Chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite to help keep its color.

Those are the official ingredients in Spam. At least, I think so. I was too lazy to read the Spam tin so I just looked it up on Wikipedia. But why would Wikipedia lie?

Throughout history Spam has gotten a pretty bad rap and that is just not fair. Spam doesn’t suck. It is actually pretty tasty. There is a certain “the saltiest salt lick in all of salt-lickdom” deliciousness to it. It doesn’t intrude on or overpower the flavor of any other food that you combine it with. It has a nice, firm consistency, which is always important when you are consuming some sort of meat product in canned form. So there is nothing wrong with this salty meat product, as long as it is consumed in moderation. And it is fun saying the word “Spam”, almost as much as saying “salty meat product.”

I guess you could say Spam looks weird or off-putting, especially when you first pull that tab open and stare at that hunk of rectangular, pink meat. But you should embrace the odd visual. Where else in nature can you eat something that looks so strange and not immediate vomit or die? And you should definitely embrace the sound Spam makes when you pull it from the can. That suction cup sound as it plops on to your plate – that is the sound of flavor. Also, I just realized that “pulling Spam from the can” can be a new euphemism for masturbating, so congratulations to me.

I never had Spam in my life until I got married. My wife is Chinese and for some reason Spam is very popular in Asian cuisine. (When I asked her why my wife said she had no clue but, just like Wikipedia, I’ll trust her. I mean, why would she lie?) She puts it in her Chinese fried rice and it is a big bowl of yum. And at a Hawaiian restaurant nearby we usually order Spam Masubi with our entrée. What is Spam Masubi? Well, take a nice piece of unagi sushi, remove that piece of unagi and replace it with a slab of Spam. Done. There’s your Spam Masubi. It is every bit as delicious as regular sushi, minus absolutely every health benefit.

And that is the biggest – and really only – problem with Spam. Plain and simple, it’s just not that healthy for you. Wait, let me rephrase that: It’s not REMOTELY healthy for you. Lots of salt and lots of fat and if you love to consume all that badness but would rather save it for bacon then I wouldn’t fault you. Sure, the good people of Hormel have come out with “healthy” alternatives like Spam Lite or Turkey Spam, but that just seems stupid. Why bother? Using Spam Lite is like paying for a hooker but only dry humping her leg. Sure you can do that, but if you are going to spend the money why not make it worth your while, right? I mean…so I am told.

Nevertheless, despite its lack of nutritional value and despite it being the butt of many a joke, Spam is kind of hardcore. You sort of know what it is but you really don’t. It’s sort of mysterious and few people eat it. You don’t F with Spam. I had a girlfriend in college whose dad threw Spam into a bowl with a can of lima beans and ate that hot mess with a side of Saltines and a cold Red White and Blue Beer. I would consume none of those things I just mentioned but I defy you to find a more badass, hardcore dinner than that.