Today’s tribute: Splendid Spam

How can I tell you about a very important love in my life?

How there’s something I’ve always coveted? (in a good way).

A very dear friend of mine once gifted me with two t-shirts, brightly showing photos of Spam.

This dear friend, Mark Noone (musician extraordinaire).

Ah, yes.

I wore those shirts so much they got worn out, and turned into working-outside-pulling-weeds shirts.

One, bright yellow. With just the word Spam on it.

The other, a rendition of the blue can of Spam.

I can tell you stories of many encounters with Spam.

To be a thorough kind of reporter and writer, I looked up the Spam website.

It is made by Hormel, in Austin, Mn.

And, get this. There is a Spam museum. And over 300 recipes using Spam.

Spam, in case you didn’t know, is made of pork.

It is a nifty menu addition, for people who want to make a quick sandwich. Or skip preparing some real meat.

The apt Hormel people want us to know about Spam musubi. On the website, this dish looks a lot like sushi.

The Spam slab is parked on a bunch of rice, covered with some green substance wrapped around.

Believe it or not, you can even purchase a musubi mold. (Only $9).

There is also something named manapua. This is a dish you make using Spam, cubed, combined with cabbage and onions. You place this delectable combination on a bun.

If you’re into Spam clothing, subdued, stately t-shirts cost $20. The ones I picked out are tie died.

You can get a Spam slicer (only $10).

Probably the piece de resistance is the tin lunch box (only $20).

So many opportunities.

The website helpfully tells us 12.8 cans of Spam are eaten every second.

If you’ve never been a believer, there is time to reform.

Once, in my travels back and forth from my home in Ohio to my home in Takoma Park, Md., I arrived at the farm later in the day. This was when mom still lived at the farm alone.

I had a rental car, so I had whizzed from the airport in Cleveland to the farm.

I asked if she had food in the house.

Of course, she said.

I looked in the refrigerator, thinking perhaps there was ground beef, or eggs, ham.

None of those things were in the refrigerator.

It seems mom had probably eaten. She usually could do with some bread and a hot cup of tea or water.

Because there were indeed items like bread, and tea and coffee, I felt a little deprived.

So I looked in the cupboard.

There it was, gleaming.

A bright blue can of Spam.

It was my supper (garnished with mustard).

Please believe me.

I am not trying to belittle anyone’s choice in stocking up the food larder.

The truth is as you get older, you care less and less about having 10 kinds of meats, several varieties of potatoes, succulent vegetables.

Probably, you care a bit more about something dessert-like. One of my favorites is a delicious poppy seed cake I make. It is just the right combination of moist tea bread, with just a little sweetness.

I have a few bites of that bread left. It hits the spot late at night, after a strenuous day out gathering the news.

Just so you know, I still keep a supply of work outside clothes.

Could it be, my old yellow Spam shirt is still there?

I reluctantly give up items that have served me well.

If you want to work outside it doesn’t matter much if any shirt you wear is full of holes.

Is my Spam shirt still there?

(I’ll keep you posted).



Louise Swartzwalder