It's time for foodies to stop turning their noses up at Spam, declares Anna Weaver in Slate. She offers up myriad reasons the canned meat deserves a spot at even the fanciest tables:
- It tastes good. In particular, it's more appetizing than that classic American favorite, the hot dog. But you can't just eat it out of the can: In Hawaii, where Spam is insanely popular, chefs serve it up as tacos, bành mì, or meatballs; sliced thin and fried like bacon; stir-fried with veggies; and more. Even McDonald's and Burger King have their own special versions.
- It only has six ingredients. That means "it almost passes Michael Pollan's five-ingredient test" for avoiding processed foods, Weaver writes. (Hot dogs contain about 15 ingredients, "many of them obscure chemicals.")
- One of those ingredients is pork shoulder. Yes, that pork shoulder, the same trendy ingredient currently "beloved by chefs and home cooks" everywhere.
Consider Spam musubi, Hawaii's favorite way to eat Spam: It's a block of white rice with fried and seasoned Spam on top, wrapped with dried seaweed. "In other words, Spam musubi looks a lot like sushi," Weaver writes. "Just a few short decades ago, most Americans wouldn’t have dreamt of eating raw fish. Today, sushi is ubiquitous. It’s amazing how delicious the results can be when you open your mind." Click for her full column