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(This article is about the canned meat, see Spam for alternate meanings)

SPAM is a canned meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation that has entered into folklore. SPAM luncheon meat is also used as an artistic medium in SPAM carving contests.

The labeled ingredients on the original SPAM are chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar and sodium nitrite.

A Hormel official once stated that the original source of the name SPAM was "Shoulder of Pork And haM". Other explanations of the origin of the term include "SPiced hAM", "Spiced Pork And haM", "Specially Processed Army Meat", and "SPAre hAM." The current official expansion is the acronym "Specially Processed Assorted Meat" because the SPAM Lite variety contains both pork and chicken meat.

According to Hormel's trademark guidelines, you should spell SPAM with all capital letters and treat the mark as an adjective, following it with a more generic descriptor, for example "SPAM luncheon meat".

Not everyone likes SPAM cold, which is how you would eat any other luncheon meat. Fried SPAM is popular amongst many people.

Also of interest is a small local festival in Austin, MN, USA where Hormel corporate HQ is located. The event, known as SPAM Jam is a carnival type celebration which coincides with local fourth of July festivities, featuring parades and fireworks which often relate to the popular luncheon meat.

As of 2003, SPAM is sold in 41 countries worldwide. The largest consumers of SPAM after the United States are Great Britain and South Korea. In the U.S., a can of SPAM is said to be consumed every 3.1 seconds. Among American states, Hawaii has the highest per-capita consumption of SPAM--5.5 cans per year, though Guamanians beat that figure by over 45%. It is also a favorite among the people of Saipan.

SPAM was one of the few meats excluded from the British food rationing that began in World War II and continued for a number of years after the war and the British grew heartily tired of it. The British comedy troupe Monty Python used this as the context for their Spam sketch.

SPAM is not to be confused with the sending of unsolicited emails, a practice which Hormel emphatically denounces (see spamming).

A little known religion called Spammism worships the meat. It may just be an Internet joke, though.

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