There's more to the legendary pink lunchmeat in the little blue tin than you might think...
1. There are 15 different varieties available around the world, including Teriyaki, Jalapeno and Oven Roasted Turkey, and it’s sold in 44 countries.
2. SPAM, when referring to the food, should be spelt with all capital letters (according to the official trademark guidelines).
3. It’s amazingly popular in Hawaii, where residents have the highest per head consumption in the US. That’s why SPAM is sometimes nicknamed The Hawaiian Steak.
4. Away from the US, South Koreans consume more of it than any other country. They got a taste for it during World War II and the Korean War, when meat was scarce.
5. The first can was produced in 1937, but there’s still debate on what exactly the name stands for. Some people say it’s an abbreviation of ‘spiced ham’, ‘spare meat’ or ‘shoulders of pork and ham’. Others that it’s an acronym for ‘specially processed American meat’ or ‘specially processed Army meat’.
6. If you visit the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota, you can find out all you would ever want to know about the stuff. In the museum shop, you can even buy a SPAM can costume to impress your friends back home, but it’ll set you back a meaty $89 (around £65!).
7. When Seattle held a SPAM-carving contest in 1990, SPAM-henge, a replica of Stonehenge, won the prize.
8. There’s a book of Haiku poems about SPAM and a large ‘Spam-Ku’ archive online. Here’s one of the choice cuts:
Tastes like ham, sorta
But clogs up my aorta
Pig rigor morta
9. SPAM is made from chopped pork shoulder meat with ham, salt, water, sugar, potato starch and sodium nitrite.
10. Margaret Thatcher referred to SPAM as a ‘wartime delicacy’. On Boxing Day 1943, her family had friends round and served SPAM and salad.
11. SPAM Cam is a webcam trained on a can of decaying spam.
12. In the famous Monty Python Spam sketch from 1970, the actors say the word SPAM at least 132 times. SPAM makers Hormel were supportive of the sketch, but have never been happy with the use of the word for junk e-mail, which also came from the sketch.
13. You can turn it into cupcakes. Some people make them with a spiced cream-cheese icing and candied SPAM topping. If you find that idea tempting, click here for the recipe.
14. If someone lives in ‘SPAM Valley’ it traditionally refers to a poor neighbourhood where people can’t afford to eat anything else. More recently, it can also mean an area where the houses are so expensive the inhabitants can’t afford to buy any other food than…you know what!