Things you didn’t know about Spam


Published March 31, 2014

| The Daily Meal

Things you didn’t know about Spam

Things you didn’t know about Spam

The luncheon meat has a long and illustrious history.

The name is still a mystery

While most people assume SPAM is short for “spiced ham,” only a handful of people know its true origin — and they’re not telling. The name was actually suggested in naming contest by Ken Daigneau, a Hormel VP’s brother, before the product was introduced in 1937. Daigneau won a naming contest and $100. Other theories include “special processed American meat” and “shoulders of pork and ham.”

It powered the Russians during WWII

While it’s common knowledge that Spam was popular with American GI’s, a whopping 100 million pounds of the stuff was consumed by Russian forces during the war. “Without Spam, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army,” Russian Premier Nikita Krushchev later said. 

There used to be a mascot

Ever hear of Slammin’ Spammy? He was a machine gun-toting, bomb-hurling, angry-faced pig introduced by Hormel to help support the war effort, and showed up on everything from clothing to bombers.

The amount produced is insane

A whopping 44,000 cans of spam, or 33,000 pounds, are produced every hour worldwide, to be consumed in more than 40 countries. That’s a whole lot of Spam.

It’s no mystery meat

Hormel has always been pretty straightforward about what goes into the can, even though people continue to be wary of it. It’s made with pork shoulder and ham, along with salt, water, sugar, potato starch, and nitrites. It’s basically made from the same stuff as hot dogs.

See more crazy facts about Spam.

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