It’s not a secret that I love Spam.
When you grow up in the third world, American culinary masterpieces such as Spam, Vienna Sausages, Pringles, and Fruit Loops are extravagances, enjoyed once — maybe twice — a year and only for special occasions. After all, in my home country, imports from America were considered gold. And as an Americaphile from birth, I quickly associated these tasty treats with the sweet aroma of the American Dream: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I know Spam is probably not the healthiest thing you can eat. (Although if you look at the ingredients, there really isn’t much in there that should cause any kind of alarm: chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite. And 40 mg of cholesterol.)
But then again, we were kindly reminded today by the National Cancer Institute of the link between red meat and processed meat and “all kinds of death.” (Read the story here.)
All kinds of death aside, I don’t foresee my adoration for Spam declining anytime soon. For many, Spam is nothing more than processed meat squeezed into a trapezoidal tin. But for others — like me — Spam means so much more. That slab of processed meat is, in fact, a major component of my cultural identity.
My friend Tara has suggested that now that I’m done with my dissertation, I should write a rock opera about my love for Spam. With puppets. I’m thiiiiiiiiis tempted to start writing it.