Spam I am
Seems like only yesterday, I was posting that I'd just as soon eat tricked out dog food as tricked out Spam. (See "Dog food as pâté?")
Well, I'm apparently one of the few folks out there who feels this way. As I found out only yesterday (the one and truly only yesterday, as in May 21), one of the few bits of good earnings news has been that of Hormel, makers of Spam.
Hormel overall sales were flat for the latest quarter, but for the products division that includes Spam, sales were up, as were profits. (Source: AP article in The NY Times.)
In the latest quarter, brands like Spam and Hormel Chili posted double-digit sales increases... Hormel will keep marketing its convenience products, and also keep focusing on its value brands like Spam. The company is expanding its advertising campaign for the meat-in-a-can this summer and relaunching the brand's Web site. Following on last year's campaign -- the first for Spam in several years -- that reintroduced the brand, the ads will give consumers tips on how to use Spam in their daily cooking.
I don't cook daily, so I'm off the hook here, but I did check out some of the Spam recipes, and I can only say that nothing that I saw would convince me to start cooking up a storm.
I hate to cook, that's for sure, but some of these recipes come under the category I hate to eat.
One, for a cooked chef's salad has the "cook" combining Spam, Swiss cheese, lettuce, hard boil eggs, celery, canned chicken, tomatoes and Italian dressing in a skillet and heating the whole mess up. Well, I'm a salad person, but a cooked salad centered on Spam (and cooked lettuce) just doesn't have all that much appeal. The recipe ends with the words "toss and serve immediately." I pretty much would have stopped after "toss."
Frankly, I couldn't find as many recipes to make fun of as I would have hoped, but there is the promise of more to come. Hormel has some deal going with state fairs to award blue ribbons to tasty dishes that include at least one can of Spam, and no more than ten ingredients. I look forward to state fair season, that's for sure.
What was a revelation on the Spam site, however, was the sheer volume of Spam-related gear that you can buy.
There are shirts, caps, flip-flops, even a Spam tie. Mugs, water bottles - and after a mouthful of Spam, a bit of H2O would surely come in handy. Pocket knife, snow globe, Spam dice game. (Let me guess: first prize, one can of Spam; second prize, ba-da-bing, two cans of Spam.)
Among my favorite Spam items were the wine glass and wine charm. What do you serve with Spam, pray tell? Something pink? A nice blush zinfandel? Of a good strong Cab to wash away the taste.
But I was most intrigued by the single Spam serving that can be purchased for the low, low price of $1.25. It can't be shipped outside of the USA but, fortunately, I'm inside of the USA, and I'm almost tempted...
May 22nd is a fitting day to post about Spam.
My father's been dead now for nearly 40 years, but this would have been his 97th birthday. It is from my father that I inherited my long skinny feet and my loathing for Spam. I do admit that, as a child, I was quite fond of it, but once I reached the age of reason: Spam-be-gone. My father learned to hate Spam between 1942-1945 when he, and Spam, were helping win the war.
Wherever you are, Dad, I trust you're in a place where Spam is never served...