I Ate Spam

A few weeks ago, the subject of Spam came up during a conversation with my sister-in-law.  I don’t recall exactly what precipitated the conversation, but I think it had something to do with the fact that there are amazing numbers of different flavors of Spam on the market. When we were children, there was only one flavor, as far as I know.  But now: there are versions with chorizo, with bacon, with jalapeño, low sodium, and on and on.

Anyway, during this conversation, we agreed we would try Spam sometime soon. I intended for her to participate in the “taste test,” but I jumped the gun.  One day, as I was rushing to have an early lunch before leaving to attend a writing workshop, I spied the one can of Spam I had bought (the original, basic stuff, as the store where I bought it carried no other). I decided to make a grilled Spam and cheese sandwich. So I did.

I buttered one side of a couple of slices of bread and put them, butter-side-down, on a skillet on the stove.  On the exposed surface, I placed a few slices of extra sharp Vermont white cheddar cheese.  In another skillet, I browned a couple of slices of Spam (I was stunned at how soft the Spam was; making slices was like cutting butter).  When the cheese began to melt, I put sliced jalapeños and sliced onions on top of the cheese on one slice of bread, then put the Spam slices on top. Finally, I topped the loaded slice of bread with the other one and flipped the sandwich a couple of times for good measure.

And then, I ate Spam.  The addition of jalapeños and onions and cheese contributed, no doubt, to the acceptable flavor of the sandwich.  But the flavor of Spam came through when I ate the sandwich; it was the flavor I remember from my childhood, when I decided Spam was not a food that one should voluntarily consume.  Yet I had done just that.  I ate Spam. Subsequently, I’ve gone through the remainder of the can. I still wonder what the “flavored” versions taste like; I’m not sure, now, whether I wonder enough to buy them.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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