Last night I FINALLY had the opportunity to see Spamalot. (Thank you to my host.) Spamalot came out several years ago and hasn’t made it to the West Coast until now. Being a Monty Python fan from way back ( . . . your father smells of Elderberry) I was ecstatic at the chance to see the live performance. Needless to say, it lived up to my every expectation and even surpassed a few. Favorite musical numbers included: The Finnish Fish Slapping song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and He’s Not Dead Yet. LOL funny!! All this inspired me to try something I haven’t had since I was a child: SPAM!!
One of my favorite commercials was the “MORE SPAM PLEASE!” It made me laugh every time but failed to move me to the store. This cannot be said for Spamalot as I stopped into my local grocer at 11 p.m., on the way home from the theater, to make sure I picked up a can to have with my eggs for breakfast. I could hardly sleep being bemused at the idea of Eggs and Spam. To be honest, I was happily surprised with the result.
Spam, you see, is a contraction of Spiced Ham. Hormel first packaged Spam as Hormel’s Spiced Ham. One year later they changed the name and the rest is history. Upon opening the can I couldn’t help but think of the work of previous generations of chefs who tried, failed, and tried again at preserving meats so that they wouldn’t spoil. Until refrigeration became so commonplace in our society, canning was the best and only way to preserve foods mainly to last us throughout the winter months. One of my favorite preserves in Duck Confit. Duck Confit is duck meat poached in duck fat and covered completely in a jar with the same renderings. The perfect seal of fat prevents any bacteria from getting in contact with the meat causing it to spoil. It’s might tasty too! Confit is shortened from the French: Confiture, which is a preserve of fruit.
Spam, while commonplace today, is an example of the pinnacle of the process of food preservation. It utilizes all edible portions of a pig, wasting nothing. It provides protein calories at a very reasonable price and it has a long shelf life. The knowledge and skill needed to accomplish this is beyond most home cooks and chefs alike. My hat is off to Spam in the year of their 75th anniversary, for feeding generations of families and spawning such a fantastic musical farce.
My breakfast today: Fried Spam, whole wheat toast, a glass of low fat milk and 2 eggs sunny side up garnished with both cilantro and jalepeno chutneys. I’m a happy, preserved meat eating kind of guy today.
Eat Well and Smile Often.
Pam Don’t Take My Spam (click it, I dare you)