No we are not talking about a boring treatise on the subject of unwanted E-mail, we are talking about that delightful brand of canned meat. I grew up in England, and lived through 6 horrendous years of the Grammar School system, more specifically 6 years of partaking in school dinners. There were many items of the menu, but without doubt two that made your blood run cold, one was Stewed Prunes, the other, which still makes me queasy today, 4 decades later were the dreaded Spam Fritters.

Half inch thick slices of the delectable pork product were dipped into goo, the cooks euphemistically referred to this as batter. The whole ensemble was then deep fried in fat that was not hot enough. This ensured that the batter would not become crispy, while maximizing it’s fat retention properties. The end result was a soggy mess oozing more oil than the Exxon Valdez. This artery hardening dish saw the light of day at least once every two weeks.

My love of Spam never faltered though, it is a truly delicious food item. When I discovered that authors Dan Armstrong and Dustin Black had written a book in homage to this wonderful delicacy, I knew that ‘The Book Of Spam’ had a place in waiting for it on my bookshelf.

The Book Of Spam is printed on exceedingly high quality glossy paper, every page (208) is alive with photographs and drawing. The text while relatively short is compendious in its coverage of the subject. The two authors are ex BBDO account executives and actually worked on many Spam advertising campaigns, and it is from their library that many of the great photographs come from You could say that this is the Encyclopedia Spamtannica! This is a book you will want to carelessly leave out on your coffee table; your guests will be awed when they see it!

It is crammed full with interesting snippets of information, starting with the history of Spam and its predecessors, jarred meats, which were originally designed for the battlefield and the navy.

Spam as a brand actually came into existence in the 1930’s, and has been a popular seller every since. Some of the subjects that Dan Armstrong and Dustin Black explore include:

  • What is Spam?
  • Where did the name Spam come from?
  • Did Spam win WWII?
  • Does McDonalds sell Spam?
  • Which country consumes most Spam per capita?

If you do not know the answers to these questions, then you need a copy of The Book Of Spam. Mostly written tongue in cheek, this book would make a great stocking stuffer for any Spam lover.

They have a very well done website to accompany the book, which gives you a very good idea of what to expect. You can order your own copy from Amazon.

Simon Barrett

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