As the Thanksgiving and Christmas season gets back on track, maybe it’s time for some new traditions. The mad scientists at Hormel meatpacking house have an idea: Spam Figgy Pudding.
“What?” you may be wondering “and why?”
The first question is easier than the second. Let’s start with what’s in “classic” spam: pork, sugar, water, salt, potato starch, and sodium nitrate (a preservative).
The new seasonal Spam includes “additional flavors of fig and orange, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and all spices.” And as always, it’s stable in the event of an apocalypse.
Lest you say this is a perversion of fig pudding, let’s take a little closer look at that British Christmas tradition. Fig pudding is a dense steamed cake (not an American-style pudding) filled with raisins, currants, and brandy, and the modern version doesn’t actually include figs, as NPR has previously discussed.
Does Spam Figgy Pudding sound good to you? Wow, alright. In that case, he may need to move quickly. The product launched last week and is already out of stock on Spam.com and Amazon. Your best bet right now is Walmart.com, or you’ll have to resort to the secondary market (don’t make it up) on eBay, where prices are already double the list price.
In terms of the “why,” the company explains its reasoning as follows: “The creators of the SPAM® brand wanted to create a limited-edition, seasonal variety that captured the magic, warm flavors, and nostalgia we’ve all craved for the holiday season. And with SPAM® Figgy Pudding, the brand did it all in one can.”
Though other relevant answers seem to be novelty and media attention (hello!).
The only review on Amazon states that the product is “Definitely different, but very tasty.” The Washington Post reviewer disagreed, describing “an intense artificial orange flavor reminiscent of those terribly tinted and colored candied fruits that somehow find their way into objectionable Christmas treats, backed by a jarring chorus of baking spices.”
If you get your hands on Spam Figgy Pudding, it can be fried, baked or grilled, though it’s already fully cooked and ready to eat right out of the tin. Hormel recommends making skewers of red onion, figs and Spam cubes, roasted and covered with a balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of rosemary.
This reporter regrets that she was unable to obtain a can of this festively inflected meat product. Maybe that’s really good news. [Copyright 2022 NPR]