Fremont Tribune from Fremont, Nebraska on April 25, 1987 · 3
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Fremont Tribune from Fremont, Nebraska · 3

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Fremont, Nebraska
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Saturday, April 25, 1987
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3
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Page A3 Fremont Tribune Saturday, April 25, 1987 lr3dr 0 vooro id BY SARA B. HANSEN Staff Writer Happy birthday SPAM ! Geo. A. Hormel & Co.s canned luncheon meat is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Made of chopped pork shoulder meat with added ham meat, salt, water, sugar and sodium nitrate, the product made at Fremonts Hormel plant has an indefinite shelf life. Fremont supermarkets stock SPAM; two of them are joining the birthday party. Hinky Dinky served cake (marble, not SPAM) on Friday and again today starting at 11 a.m., said Allan Hale, store owner-manager. Hinky Dinky also cut prices of four Hormel items, including SPAM, to 99 cents from $1.59. The store will serve a barbecue sandwich of Hormel pork and barbecue sauce as its weekend sandwich. Hinky Dinky typically sells 50 cans of SPAM a week. Hale said. We probably sell more here in Fremont since Hormel is in town. Ron Riffel, assistant manager at Hy-Vee Food Store, said SPAM is on sale for $1 this week. Thats a bargain, he said. Although Riffel didnt have figures on how many cans Hy-Vee sells per week, he said it is a popular product. Midland Lutheran College celebrated by serving meals with SPAM in the cafeteria Friday. Jim Jorgenson, manager of the local Hormel plant, said he is pleased by Fremonts response to SPAMs birthday. Its an opportunity for us to recognize one of our mainstays and have fun with it. Fry, sautee or bake it Lynn Brannen says her husband, Pat, is the ultimate SPAM fan. But Brannen, co-owner of Backstage Revue hair salon, said he eats Spam only occasionally. Everybody always laughs, he said. The joke is its the only thing I know how to make besides hot dogs. Brannen fixes Spam by slicing it, covering it with crushed pineapple and brown sugar and baking it. Its pretty simple, he said. If I can fix it.... SPAM is one of Americas most versatile luncheon meats, boasts its producer. Geo. A Hormel & Co. Other possibilities for putting SPAM on the family menu include: Enchilada Breakfast Casserole Prepare the night before 12-oz can SPAM, cubed Vi inch 1 small onion, chopped 1 small green pepper chopped 1 small tomato chopped 2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese 8 (7) flour tortillas 4 eggs 2 c. whipping cream 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour V4 tsp. garlic powder 4-oz. can diced green chilies Picante sauce Place about V4 cup of SPAM, 1 tbsp. onion, 1 tbsp. green pepper, 1 tbsp. tomato and 1 tbsp. cheese on one side of tortilla. Set remaining cheese aside. Roll up jelly-roll fashion; place seam side down in greased 13 by 19 inch baking dish. In small bowl combine retraining ingredients. Blend together with wire whisk. Pour over enchiladas. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 40-50 mihutes or until egg mixture is set. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven; bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with picante sauce. Serves 8. Spaghetti Carbonara lVi lbs. of spaghetti 12-oz can SPAM, cubed Vi inch V2 c. chopped onion 3 tbsp. olive oil 3 tbsp. butter 4 eggs, slightly beaten V2 c. grated Parmesan cheese Vi c. chopped fresh parsley ground pepper . Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in skillet cook SPAM and onion in oil and butter over medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside. When spaghetti is cooked, drain; See RECIPES, Page A5 SPAR like ice cream to World War ID vets BY SUSAN S. RUSSELL City Editor Stanley Carlson will never forget SPAM. It came in plain Army-green tins. Carlson, 60, of Fremont, served in World War II. He and other soldiers ate SPAM all kinds of ways during their tours of duty. The canned meat, produced by Geo. A. Hormel & Co., was called Miracle Meat because it didnt need refrigeration and had an indefinite shelf life. That made it a perfect staple for the armed forces. Carlson, who served 13 months in the-Philippines, said he didnt realize then that SPAM was made by Hormel. Later he worked at Hormel for 36 years before retiring. Carlston still eats SPAM. It tastes better now than he remembers in 1945. Arnold Anthony, also a Fremont vet, eats SPAM too. He cuts the loaf into quarter-inch slices and fries it. It makes a good sandwich. he said. Anthony, 70, was a technician during World War II. He served in Europe from March 1942 to October 1945. Canned meat was like eating a T-bone now. It was better than nothing. Anthony remembers opening up a tin and digging in. SPAM was a big treat, like getting a dish of ice cream, compared to other Army rations, Anthony said. Servicemen in other branches of the military envied the Armys rations. Bud Kirby, who served in the Korean War. said the Navy didnt get SPAM. Sailors swapped rations with soldiers. There were two things the Army troops were short of that we had coffee and butter. They always had SPAM and C rations, he said. We didnt have SPAM that often so we looked forward to troops coming aboard so we could swap. He was a quartermaster signalman aboard a troop ship from 1950-54. Kirby,. 55, recalls getting the 3- or 5-pound SPAM tins and slicing it for sandwiches. It tasted good layered on cook Carl Wallingfords homemade bread and butter. Despite the ships rocking, Wallingford, said he fixed a variety of SPAM meals. The 54-year-old Fremonter said SPAM was more brine then than the current canned meat. Kirby, a Nebraska Job Service employee, said he eats SPAM two or three times a year now. It Still tastes good on sandwiches, he said. Name set product apart from competitors Every minute, 340 cans produced in Fremont Every minute 340 12-ounce cans of SPAM roll off the production line at the Geo. A. Hormelplant. Jim Jorgenson, general manager of the plant, said Fremont's largest employer makes 750,000-800,000 pounds of SPAM pe"r week. Thirty of the factorys 820 employees work two shifts making SPAM The Fremont plant started manufacturing SPAM in 1949. Since then it has produced 700 million pounds of the canned luncheon meat. The Fremont plant also makes low-sodium SPAM and smoked SPAM, as well as SPAM in a 7-ounce can. SPAM is made of 100 percent pure pork shoulder and ham. It has no fillers, no cereals and no meat by-products. The pork shoulder meat includes picnics and butts that have been completely boned. The shoulder butt is used for tenderness and sweetness. Ham meat is added to provide ham flavor. Other ingredients are salt for binding, flavor and firmness; water for better mixing; sugar for flavor; and sodium nitrate for color and preservative, SPAM contains 170 calories per 2-ounce serving. Ingredients are ground to a medium coarse texture. Flavoring is added. After blending, the meat is mechanically filled into cans, sealed and cooked. Upon leaving the oven, the cans are, dried and transferred to the packaging area. Cans are then dated and transferred to the storage area to await shipment. Quality control checks'include. bacteria counts of fresh meat, percent of leanness, proper quantities and blending of ingredients, can inspection for defects before and after cooking, can net weight control checks, temperature of meat going into can, sealed cans checked for vacuum and closing seam, cooking temperature and time checks, product tasting to evaluate visual appearance, shape and flavor. George Hormel launched his meatpacking company in 1891 in a small converted creamery in Austin, Minn. A handful of employees produced ham, bacon, sausage and fresh meat. They slaughtered 610 hogs the first year. Today, Hormel slaughters more than 3.7 million hogs a year. It employs more than 8,000 people to make more than 800 products. To survive and prosper, Hormel knew he had to introduce more and better products. His philosophy was: Innovate, dont imitate. In 1937, Hormel was ready to promote a spiced ham product composed of ham and pork shoulder meat Hormel Spiced Ham. Other packers immediately followed with similar products and Hormel was unable to gain a controlling share of the market. The product lacked a catchy name that would pre-empt competitive claims, so the company offered a $100 reward for an appropriate brand name. Ken Daigneau, brother of a Hormel executive, supplied the winning entry SPAM an acronym for spiced ham. The name was immediately copywrited. SPAM was called The Miracle Meat during early advertising campaigns because it didnt need refrigeration, had no waste and can be eaten hot or cold. Hormel hired George Burns and Gracie Allen in 1940 to advertise SPAM. Sales grew and by 1942 had topped the 40 million pound mark. With the outbreak of World War II in 1941, SPAM became a lend-lease commodity item. Because it didnt need refrigeration, SPAM became a staple for soldiers. SPAM became one of the most celebrated four-letter words in World War II. In Khruschev Remembers, Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev said, There were many jokes going around in the Army, some of them off color, about American SPAM; it tasted good nonetheless. Without SPAM, we wouldnt have been able to feed our Army. We had lost our most fertile lands. Military cooks used SPAM with great regularity. I ate my share of SPAM along with millions of other soldiers, said the late President Dwight Eisenhower.T will even confess to a few unkind words about it uttered during the strain of battle, you understand. But, as a former Commander-in-Chief, I believe I can still officially forgive your only sin: sending us so much of it. In the late 1940s and 1950s, SPAM was advertised by the Hormel Girls Corps, a traveling and performing group. SPAM was sampled door to door and during the concerts by the Hormel Girls. The company continued to use radio and television advertising in the last 30 years to sustain sales at their current level of more than 100 million cans of product per year. SPAM is consumed by more than 30 percent of the households in the United States. SPAM gets no respect Have you heard the one about the traveling SPAM? Joking about the canned luncheon meat is as American as applie pie. Geo. A. Hormel & Co., maker of SPAM, has collected jokes and stories over the years. Heres a sampling: A well-worn GI one-liner during World War ll:SPAM is a ham that didnt pass its physical. SPAM is a meatball without basic training. Former Army mess sergeant: I had to disguise SPAM to get the guys to eat it. I would bake it, fry it, scramble it, bread it and even cream it. You could do anything with SPAM, except enjoy it. Cook to mess sergeant: Ive got it! Something is different! Well slice SPAM lengthwise. During a skit on his late-night television show, comedian David Letterman introduced a product called SPAM-on-a-Rope, in case you get hungry in the shower. The Monty Python comedy troupe grilled SPAM during a memorable sketch on one of the Flying Circus television shows. The scene began with a man and a wife taking a seat in a restaurant where everything on the mend has SPAM in it. 'Wife: Havent you got anything without SPAM? Waitress: Well theres SPAM egg sausage and SPAM. Thats not got much SPAM in it. Wife: I dont want any SPAM. Husband: Ssh, dear, dont cause a fuss. Ill have your SPAM. I love it. Im having SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM baked beans SPAM SPAM SPAM. Waitress: Baked beans are off. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once recalled a Christmas when her family feasted on SPAM. Mrs. Thatcher reminisced about Christmas 1943 when she was 18-year-old Margaret Roberts living- with her parents at their grocery store in Grantham in eastern England. She especially recalled the day after Christmas, celebrated as Boxing Day in Britain, when her family served what in wartime austerity and rationing was & treat. We had friends in on Boxing Day and I can quite vividly remember that we opened a tin of SPAM. We had some lettuce and tomatoes and peaches, so it was SPAM and salad.- West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd is a true SPAM fan. He is reported to eat a SPAM luncheon meat sandwich with mayonnaise on white bread three times a week. Students take it seriously BY TAM MY REAL Lifestyle Reporter Renee Wenstrand sniffed at the haihburger bun covered with SPAM salad. He told me it had green pepper and onions in it, she said, pointing to Burt Laaker who sat across the ' table, and I dont like those." Miss Wenstrand and Laaker were two Midland Lutheran College students who ate SPAM during the schools first SPAM day celebration Friday. SPAM is 50 years old this year. Weve had SPAM ever since I was a kid, said Miss Wenstrand, 21, taking a bite after digging out the green peppers. Its good meat but I like it better fried. Dave Anderson, 21, would rather have warm SPAM too. I gave up. It was cold, he said. He left a half-eaten SPAM salad sandwich on his plate and started devouring peanut butter and jelly instead. Darryl Blum, 20, had a more charitable attitude toward the canned luncheon meat that everybody loves to laugh at. We had SPAM O Muffins for breakfast this morning and they were really good. I eat it at home. I put cheese on a cracker and then cut it up in little pieces and put it on that. Sometimes I eat it straight.. .but then I eat anything. The lunchroom chatter was a low buzz until 18-year-old Connie Schlautman climbed on a chair to announce the winners of SPAM banks, hats a T-shirt and plastic raft. The students cheered and clapped when it was announced Chuck Steeples and Chris Sanders won prizes. Go, Mary, yelled one young man as a girl, blushing, went to claim her SPAM bank. Across campus a former Midland student, William Hunter, was speaking at a more dignified gathering for faculty, civic leaders and officials of Geo. A. Hormel & Co., which manufactures SPAM. Hunter is group vice president of operations for , Hormel. He gt his start with the company in 1950 Renee Wenstrand, 21, takes a bite from her SPAM salad sandwich during lunch Friday at Midland Lutheran College. when, as a college senior, he was on th,e night sanitation crew. He told how 100 million cans of SPAM are produced each year and that 3.6 cans are consumed every second in America. But he also jokingly promised the group not to tell that they ate SPAM at the noon luncheon. Its funny, he said, we have two lines going night and day at three plants, but nobody seems to eat it. SPAM trivia SPAM luncheon meat is a registered trademark for a pork product produced by Geo. A. Hormel & Co., a meatpacking and food processing firm headquartered in Austin, Minn. Kenneth Daigneau, an actor-brother of R. H. Daigneau, a Geo. A. Hormel & Company vice president, is credited with giving SPAM its name. Hormel managers decided the new product needed a catchy name and sponsored a contest with $100 going to the winning entry. Kenneth Daigneau suggested the name SPAM at a New Years Eve party. Its an acronym for spiced ham, taking the SP from spiced and AM from ham. Today, the SPAM trademark is registered in 90 countries, including the Peoples Republic of China and the U.S.S.R. SPAM is registered in countries from Afghanistan to Venezuela. Other facts about SPAM: SPAM is the only canned luncheon meat in national distribution. SPAM is sold in more than 99 percent of the U.S. grocery stores. More than 60 million people and 30 percent of the U.S. households eat SPAM. Nearly three of every four cans of canned luncheon meat in American homes are SPAM. In the United States, 3.6 cans' of SPAM are consumed every second. This equates to 216 cans per minute and 12,960 cans an hour. In dollar amount, the total canned luncheon meat market in the United States amounts to $175 million. On a per capita basis, Hawaii, Alaska, Texas and Alabama are the biggest SPAM users in the United States. Of these four states, Hawaii, again on a per capita basis, is the apparent leader. More than 4 million cans are sold annually in Hawaii, which has a population exceeding 1 million. Internationally, the United Kingdom is the largest consumer of SPAM. SPAM is sold in more than 50 countries. SPAM is produced in three U.S. locations: Austin, Minn.; Fremont, Neb.; and Beloit, Wis. In the U.S., at full capacity, Hormel can produce 3.8 million cans of SPAM weekly. SPAM is produced in seven foreign countries: England, Australia, Denmark, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Mexico will become the eighth country soon. More than four billion cans of SPAM have been produced since its introduction in 1937 with the four billionth can reaching the marketplace in late 1986. To supplement the 12-ounce size, a 7-ounce can of SPAM was introduced in 1962 for smaller families. This was followed by the introduction in 1971 of SPAM with cheese chunks and smoke-flavored SPAM. In 1986, a Less SaltSodium SPAM was introduced. I Although SPAM is closely . associated with World War II, : the U.S. armed forces in 1986 ; purchased 3.5 million pounds of : the product.

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