Before “spam” became a ubiquitous term for unsolicited e-mail, there was Spam, the canned meat—as the Hormel Co. of Austin, Minn., the makers of Spam and zealous protectors of its trademark, will be quick to remind you. But did you know that there’s now a whole Spam family? You would if you stumbled across the “Spam Family Tree” at Hormel’s official Spam site at www.spam.com/sp.htm.
The site traces Spam’s “genealogy” back to 1937, when company president J.C. Hormel held a contest to name the “spicy ham packaged in a handy dandy 12-ounce can.” The winner was “Spam” and the rest is meatpacking history.
Today, as the Spam Family Tree spells out, that original Spam has descendants: Spam Oven Roasted Turkey, Spam Smoke Flavored, Spam Lite and Spam Less Sodium. The progenitor of this happy family, plain ol’ Spam, is of course still going strong.
After you whip a batch of Spambalaya Jambalaya (we kid you not—see the recipe at www.hormel.com/Hormel/recipe.nsf/LURecipes/spambalaya?OpenDocument), though, you might want to send the Hormel folks a few family tree tips. We want birth dates throughout! And where are the source attributions here?
Just don’t, er, spam them.