Americans' love/hate affair with SPAM goes way back to 1937 when the canned meat, named SPAM (short for spiced ham) was launched by Hormel Foods.
We're not sure how well it was initially received, but soon World War II broke out and the canned meat was in high demand to feed Allied troops.
In fact, between 1941 and 1945, over 100 million pounds of the "meat" was sent overseas to feed our soldiers.
Since then, over seven billion cans of the pink, squishy-yet-solid meat have been sold. It's featured on t-shirts, has its own song, fan club...and museum!
And yet...SPAM has always been more the punchline of a joke than the basis of a delicious meal.
SPAM, celebrating its 75th birthday, has decided to change that with the launch of a new mascot, Sir-Can-a-Lot which, we guess, keeps in keeping with the whole Monty Python-meets-meat-that-requires-no-refrigeration theme.
And -- just to add some other crazy ingredient into the mix -- they've teamed up with Roy Choi from Kogi BBQ Truck in California. No, Choi will not travel the country in chain mail (though we admit we'd like to see that), but he will create recipes for the brand. Of the pairing, Choi said, "This recipe creation has allowed me to also more intimately connect with my Korean heritage, Hawaii, and with all immigrant families that made their way to America,"
By the way, Hawaii has a strange love affair with SPAM the origins of which go back to wartime. Hawaiians consume more SPAM than people in any other state.
Sir-Can-a-Lot and Choi will both take to (what else) social media to share the virtues of cooking with SPAM. They both invite you to Tweet your SPAM adventures, using the hashtag #BreakTheMonotony and friend them on Facebook. The website also has a ton of recipes that try (we guess). Ever have SPAM carbonara or cucumber and avocado (and SPAM) sandwiches? Neither have we...
We gotta admit, Sir-Can-a-Lot is adorable...and maybe we'll pick up a few cans of SPAM next time we're at the market.
Hey -- it might come in handy during a zombie apocalypse.