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SPAM® Spread on Rice ‘n Crackers


SPAM® Spread, net weight 3 oz., price and origin n/a. Can measurement: 2-3/8″diameter x 1-1/4″ height (not including lip above lid)


But how can that be done? Well, there’s obviously only one way you can literally spread SPAM® or other luncheon meat on rice, crackers, or anything else for that matter, and that would be to mince, grind, or process this infamous brick-shaped semi-solid mass of processed mystery into a spreadable, Pâté-like consistency. Or simply buy this stuff here aptly named SPAM® Spread, where it’s already done for you in a convenient, ready-to-serve, no heating necessary, easy-to-tote little tin can.

Just by the sound of it, why in God’s name one would desire this other than as a last-hope survival ration is beyond me. Yet the good (or evil, depending how you view it) folks at Libby’s – and now Hormel – continue to make it a marketable concept. To which Libby’s has been selling their take on it for decades now.

You may or may not have seen SPAM® Spread before, but this is relatively new to me. The way it came across my radar screen was, several months ago, someone we knew was moving off-island and gave us a bunch of stuff in their pantry they didn’t wanna’ pack away, including this. Which isn’t that surprising it wasn’t as of yet consumed by them. Then it ended up sitting in the back of our pantry… until now since we overhauled our hale this past weekend to start fresh for the new year.

So I figured what the heck, might as well check it out and make use of it. Besides, as far as I could find, currently there isn’t much coverage online on this still-elusive SPAM® offspring. Therefore, by golly, it’s about time we find out what this is all about!

Could Hormel’s SPAM® Spread be to SPAM® Classic canned luncheon meat be what the Apple iPod Touch is to the iMac or Mac Mini computer? An even more compact and convenient, sleek, more tangible, “just about everything its bigger brother can do, and perhaps other things big brother can’t” incarnation of the same thing?

Probably the first serious technical question one must ask is, is this basically a deconstructed version of its “fully-assembled” namesake?

To answer that, First let’s analyze what’s in a standard 12 oz. can of SPAM® Classic; the ingredients on the label are listed as: Pork with Ham, Salt, Water, Modified Potato Starch, Sugar and Sodium Nitrite.

Wow. There’s less ingredients in SPAM® than there is in a typical link of island style Portuguese Sausage. Barely mystery meat at all in comparison.

Now for this much smaller, 3 oz. can of SPAM® Spread, the ingredients on the label are listed as: Pork, Mechanically Separated Chicken, Ham, Salt, Sugar, Water, Spices, Sodium Nitrite.

Oh, now they’re throwin’ chicken in and pulling some spicy left curves on us. Based on ingredients alone, the answer would have to be NO, this is not a deconstructed variation of SPAM® Classic. So how can it be named SPAM if that’s the case? Now not only will this have a different texture, but possibly an entirely different flavor. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

On the back of the SPAM® Spread can is the nutritional information, which says each 4 tablespoon serving rewards you with 140 calories (110 fat calories), 12 grams total fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol and 570 milligrams of sodium.

While I was disappointed it says it provides absolutely ZERO the daily percentage value of vitamin A, C, or calcium, at least it does provide you with 2% iron and 8 grams of protien, taking some guilty weight off our shoulder.

Also a relief is that it’s stamped as being U.S. inpsected by the department of agriculture. But don’t breath a sigh of relief yet. The label states it’s DISTRIBUTED BY HORMEL FOODS CORPORATION, strategically leaving out where it’s MADE. Hmm…. another mystery to be solved, but I won’t ponder too much on that for the moment.

Ready to go into active military duty, the label on back also states SPAM® Spread is FULLY COOKED READY TO EAT – COLD OR HOT.

OK, enough with the technicalities. You’re probably just as anxious to see what’s under the lid as I am. Or are you?

Well, here it goes (eyes squinting behind safety glasses while wearing lead-lined gloves)…

Good Lord! I think my Geiger Counter just redlined and the neighbor’s dog just barked. No, howled. lol Actually, that kinda’ looks like FANCY FEAST cat food, don’t it? More on that later.

Before we get to tasting it, hold on a sec’. No, make that several minutes, as I am in no rush whatsoever to try it!

Continuing from the last brand A vs. brand x Clam Chowder entry, I have another product to compare this with: while shopping for fresh shrimp at the grocery store the other day (for a foll0w-up project related to this), I spotted this can of Libby’s Potted Meat Food Product…

Libby’s Potted Meat Food Product, net weight 3 oz., 59 cents each @ Ward Marukai. Can measurement: 2-3/8″diameter x 1-1/4″ height (not including lip above lid)

Between the two brands, I’m not sure which label’s more frightening: the picture of the sandwich on the SPAM® Spread, or just the SOUND of the name itself on this here Libby’s lil’ mystery can: “POTTED MEAT FOOD PRODUCT”. I mean, shouldn’t only plants be “potted”? Are there roots growing under the stuff inside that we don’t (and should) know about? And why add “FOOD PRODUCT” into the description? Is that how much psychological reinforcement one might need upon opening the can, lest they think the stuff might be intended to be used as plant fertilizer, and not considered edible by humans? lol

Actually, they both SOUND horrifying, so points go to Libby’s for sparing us (and browsing grocery shoppers) a God-forbidden photo of what it looks like on the label. lol

Is there even enough content in one 3 oz. can to adequately fill an entire sandwich like the one depicted on the SPAM® Spread label? If you look at it closely, their (protocol) attempt-t0-be photogenic, highly-stylized example is piled high with the stuff. Whether you really WANT that much SPAM® Spread in your sandwich is another question.

The ingredients for this 3 oz. can of Libby’s Potted Meat Food Product (what a name) are: Mechanically separated chicken, pork skin, partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue, partially defatted cooked beef fatty tissue, vinegar, less than 2% of: salt, spices, sugar, flavorings, sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrate.

Oh my. Sometimes the less you know, the better. lol

OK, now squint your eyes again, and perhaps get ready to hold your nostrils closed. Here’s what’s under the lid of the Libby’s Potted Meat Food Product can…

Holy moly! I think my Geiger Counter just blew a circuit, and now the neighbor’s dog is right here sniffing at the opening under my front door. lol

O.K., am I ready to taste them now? The question to ask really is more like, am I WILLING to taste them now? Or ever? Would you?

After psyching myself out listening to Anthony Robbins’ motivational audio CDs 20 times over and over, I think I am. I’m envisioning what lies within these tiny tin outer shells are the culinary equivalent of beautiful both inside and out Gwyneth Paltrow in the film Shallow Hal. And don’t you dare say “Shallow Hal needs a Gal!” before I’m about to dig into it! lol

My first trial method is simply a finger-swipe straight-up off a small spoonful, plain, as is, straight outta’ the room temperature can, unheated (it’s fully cooked), without anything else.

After under hypnosis overcoming the fact it kinda’ looks and smells like Fancy Feast cat food, The SPAM® Spread still barely resembles its classic namesake in flavor, if not for just a little bit of “hammy-porkyness” to it. Mostly it’s very SALTY. Very, very salty considering its small volume, while it also has a hint of that deviled food “mystery meat” aftertaste to it.

Not being hypnotized, my sister said it smelled like cat food and upon tasting it, thought it tasted like what cat food might taste like.

For me, I think it’s just another one of those foods you need to acclimate your palate to. Kinda’ like Balut. Or Britney Spears.

After a couple small swobs on my tongue, it sort of grew on me, perhaps in a Meow Mix kinda’ way. But seriously, unless you’re you’re one of those “think outside the box” types in how your brain connects with your taste buds (I’m kinda’ like that), you’ll probably take offense to SPAM Spread as is, straight outta’ the can. And I’ll say it again, the smell alone does not help it.

While it might not be fair to compare uncooked SPAM Spread with a slice of SPAM Classic, which is always served at least fried (I’ve never eaten SPAM Classic straight out of the can uncooked), at least I’m trying it in one way this can says you can serve it, which is unheated as a spread like this.

Now for the Libby’s Potted Meat Food Product. Actually I’ve tried this a very, very, very long time ago “small keed” time, and remember not liking it at all. It tastes just like a deconstructed, mashed-up Vienna Sausage. Therefore I believe this product was formerly known as Deviled Ham?

That said, neither of these two miniature ready-to-spread, whipped-meat-in-a tin wonders eaten by itself without anything to accompany them left a positive impression. As anticipated, more sketchy.

Yet I do remember a better way to serve this stuff, which I learned a while ago from a guy I worked with who just got out of the army. He said infantry were regularly issued these tiny cans of potted meat, crackers and miniature bottles of Tobasco® Sauce (among other rations) out on the field for energy and sustenance. Needless to say, his favorite snack ration was to take the potted meat and spread it on the crackers, then add a few drops of Tobasco sauce for added kick and flavor. He gave me some to try a few times, and I remember kinda’, then after a few, really diggin’ it.

Hence that’s exactly what I did for my next application (Shallow Hal wants a!)…

Using Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers as the foundation, on the left is the SPAM Spread and on the right the Libby’s Potted Meat. On that are a few drops of genuine Tabasco® Sauce. Idea courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Notice the SPAM Spread on the left is a little courser, while the Libby’s Potted Meat is smoother and almost creamy like butter. They both resemble pâté for sure. Personally I found the creamier texture of the potted meat more palatable than the courser SPAM Spread, which has an almost grainy texture to it. Again, the SPAM Spread is more Porky-Ham like, yet not by much, while the Potted Meat tastes essentially like a deconstructed Vienna Sausage.

But both were actually quite tasty on the Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers, thanks in great part to the addition of the Tobasco Sauce, which didn’t drown it out, but ties everything together quite nicely. It actually makes what was an originally offensive (to some) food product in and of itself, now quite tasty. I dig it.

Since each of these are very small portion cans, and I’m not about to potentially threaten my digestive system or reduce my lifespan even further by getting more of it to taste test with, I only have one other application to try in this first segment covering SPAM® Spread. That would be none other than on rice with Furikake sprinkled on it…


SPAM® Spread on Rice with a sprinkle of Furikake

I think this further prooves that Furikake can make just about anything savory taste good, including SPAM® Spread! See, since my palate was already acclimated to that “taste”, now eating it with the rice, it somehow tasted more “SPAMMY”, and less deviled ham-like. It still had that weird aftertaste, but still, the Furikake made it taste sooooo much better. So so much better. It compliments it the same way Nori and Teriyaki sauce compliment the rice and SPAM on a classic SPAM Musubi. It was even better when I mixed the spread and furikake into the rice. Enough where, if I had more SPAM® Spread to go around, I’d make a whole bowl of the stuff!

But when I tried to get my girlfriend to at least try a small bite with the rice and furikake, it was still a tough sell. And she loves her rice. When she finally gave in to my begging and took a small bite, she immediately spit it out, already detecting that deviled ham mystery meat flavor in the background. He he.

Which is why I say you must acclimate your palate first in order to even remotely like this stuff, no matter how it’s served.

To sum it up at this point, while the cracker spread ‘n tobasco and rice spread ‘n furikake serving ideas are arguably decently-good, or at least edible, so far I’m still not even halfway near being sold on this stuff as a must-have pantry item. Nor yet is the gastronomical equivalent of Gwyneth Paltrow’s form of Rosemary anywhere to be found; and I thank you for so far not snapping me out of my Anthony Robbins-induced state of hypnosis.

In part II of abusing my digestive system and potentially reducing my lifespan, I’ll be making SPAM® Spread & Libby’s Potted Meat Food Product Wontons!…

SPAM® Spread (left 6) & Libby’s Potted Meat Product (right 6) & Shrimp Wontons, wrapped and ready to boil ‘n fry

Doesn’t that sound delicious!????????????????????????

What? SPAM® Spread
Why? Because it’s named SPAM®
From where and how much did it cost? Given by a friend (whom after reading this review, you might consider my foe)
Big Shaka to: More “Hammy-Porky” flavor compared to Libby’s Potted Meat. Easy to spread. Quite tasty when served on hot rice with Furikake. Ready-to-serve cold or hot. Genuine Hormel SPAM® product. Gwyneth Paltrow as Rosemary. Hypnotism. Fancy Feast and Meow Mix. Friends who give you stuff when they move.
No shaka to: Looks and smells like Fancy Feast® cat food upon first opening the can. It barely, if at all, resembles SPAM Classic in flavor. Has a deviled ham mystery meat (and perhaps cat food) aftertaste. Strange gritty texture. Fancy Feast and Meow Mix eaten by humans. My best friend snapping me out of my hypnotic state. Shallow attitudes. Anthony Robbin’s scary grille. Abusing my digestive system and potentially reducing my lifespan.
SPAM Musubi rating: n/a

What? Libby’s Potted Meat Food Product
Why? Because it’s the most direct competition to Hormel SPAM® Spread
From where and how much did it cost? Marukai, 59 cents each.
Big Shaka to: Tastes better than SPAM® Spread on a soda cracker with Tobasco® Sauce. Smooth, spreadable texture. Ready to serve. Combat-proven. The U.S. Army (and all branches of service). Sparing us by not showing a horrific depiction of what the actual product looks like on the label. Cheap. Gwyneth Paltrow as Rosemary. Hypnotism.
No shaka to: Strange, non-descript “ultimate mystery meat” flavor. Weird regurgitated Vienna sausage aftertaste. Unappetizing product description. Roots growing on meat. Meat growing in pots. My best friend snapping me out of my hypnotic state. Shallow attitudes. Anthony Robbin’s scary grille. Abusing my digestive system and potentially reducing my lifespan.
SPAM Musubi rating: n/a

16 thoughts on “SPAM® Spread on Rice ‘n Crackers

  • January 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm
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    Nnnnnooooo!!! OMG, you didn’t make wontons with potted meat. You are insane!

    Great writeup. I think you should try frying it up with some scrambled egg next.

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  • January 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm
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    Wow … first it was pancake mixture for fish & chips batter and now … “scary meat” for wontons. But I must say how creative is that? You deserve a HUGE compliment!

    I always crave for wontons! Unfortunately I now live on an Indonesian island and it is “challenging” to get hold of pork as they are predominantly Muslim. Must now stock on up scary meat when I am next in civilisation and check out You Tube on making wonton wrappers from scratch … lol!

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  • January 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm
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    i LOVE deviled ham. maybe because i grew up with it. i’ll have to look up the post chien is referencing. we fry halibut in krusty’s pancake batter and it is the best thing EVER. haha.

    i love your blog! i just found it a couple of days ago when i was searching for a portuguese bean soup recipe. (i used yours and it turned out great) you go in depth and take so many pictures. i love it. well i just wanted you to know you have a new fan.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 12:58 am
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    pomai–you’re absolutely hilarious…and might i say the rice topped with spam spread & furikake looks downright magnificent!!!

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  • January 9, 2009 at 1:35 am
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    Ever try Turkey Spam? That, I think, smells like cat food.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 7:35 am
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    I used to read the ingredients on potted meat product because I wondered what the heck that meant. It used to say “beef lips”… I guess that’s the “partially defatted beef fatty tissue” is now. mmm, beef lips.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 7:44 am
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    Wildly entertaining post. I loved the hearty serving of humor.

    The wontons look promising. Never would have though to partner those processed meats with wontons. Put anything in the deep fryer and, voila!, it’s edible.

    Now I’m beginning to think of foie gras wontons. I know, it would be quite a waste of good foie gras but I bet it would be one heckuva sinful morsel.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 8:22 am
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    Pomai, the things you make with wonton wrappers is great. I like cream cheese with spinach deep fry. Maybe with spam spread with it also.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 8:27 am
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    I made tuna salad musubi it not bad due no bread that day and it was rainy too. Now got a special musubi I called my own. I like using leftover cooked meats for musubi too.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 10:34 am
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    Ho brah, you is crazy! Man that stuff no look too ono, even on crackers or rice. Looks like you could almost drink it through a straw.

    My mom used to feed me Deviled Ham when I was a kid…neva like it then and no like it now. Ick. I think she fed it to me so I would stay away from food (I was a little fatty)…but neva work! Kinda hard when your mom make killer pork adobo.

    Hope your tummy is still in good shape…man I love Spam, but Spam Spread? I think I pass. Good thing no more em’ here yet in LV!

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  • January 9, 2009 at 11:55 am
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    Actually grew up eating Underwood Liverwurst spread. It’s the can in the market with the devil on it. A pate-like stuff made from pork and pork liver. I don’t know why or how my mother picked that brand and started to feed it to us as sandwich filling for a quick lunch. Spread the stuff on one slice bread, mayo on another slice bread, and put some lettuce. Actually was OK tasting.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm
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    Ho, that’s nasty, brah! My tummy and tongue for that matter requires a little bit of browned protein on my meats, therefore…only the normal, more familliar block sized Spam for me. Preferably on rice wrapped with nori or with eggs and rice with shoyu drizzled on top.
    Pomai, you are SO hilarious!!!

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  • January 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm
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    i use (grated) spam as a “filler” in wonton with pork, chest nuts, & green onion . . . very moist actually so this might cut the “grating” work when making my wonton! hahaha, but other than that it looks “sketchy” lol

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  • January 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm
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    Kaleonani, I made a REAL wonton filling mixture to use up the rest of the STACKS of Wonton Pi wrappers I have. For that I followed the pretty-much standard recipe of equal parts minced pork, shrimp, along with finely-chopped water chestnuts, ginger, green onion, oyster sauce and shoyu. That’s it. I fried a bunch last night and whacked it with some of Mae Ploy brand Sweet Chili Sauce. Broke ‘da mout!

    Ann, tell me about it. Glad you enjoyed the humor side of it. It’s the only way I could get through that taste test! lol

    Nate, that’s why I don’t like Pate. I do not like liver whatsoever. Even Foie Gras.

    C, so far my opu is doing alright. I don’t think I ate enough of the stuff to upset it. Remember, these are just little 3 oz. servings each.

    Amy, tuna salad musubi sounds pretty normal. Way more normal than a SPAM Spread Musubi, that’s for sure!

    Shelly, that cream cheese and spinach idea sounds ono! My aunt just LOVES Costco’s Spinach and ??? Cheese Ravioli. She eats that like almost every night. It would interesting trying out Italian style pasta recipes using Wontons. I was thinking of making individual lasagna “stackers” using the square wonton pi for each layer, with alternating each layer between with marinara, then cheese, then spinach, then mushrooms, with a big ole’ honkin’ meat ball on top. What ya’ think?

    Menehune, on a show on the Food Network, they showed a few “Chip Shops” in Britain where they’re GOING OFF with their deep fryers, after generations of boring, old Fish ‘N Chips. Now they’re deep-frying battered frozen chocolate bars, Twinkies… you name it, they’re battering and frying it. If you ever try deep-fried Foie Gras Wontons, don’t stop there! Try Foie Gras Tempura too!… and Foie Gras Katsu!

    Mr. Lips, I do not even want to find out what part of the cow “beef lips” come from. You know they often name meat cuts that aren’t really where they’re from. Like Pork Butt, which is actually the shoulder of the pig.

    Beara, nope never tried Turkey SPAM, but thanks for the warning! Perhaps the addition of poultry is what gives it that cat food smell, as this SPAM Spread stuff has “mechanically-separated chicken” in it. Dunno.

    Yaya, mahalo for the kind compliments. Really appreciate it! The post I made on Krusteaz Pancake Battered Fish ‘N Chips is here:

    http://tastyisland.wordpress.com/2007/12/24/tasty-island%E2%80%99s-fish-%E2%80%98n-chips-project-part-ii/

    Chien, glad to hear you enjoy my sometimes creative, more times zany culinary endeavors. As for making wonton wrappers, the ingredients in the Sun Noodle brand Wonton Pi I’m using has just flour, water, salt and cornstarch (plus a preservative chemical and food coloring which you won’t need).

    launate, funny you should mention frying it in pan, as I tried to do that to see if it would taste more like SPAM Classic, and you know what happened? It mostly dissolved, with just a few particles of burnt “meat” left behind. Apparently most of the “creamy” stuff in there is actually fat, which just melts off when heated.

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  • January 9, 2009 at 10:32 pm
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    Nasty, nasty, nasty. Always wanted to know what that “Meat Product” was, and now I don’t want to know.

    Yes, Turkey Spam isn’t quite like turkey or Spam, might be good as a teriyaki but I don’t want to waste the time to find out.

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  • April 4, 2009 at 6:07 pm
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    “The label states it’s DISTRIBUTED BY HORMEL FOODS CORPORATION, strategically leaving out where it’s MADE. Hmm…. another mystery to be solved”

    Spam Spread is made in Hormel’s Beloit, Wisconsin facility.

    Reply

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