Hormel's SPAM, was given a place of honor in the new season premiere of Bizarre Foods America on the Travel Channel.
During a trip to our nation's capital, Zimmern paid a visit to the city's food truck scene.
At a truck named Hula Girl, Andrew Zimmern stopped to taste the treats served, including Hawaiian barbeque.
When he noticed SPAM on the menu he was forced to admit that he considers it the, "...useless foods poster child." He also called it, "The worst single food in the history* of American cooking."
Nonetheless, we found that SPAM is Hawaii's uber-comfort food, according to the Bizarre Foods host.
"SPAM Musubi is to Hawaii what a cheeseburger is to the other 49 states. A generous slice of grilled SPAM surrounding by seasoned sushi rice, held together by a sheet of Nori." says Zimmern is a best seller at Hula Girl.
The truck's owner told him that she sells out of the dish each day.
So much for Zimmern's opinion of it as trash, and oh boy he doesn't hold back.
"Sadly no amount of hot sauce and soy sauce, seaweed and rice can drown out the horrible flavor of canned meat. You know me, I can eat anything. I could eat the whole thing, but why would you want to?"
Guess what? There are popular food and recipe sites like AllRecipes.com and FoodNetwork.com that feature recipes for SPAM Musubi. Links to them posted below.
On the SPAM official website, one can find recipes for every meal as well as snacks and appetizers that utilize Spam.
Then there are what the site dubs its Blue Ribbon Recipes.
They include Mini-Maple SPAM Doughnuts, SPAM Breakfast Pizza, and one of SPAM fans' highest rated dish: Mini-SPAM Nacho Burgers. Link to the Blue Ribbon Recipes page posted below.
As the SPAM brand at Hormel cruised through its history, varieties of the canned meat grew. Ever conscious of the American diet needing tweaks to remain healthy, there is a low sodium SPAM, but the rest of the SPAM products reflect the changing tastes of the country at large.
There is an over-roasted turkey version, a hickory-smoked product, and even a SPAM Light.
It seems that SPAM is no longer a guilty pleasure, but a flat out tradition in America that no amount of criticism by foodies like Zimmern can kill.
Image: Wikipedia Commons/Princess Meridia. SPAM is a registered trademark of Hormel Food Corporation.