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May 29, 2008

The Spam Index


I'm feeling so depressed. There is just something about learning that sales of Spam are on the rise that's more upsetting than any other economic news I've heard yet.

To add insult to injury, the price of Spam is up 7 percent from last year. 

Thanks to Business Blogger Jay for sending me this link to the story. My multimedia editors don't like me directing you to another paper, so please come back when you finish reading the story and comment here.  

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:39 AM | | Comments (34)


Not so much depressing as disgusting, but the other day in the grocery store, I saw Spam with Bacon... as if Spam alone wasn't bad enough.

Yes, I heard it on NPR this morning on my way to work.Twelve ounces of protein for less than three bucks - a bargain! And it comes in so many varieties now. I guess the sales of Vienna Sausage will be booming also.

SPAM haters! It's really not such a bad product. It's practically a health food compared to some of the horrors that Owl Meat was presenting this weekend. They have turkey Spam, bacon Spam, when will they have Owl Meat Spam? Mmmm .... woodsy!

INGREDIENTS: Pork With Ham, Salt, Water, Sugar, Sodium Nitrate.

Five ingredients. I think I may understand voodoopork's name. Is he Spam?'

You can also make some quick delicious recipes with it, such as ...

Cornbread brocolli pie
8 1/2-oz pkg cornbread mix
10-oz pkg frozen broccoli spears
12-oz can SPAM, cubed 1/2" thawed and drained
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400. Prepare cornbread according to package directions. Stir in SPAM. Spread into greased 9" pie plate. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cornbread is almost done. Arrange broccoli spears on top of cornbread; sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven; continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and cornbread is completely baked. Yield: 6 servings.

... and then dump directly into toilet.

I heard it this morning on NPR as well, but didn't want to mention it amongst the sandboxers for fear of flying sand...

Why did that MN paper have to use my hometown as the dateline for the story? Surely the Spam Spokesperson isn't located there.

SPAM is considered an inferior good.

Ten years since I earned a BA in Economics, and I'm still using my education.

BA in Economics from a private college: $100K

Impressing fellow bloggers with my trival knowledge: Priceless

Spam is considered a delicacy in Hawaii!
On another spam sales related topic, I wonder if the sale of Raman noodles, boxed macaroni and cheese, hotdogs and cheaper chicken parts have shot up as well? These are all the basis for dinner for 3 under $5 cusine, of which I'm very well versed!

RoCK, I first thought you meant "inferior food, but when I looked it up (In Wikipedia, not Funk and Wagnalls) it made perfect sense. Thanks for teaching this old fart something new.

RoCK, your parents must be so proud.

I am not Spam, I am overly salty ham. (KITH ref).

Piano Rob, you are from SPAM COUNTRY. The Spam Museum is just south of the twin cities.

I have a confession...
I have a can or two of that in my hurricane supplies. Sure hope I never have to open it.

Spam is considered a delicacy in Hawaii!

Yes, but the Hawaiians also eat poi. :-)

Mmmm Spam. Combining my love of weird meat products and inscrutable Japanese girl-pop is the video called SPAM by Shonen Knife. I think's about spam email, but in all fairness it's hard to tell if Spam is flying all around or frying all around. They've been making music in Engrish for over 20 years, you would figure the accent might soften. Never!

Rob in PCB FL: What is PCB? Do you have a connection to Baltimore?

I'm seeing a bigger picture here, namely what benchmarks do we common folk (unlike RoCK, our new guru) use to mark economic changes. For me it has always been the Hershey Bar, which was at its peak value in 1965 at 5¢ an ounce. (I think it also tasted better then!) A quarter from my grandpa could send a ten-year-old on a sugar/chocolate/caffeine rush that would ruin the next three consecutive meals. Ah, for the good old days!

MD Canon, you beat me to a blog post. I've been thinking about writing about mental economic benchmarks for some time ... As a child, I remember spending $1 on a single slice of pizza. Then I just watched a friend pay $3.70 for a slice at the Inner Harbor on Monday.

Mr Pork,
PCB is where I live now, Panama City Beach. I was born and raised in Baltimore, lived most of my life there and in Annapolis until I got relocated here by my company about 2 years ago.

Oh, how thoroughly common of anyone to resort to eating SPAM! Or frozen broccoli spears, for that matter!

By all means, let them eat cake!

I know it's hard for people who would consider paying $180 for the final "wine and sake pairings" meal at a trendy restaurant to get this, but gas prices and the skyrocketing prices of many ordinary food staples like fresh vegetables, milk and whole grains are hitting a lot of families hard. I'd prefer they feed their kids healthier choices than SPAM, but excuse me if I think it's mean and petty to be so critical when the article clearly suggests that it's the economy that's driving up the sales of canned meat.

OK, I'll get off the soapbox now. I usually really enjoy the pinky-in-the-air feigned snobbishness of a lot of the sandbox posts, but after watching a friend try to figure out whether to fill up her gas tank or give her son money for his school field trip, I guess today I'm just not in the mood.

You make a very good point, although I still think there are healthier things to spend the family's food money on than Spam that wouldn't cost more. Of course, they wouldn't be meat. EL

Lovely Spam, wonderful Spam!
Lovely Spam, wonderful Spam, Spa-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-am....

Bloody vikings.

Linda, you are right and so is Elizabeth. It wouldn't kill anyone to skip meat a few times a week to save some bucks. It worked during the depression and it'll work again until happier economic times come around.

I wasn't making fun of poor people, just that awful looking recipe.

Spam is on sale this week at Safeway for $2.50 per 12 ounce can (That's $3.33/pound). Even better deal: Ostrowski Polish Sausage $3.29/lb. Smachna.

The revamped Giant on York Road is now selling individual slices of cake in clamshell casings for $3.99. While my virtuous whole grain bread was being sliced, I saw a woman pick up a slice, look at the price, and put it back. I asked the person at the counter "who buys a single slice for four dollars?" and she said "Not me--it's not THAT good!"
Maybe the current economy will force us all the choose food that is better for our health? Nah ...

Hershey's bars did taste better back when they were a nickel. They've changed the formula a few times, and I can no longer stomach their chocolate. It is nearly as bad now as Cadburys are in India.

My father, whose lack of cooking skills have provided me with hours of funny yet horrifying stories, used to bake spam for us kids. He'd stud the spam with whole cloves, then dump a jar (never a can, that would have been lower class) of apple sauce on it. He cover it and bake it until the smoke started to pour out.

I can't take spam to this day.

I can't help it - the good doctor has forced it out of me:

Spam, glorious Spam
Hot sauce and mustard
I am what I am
Spam won't go with custard

(With apologies to Lionel Bart and "Oliver")

Yes, but the Hawaiians also eat poi. :-)
- Don't know about anyone else, Hal - but you gave me a good laugh - (and spit of my iced tea)

BTW: have we cheered you up?

Maybe this bit of blogware weirdness will cheer you up.

My finger slipped during my last post and I double clicked on the magic letter box. As often happens with file-in the-box spots on web pages, Windows kindly supplies a list of my past entries in the box. Much to the chagrin of Mr. OMG (and probably others) over the past months I have posted lots of comments and populated lots of magic letter boxes. So, with however many posts, you would think I would have the entire alphabet in my magic box list. Not so. A whole bunch of letters are not represented.

For Sandboxes, its Friday. So, before you quietly slip out of the office, for the week (say around 10.30; no one's looking) try this yourself. Weird

And with that insight, I am going back to sleep to nurse my hangover from the blog party. Those guys can drink ...

I tried Chagrin once, but it was too musky forr my taste. I stick with Hai Karate or vanilla extract. Chagrin? You're one of the pillars of this temple of blog.

Confusing company name of the day:

I just checked, RtSO, and I'm sure I have every letter. I even sang the alphabet song to be sure. What a terrible ear worm that is!!

What are the odds of missing some letters? Math Geek Alert. It looks like I have only 18 Maybe in the R(tSO) universe the alphabet is only 18 characters.

Thanks Rosebud.

I think you would have to know many times you posted and that the letter selection is truly random. I suck at probability.

Until this, I did assume the magic letter was random to cut down on spam posting. Each time you do a preview the letter changes. When I wrote the last post, D was the letter, but after I did a preview the letter changed to a previously used letter. Very (very) rough estimate on the number of posts: 20 posts a week for 32 weeks: 640 posts (probably low.) Just weird.

Saw Dahlink's comment on clamshell cake. I married into Maryland in 1981 and the wedding cake (which I had not a clue about until I cut it) was seriously the best I have ever tasted, before or since -- and it was elegant to boot. I asked my mother-in-law where it had come from, and she said "Giant." For about a year after as I traveled around, I picked up every phone book I could find and tried to look up Giant in the Bakery section. Years later, after wondering out loud about it, she laughed at me and said it was from the grocery store.

What a shame Giant has let it's cakes go downhill. What would Izzy say??

MD Canon, I haven't actually TASTED any of the cake slices. But I have always heard that Graul's was the place to order a wedding cake here.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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