Spam Surprise

     What’s the big surprise about Spam? Not the kind you get in your email box but the spiced ham variety from Hormel.  The surprise is it can be prepared out on a camping trip and actually tastes good.

     Before you laugh too hard listen to this.  When we bought Voyageur back in 1993 there was enough Spam in the store here to feed a small army for a full year.  I had no clue why it was there or how in the heck we were ever going to get rid of all of it. 

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     I was told the reason for so much Spam was in case the fishing guides didn’t catch fish.  The guides would fry it up along with the canned whole potatoes that also lined our shelves.  The funny thing was cans were no longer allowed in the BWCA so I had no idea how long they had been sitting there.  I do know they had a thick layer of dust on top of them and that I wasn’t excited about having to eat Spam every day for the rest of my life.

     Then one day for lunch Mike made Spam Surprise for the staff.  I don’t know if he actually told us what we were eating before we ate it or not.  He had taken the chunk of Spam out of the can and removed the thick gel coating from it.  He then used a cheese grater to grate the Spam onto pieces of toast.  He placed the toast on a baking pan, added some shredded pickles, shredded cheese, removed it from the oven and served it for lunch.

     I admit I was surprised it actually tasted good.  You would think that I, having been born in the same state as Spam Town(Austin, MN), would have known what a wondrous food Spam was.  It fed army troops in World War II and even has its own museum. 

     When we finally ate that last can of Spam I was a little sad.  While I couldn’t bring myself to purchase a can in the grocery store I have to admit when it came out in the pouch I had to buy it.  We’ve used the tuna in a pouch for canoe camping trips in the BWCA and love it.  I knew once we tried the Spam in a pouch we were onto something good.


     There are so many ways to eat Spam.  You can slice it and fry it up for breakfast, make it into a patty and eat it like a burger, slice it thin and use it in a sandwich or cut it into small pieces and put it on crackers.  It tastes good stuffed in a pita, wrapped in a tortilla and even on top of pizza.  Spam fajitas are tasty, grilled Spam kabobs hit the spot and there’s nothing tastier than Spam and macaroni. 

     The next time you hear the word Spam don’t cringe.  That chunk of gunk can be made into something that actually tastes good, surprise!