Cover image for Spam : a biography
Spam : a biography
Wyman, Carolyn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego, CA : Harcourt Brace, [1999]

Physical Description:
vii, 134 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
"A Harvest original."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX749 .W96 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
TX749 .W96 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Over sixty years ago, when meat was bought from a butcher, Jay Hormel's idea for pork in a can was nothing short of revolutionary. How in the world (and why in the world) did he do it? In nine highly engaging and entertaining chapters, complete with over 200 illustrations and photos, author and Spam-fan Carolyn Wyman traces the unbelievable success story of this one-of-a-kind, all-American, all-pork product, including: Spam's place in history, its role during World War II, and how Spam saved the Russian army from starvation, the making (yes, the ingredients) and the selling of Spam, from 1937 to today, spamming the Globe: From Zimbabwe to Anguilla, stories of Spam overseas, the infamous Monty Python skit and Spam's other starring roles and cameos in television, movies, cartoons, and music, delectable recipes like Spam Fritters, Spamtastic Mincemeat Truffles, and the award-winning Spam Cheesecake, Cyber Spam: The best of Spam on the Internet, including poetry from the Spam Haiku Archive. A fascinating portrait of an icon in a can, Spam: A Biography will delight everyone from the culinarily curious and connoisseurs of kitsch to netheads and veterans-and of course, Spam's true fans: the millions of people who eat America's "Miracle Meat" for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. SPAM-tistics: (1)Spam is sold in over 45 countries around the world. (2)Over 100 million cans are consumed by 60 million Americans each year, averaging 2.8 cans per second (3)The Spam can is part of the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection (4)Over 5 billion cans of Spam have been sold since 1937. (5)Hawaiians are the highest per capita Spam eaters-averaging 4 cans/year per person-followed closely by Alaska, Arkansas, Texas, and Alabama (6)Hormel-sponsored Best of Spam Recipe competitions are held each year at more than 75 state and regional fairs (7)Over 20,000 people attend the Spam Jam in Spamtown, USA, aka Austin, Minnesota, Hormel's headquarters.

Author Notes

Carolyn Wyman is the author of I'm a Spam Fan and The Kitchen Sink Cookbook. Her syndicated weekly column, "Supermarket Sampler," presents reviews of new food products in more than 100 newspapers around the country. A staff writer at the New Haven Register, she stashes her Spam in Middletown, Connecticut.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

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

Table of Contents

Prefacep. v
A Meat Legend Is Bornp. 1
Spam Goes to Warp. 16
Making Spamp. 32
Spam Fansp. 41
Selling Spamp. 56
Spam Around the Globep. 78
Starring Spamp. 86
Celebrating Spamp. 105
CyberSpamp. 122
Acknowledgmentsp. 131
Permissions and Creditsp. 133