the state that consumes the most is HI.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bea, i've got that cookbook too..isn't it just the BEST!!
btw i must admit i'm not too keen on spam lol!! x

Busy Bee Suz said...

I ate it as a kid. Yuck. Those recipes and photos make my tummy turn!!!

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

I must admit I do like only fried spam with eggs or as a small sandwich. Thank You for stopping by today Bea. Have a good weekend....Julian

Postcardy said...

I actually like SPAM but not too often. I was surprised when looking at an early 1950s magazine that there were many brands of canned luncheon meat advertised.

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

I remember we ate it occasionally - - - very occasionally - - - back in the late 50's and early 60's. I though it was gross then, and still do!

There used to be canned hams with those keys to open the top too.

Sunny simple life said...

Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes we love our old oven. I wish I would have kept the stove top as I know now the guy I found could have restored it. I don't eat Spam either. How funny in HS we were taught to make spam and eggs cups, the only recipe I remember from the class.

Anonymous said...

This is such a fun post. My dad made a lot of fun of Spam, but I think he like it. TFS.

GardenofDaisies said...

My Grandma had that same red and white checked cookbook... hers was the 1962 edition, and I still cook from it. (I have the recipe for cheesecake from that cookbook posted on my blog) I do remember eating spam a few times, but I didn't like it because it was toooooooo salty.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I have one of these cookbooks that was given to me as a wedding gift over 30 years ago. Still love it. I'm not much for spam, but there are lots of recipes that are still our favorites.


Miri said...

LOL! I love this post. I have an exact reproduction of the 1953 cookbook and I just cracked up when I saw that Spam Crown Roast picture. What were they thinking! Spam was very popular in 1950s cookbooks as was tinned pineapple and asparagus-they got it all that one recipe.

Love that they bothered to rework that wacky recipe but it really lost a lot of the charm without the name. :)

I'm with you...I've never eaten Spam and don't think I ever will.