When pumpkin spice becomes ubiquitous, you can be sure that autumn is on its way.
The popular spice mix is typically found in pumpkin pies, donuts, and, of course, lattes from Starbucks, but in September 2019, an unusual product got in on the act: Spam.
For those not acquainted with the legendary luncheon meat, Spam is a canned cooked pork product manufactured by Hormel Foods. Even though the limited-edition Spam Pumpkin Spice was only available from Spam.com and Walmart's website, it sold out in less than seven hours, according to Hormel.
As with most "pumpkin spice" products, Spam Pumpkin Spice is made with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, but no actual pumpkin.
Despite the instant success of its unusual new Spam flavor, Hormel hasn't announced any plans to bring back the pumpkin spice variety, stating only that it was pleased to see so many happy customers. The new product actually represents a humorous -- and clearly welcome -- response to a fake Facebook post in 2017 about the imminent of arrival of a pumpkin spice-flavored Spam.
While Spam is available in more than a dozen varieties (including Jalapeño, Teriyaki, Hickory Smoke, and Garlic), the basic ingredients are pork, ham, salt, potato starch, sugar, water, and sodium nitrate. It was introduced in 1937 and gained worldwide popularity during World War II.
Some Spam highlights:
- Spam got its name in a $100 contest. It's thought to be a portmanteau of "spiced ham" or "shoulder of pork and ham."
- Spam is considered a luxury food in South Korea, where it is often given as a holiday gift.
- Hormel produces 44,000 cans of Spam every hour.