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Thursday, April 23, 2015

We Ate at the SPAM Truck, (Maybe) So That You Don't Have To

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 2:02 PM

click to enlarge PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

You have only a couple of hours to ditch whatever it is you're doing and visit the SPAM Truck, which is parked behind the stadium on Third Street near Mission Creek until 4 p.m. today. Although they are only giving out samples during today's Giants game, making the trek was actually way more fun that I would ever have thought. If you miss it — and if you do, you also miss the opportunity to have your picture taken while wearing a SPAM can costume and another pic with the wuvable knight mascot — you can also catch the truck at Safeway at Westlake Plaza in Daly City tomorrow (Friday, April 24) or nab it on its visit to Pier 39 over the weekend. After that, it's going to Denver.

click to enlarge SPAM fries. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • SPAM fries.

The chef-wizards at Hormel Foods have come up with four recipes for SPAM, and if you have the patience, you can get in line four times to try them all. In ascending order of tastiness, this food odyssey begins with SPAM fries, which are unpleasantly desiccated with a freeze-dried quality that feels like they were meant to be served on the Apollo space program.

click to enlarge Sunny's coconut SPAM spears - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Sunny's coconut SPAM spears

Next up the chain were Sunny's coconut SPAM spears with pineapple chutney. They're just generic salty fried thing, with very little indication of what you might be eating, although the chutney is sweet and fresh.

click to enlarge SPAM musubi - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • SPAM musubi

SPAM musubi, which are a legitimate Hawaiian food, are hard to quibble with. They're small, they're light, they're covered in teriyaki, and it's hard to object.

click to enlarge SPAM and jack. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • SPAM and jack.

But the SPAM and jack grilled cheese (with spicy mustard and a little bit of onion in there), was great. I would have ordered the full one if that option had been available. The only downside was that even though I consumed about one-fifth of a real lunch, I was really thirsty by the the time I biked back to the office. While waiting to have my picture taken in a SPAM costume, I looked at the chart of SPAM trivia to learn a few factoids. Did you know that SPAM contains only six ingredients (water, salt, sugar, potato starch, "pork with ham," and sodium nitrite), and that a single plant produces 184,082,150 cans annually?

click to enlarge Doesn't the knight's skirt look like it's made out of bananas, a la Josephine Baker? - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Doesn't the knight's skirt look like it's made out of bananas, a la Josephine Baker?

Sadly, they don't reveal anything about the acronym, which is a closely held secret not unlike the writings of L. Ron Hubbard that are made known only to post-clear Scientologists. Most people assume, without any proof, that SPAM stands for "spiced ham," but since there really aren't any spices in it and the piggy bit is listed as "pork with ham," I'm more partial than ever to "Shoulders of Pork and Ham." Viva la 20th-century processed foodstuffs!
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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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