If you grew up in the 1960 or 70s, back in the days before junk emails from Nigerian princes promising untold riches and other “too-good-to-be-true” email scams gained the name “spam”, you’re probably familiar with the canned salted pork meat product know as SPAM.
I got introduced to SPAM while working as a summer camp counsellor in the early 1990’s up near the White Mountains of New Hampshire. While I spent most the summer on the lake teaching windsurfing to campers, our hiking staff would spend Sunday afternoons in front of the rest of the camp describing which hiking trips they were taking campers on that week. Anywhere from an easy day hike to a 4 or 5 day advanced traverse of the Presidential mountain range of New Hampshire. One of the big selling points of each hike was what the hiking staff was making for dinner each night. While there were a lot of different backcountry meals, the one ingredient that seemed to get the most attention was, you guessed it, SPAM.
In fact, one of the hiking instructors that was a skilled backwoods cook sounded like Bubba Gump rattling off all the different ways he was going to serve the campers SPAM on his next trip…. SPAM omelets, SPAM spaghetti, SPAM-aroni, SPAM-on-a-stick, and on and on. Needless to say, he had kids running to sign up for ALL of his trips.
So what is SPAM?
Spam is cooked pork and is made by Hormel foods corporation and was first introduced back in 1937. SPAM ingredients consist of pork with ham, salt and water with a small about of modified potato starch, sugar and a preservative, sodium nitrite.
In World War II, SPAM became a staple of many U.S soldiers meals because of its ease of transport and due to the fact that SPAM would not spoil. Its reported that the US Army bought 150 million pounds of SPAM during WWII to feed its troops.
After WW II, SPAM continued to expand its popularity, not only back in the United States, but also across the world.
SPAM was even featured in a Monty Python sketch in the 1970s and SPAM has ended up as the ubiquitous term for any type of junk email.
Fun SPAM Facts:
- There is a restaurant in Austin, Minnesota with a SPAM-exclusive menu.
- There’s also a SPAM museum as wellI
- It’s unclear what SPAM actually stands for and Hormel has been mum on the true meaning for years. Some think its a contraction of “Spiced Ham” while another theory is that SPAM stands for “Shoulder of Pork and Ham”
- The state of Hawaii has the higher per capita consumption of SPAM in the United States
- In Guam, both McDonalds and Burger King restaurants have SPAM on their menus
Nutritional Info on SPAM
Is SPAM Keto or not?
Yes, due to its low carbohydrate content of just 3 grams, SPAM is considered keto. However, since SPAM is highly processed, it shouldn’t be a regular part of your ketogenic diet.