We heard that the SPAM MUSEUM was nearby so I knew we just had to go see it. Our friend Helen is from Hawaii and wanted me to find out how SPAM came to be so connected to Hawaiian cuisine.
We headed over to Austin, MN to find the museum. Austin is a lovely old city with some tall brick buildings, new and old. We passed by the Austin High School, just on one side and I thought it was a very large school until we saw the front of it and was really amazed at its size (see the photos).
We found the museum in the newer part of downtown. I found a link to the announcement of the new SPAM MUSEUM.
There were displays of all the flavors they have created for different nations of the world. There are quite a lot of items for the Asian Market.
The Hormel Company was very patriotic as far back as the Spanish American War and even held the jobs open for employees that enlisted in the military. Both George Hormel and his son enlisted in the military.
Since the introduction of the first military K-rations, Hormel provided ingredients for these rations. Soon their products were in the foxholes of WWII and also made its way to Hawaii with the U.S. Navy. The Hawaiians have taken this simple can of meat and created many recipes with it.
Spam is made from the Shoulder and Ham portion of the pig mixed with salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate as a preservative.
They have more recently created a product from Turkey that is also fortified with vitamins and minerals for Guatemala's children that suffer from high poverty and chronic malnutrition.
There was a display of musical instruments that were made from different Hormel and Spam cans and they are actually played in a concert by bluegrass band "Pert Near Sandstone".
At the end of our tour, I got to meet Sir Can-a-lot from the Spam commercials.