LETTER: In rapturous praise of Spam

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Alan Stainer’s article, ‘Do you check your spam’ (WSCT - Jan 28), made interesting reading - especially to those like myself who are not that computer literate.

That said, I was saddened to see that his piece was illustrated with tins of ‘Spam’ chopped pork and ham.

Clearly neither Mr Stainer nor your picture editor lived through World War Two or the years of austerity that followed it.

For us that did, please believe me when I say that ‘Spam’ was a luxury to be savoured. And I make no apology for being a ‘Spam’ enthusiast to this day - save that their ring-pull cans challenge the strength and ingenuity of those of us of riper years.

In our computerised age, unfortunately the words ‘Spam’ and ‘spam’ are synonymous with unwanted material. Whether this confusion affects the sales of ‘Spam’ - spiced pork and ham is difficult to say - but it continues to move off supermarket shelves at a pace - which is encouraging.

‘Spam’ of course is an American product and first came to this country in 1942 at a time when Britain was up against it.

Most consumables were strictly rationed and it was not uncommon to see whale meat on the menu at ‘British Restaurants’. But as a youngster, my own intake was complemented with daily doses of cod-liver oil and vitamin-enhanced orange juice. Both of which were revolting.

So, may I take this opportunity of giving three rousing cheers for ‘Spam’.

In 1992 - the 50th anniversary of the introduction of ‘Spam’ into the UK, I wrote a letter of thanks to its American parent company.

A week or so later, we received a knock on our front door. It was a representative from the US meat company, ‘Hormel’ who delivered 24 large cans of ‘Spam’ - with the compliments of the management!

So my message to the younger generation is to be grateful for the wide variety of food on offer. And above all, don’t waste anything that is edible. One day, perhaps, you too will go into raptures for a slice of ‘Spam’ - as I did as a young boy!


Bourns Court, Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham


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