For most people the thought of this food usually makes them turn their nose up or cringe at the questionable packaging that it is found in but there's a reason why it's just celebrated its 80th anniversary...
The food of course is SPAM! No not the internet kind, rather the food variety. It's the food that you love to hate but you can't deny its iconic worldwide status as a food staple.
It was first released in 1937, made up of a combination of pork shoulder, water, ham, starch, salt and other preseratives. It's inexpensive price point and long shelf life meant it became a popular staple throughout the depression and World War II.
But it's not just its history that makes Spam unforgettable, it has gained a somewhat cult following in Hawaii and South Korea! Spam Jam is a festival that celebrates Spam every year that is held in Waikiki, where restaurants and cafes compete to see who can use the tinned meat in the most innovative and new way.
However, none of that compares to the love of Spam that South Korea has according to news.com.au.
"Towards the end of the Korean War, displaced locals in many decimated villages were given intermittent handouts of food from US Army bases. These would commonly include cheese slices, hot dogs, baked beans, instant noodles and, of course, Spam. In one of the more chaotic but impressive examples of ‘cuisine fusion’, Koreans developed a dish that combined these ingredients -it became affectionately known as Army Base Stew, an unusual dish with a cult following around the world."
So where does that leave Spam today in the eyes of many who hail from South Korea?
"Today, Koreans value Spam as a luxury rather than a necessity. Celebrities appear in television commercials for the tinned meat, and markets even sell gold-trimmed gift boxes full of tins of Spam — considered the ultimate lunar thanksgiving gift."
Spam is definitely the gift... or the food that keeps on giving! In honour of the food's upcoming 80th birthday next year, we look at some of the more interesting and unique ways people have used the food and how you can nail it at home for yourself!!
Photo Credit-Columbia Pictures/ Spam