September 20, 2017 -- You've Been SPAM'd
Yes, 2017 is the 80th Birthday of this beloved canned delicacy. I think every U.S. military member from WWII to current conflicts has been fed this fine product at some point. I know I certainly had my fill of it during the Vietnam era. Perhaps if we’d had the Tabasco version then, my dislike of the product might have been somewhat moderated.
Before "spam" was a word that represented unwanted emails, it was a word that represented the successful repackaging of unwanted meats. According to the company's Spam Museum, Ken Digneau, the brother of a Hormel executive, came up with the name — a shortened version of "spiced ham — in a naming contest and got $100 as a reward. The new product was introduced on July 5, 1937.
Spam — the square can of pork, salt, water, sugar, potato starch and sodium nitrite that first rolled off the assembly lines 80 years ago during the Great Depression — was invented "as a way to peddle the then-unprofitable pork shoulder," according to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. It was the invention of Jay Hormel, son of George Hormel who founded the Hormel company, which pioneered canned pork products in Austin, Minn., in the late 1920s.
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