We went camping last weekend with a group of 30 friends. I christened the weekend “Camp Spam” because shortly before we left home I received a delivery of 6 cans of the processed Pork & Ham in a tin, along with 3 ‘recipes’. What’s interesting is that I always take a can of Spam camping and never, ever get around to eating it. We’ve used tins of Spam as a hammer, a target, a prop, a juggling device and a unit of measurement… but never eaten it when camping, so this was a mission to change the habit of a lifetime.
Armed with the 6 cans of porky goodness, and a fetching set of Spam T-shirts and aprons, Camp Spam began one sunny Friday evening.
We started with Recipe 2, which wasn’t much of a challenge… it involved opening a tin of Spam, cutting it into 4 slices and throwing them on a BBQ. It took some time, but I managed it without breaking into a sweaty panic. The assembled hoard of onlookers looked more scared than impressed when I told them that they would be the evening’s guinea-pigs. There were echoes of ‘not likely’ and ‘no way’ as the gelatinous pink blocks sat on the BBQ looking… pink.
But then a funny thing happened. The Spam started to sizzle and go brown and crispy on the edges. It took on the look of something tasty, and the naysayers began to succumb to it and say things like ‘well, just a little bit’. It was a spamformation.
A few minutes later I served up slices of barbequed Spam in a white baguette with a dash of BBQ sauce to 6 people, and the result was a resounding…
Recipe 2 came first thing on Saturday morning, when tents had gone from arctic cold to searing heat in the seconds after sunrise and zombie-like bodies started emerging with chants of ‘Tea… Tea…”
Spam Hash was the aim, and it started with boiling up an armful of potatoes (Thanks for peeling Muz!) chopped into small cubes. Putting them aside, next you fry up a diced onion and then add the (drained) potatoes to crisp them up. When they’re browning you just add diced spam and let it all cook off together. We had an egg spare which I chucked in for good measure, and then served the lot in bowls to a group of 7 testers for their opinions.
The general consensus was “Wow!”. Everyone agreed that it was much nicer than they remembered Spam to be, and that it made an excellent breakfast. A poll for marks out of 5 gave the Spam Hash an average of 4.75, which we’ll round up to…
SUMMARY: SPAM is, by general concensus, much nicer than you think. It makes a brilliant all-rounder for camping excursions, and since you don’t need a fridge, tin opener or anything special to prepare it (indeed, you can eat it straight from the tin… if you must) it could be a great festival foodstuff. I’ll be taking a tin to every camping trip now… and might even open it occasionally.