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SPAM: A Biography: The Amazing True Story of America's "Miracle Meat!" Paperback – July 1, 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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100 Million Years of Food by Stephen Le
"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Cadillac of canned meat food products finally gets its due with Spam: A Biography. The book traces the meat's story from its distant Hormel ancestry through its history-changing 1937 birth, right up to the present day. Along the way we discover that its ingredients are not nearly so revolting as one might have been lead to think (merely pork shoulder, ham, salt, sugar, and delicious sodium nitrite) and that Spam received its pithy name from actor and friend of the Hormel family, Kenneth Daigneau. But this is no rosy-hued love letter to luncheon meats. Wyman tackles the tough issues of Hormel's labor problems during the 1980s and the visceral hatred many World War II GIs developed for Spam after finding it in meals for days on end. (Wyman also notes alternative wartime Spam uses, including skin conditioner, gun lubricant, and thickly-sliced playing cards.) In an invaluable service, readers are reassured as to the benign nature of the disturbing gelatin that surrounds Spam, and taught how to tell which batch they're eating by deciphering the markings on their cans. The author also tracks the history of Spam advertising and descends into the terrifying maelstrom of obsessive Spam fans. Of course, no book on Spam would be complete without recipes, and Wyman includes some truly chilling examples, including "SPAMtastic Mincemeat Truffles," "Fruit Cocktail-SPAM Buffet Party Loaf," and the absolutely ungodly "Lobster Thermidor aux Crevettes with a Mornay Sauce Garnished with Truffle Pâté, Brandy, and a Fried Egg on Top and Spam." --Ali Davis

From Booklist

A main-meal casserole accompanied by baked beans, pineapple, and brown sugar. A foodstuff popularized by military legends. Every conceivable topic related to this spiced ham product is explored: its origins in Austin, Minnesota; history and wartime stories; advertising and promotions; manufacturing; and Spam spoofs and features in the media. Certainly, newspaper food columnist Wyman has done her homework. A hodgepodge of illustrations cries 1940s and 1950s design style, and a mixture of innumerable facts and creative fiction amuses, entertains, and impresses. Could anyone resist the following ditty: "But marital bliss is sure to cease/If I ever ask for ham/And find my eggs are looking up/From a goldarned slice of Spam." More than you ever dreamed--or could consume. Barbara Jacobs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; Clean & Tight Contents edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156004771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156004770
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 7.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
SPAM luncheon meat has been good "eats" for over 60 years and this book nicely reviews its place in our culinary history. For a book full of both old and new ways to fix SPAM, a fan will also need Linda Egger's SPAM, The Cookbook.
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Format: Paperback
In this marvelously apropos sequel to "I'm A Spam Fan"-- her wonderfully readable round-up of household brand names-- Carolyn Wyman cooks up a campy collation of fun facts and festive factoids that delightfully delineates the enduring mystique of America's favorite mystery meat. We Love It!
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Format: Paperback
Hidden beneath the barrage of silly spamaphenelia lies a story about the development of one of the most well known brands in America, and the world. This book offers interesting insight into one of the longest continually sold products in America.
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Format: Paperback
I can only start with a book that ends up interviewing me for it's content has to be great! (Page 129-130)

Lack of modesty aside, I had delved into the famous pink pork product long before Carolyn contacted me for an interview and I found that I was amazed at the amount of information she acquired. From the very beginnings of the Hormel packing company, to the first experimentation with canning pork products, to the development and naming of the product and its love/hate relationship with the US military (The only pork product with a presidential pardon) it has been the bane of many, the joy to many, and a can of that insured a WWII GI in most countries more than just a good night kiss from a local lass.

I heartily endorse this book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting A great read and you guys ask for too many words, either I like it or I don't so there>
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