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Even with the same Spam, Koreans and Americans feel different flavors due to cultural differences.

I said in a previous post that grandmother blankets are disappearing in Korea but are popular these days in the United States. Conversely, there is a food ingredient treated like garbage in the United States but is considered a luxury food in Korea.
It is canned ham, Spam.

What is Spam?

Spam was made in 1937 and became widespread during World War II. Spam was supplied as food for the U.S. military during World War II and played a significant role in winning the war. But why is it treated as garbage food?
It is said that American soldiers initially liked Spam. Because they can store Spam for a long time, and it is easy to cook. However, the massive rush of Spam left the soldiers embarrassed. The soldiers ate Spam every day, and their tongues were paralyzed. Eventually, Spam was treated as junk food by soldiers. Spam became spam.

Spam in Korea

But after a while, Spam was treated differently from the United States in South Korea on the other side of the globe. After the Korean War (1950-1953), Korea was in ruins. There wasn’t enough food to eat.
Anyone would have seen a symbolic scene showing Korea’s state at that time in a movie or TV.

Ode to my Father

A boy is begging an American soldier for chocolate.

Ode to my Father

Amid the time of Korean War, a young boy’s vow to take care of his family marked the beginning of a lifelong promise spanning 60 years.

Where to Watch :  Netflix

It was difficult to have meat in Korea at that time, so Spam provided through the US military PX was considered a luxury food.
At that time, there was a perception that all US military items were of high quality. The people who could get Spam were those who worked at US military bases or were privileged to make connections with the US military, so at the time, consuming Spam was considered a particular person.

Spam became widespread in Korea in the late 1980s. The biggest traditional holidays in Korea are Lunar New Year and Chuseok(Thanksgiving Day) in autumn. 
At this time, Koreans have a custom to prepare a gift for their parents and return to their hometown. At this time, to prepare a gift for their hometowns.

In 1987, a Korean company produced Spam in Korea and made a gift set of a canned ham.
Spam was recognized as an inexpensive but luxurious gift set, as it reminded generations of parents of old memories of canned Spam.
For this reason alone, Spam is not popular in Korea. Spam goes well with Korean food that doesn’t have a main dish. If you eat one Spam, it is very salty. However, if you eat it as a side dish in Korean food, this saltiness is neutralized.

Rice with Spam

How to eat Spam

Here are two typical ways Koreans eat Spam. Have a try it, please.

1. Budae-jjigae (Army Stew)

It is a type of stew, made with ham, sausage, Spam, baked beans, kimchi and gochujang. This dish was created after the Korean War, using the scrounged or smuggled surplus foods from the U. S. army bases. Now, it is one of the nation’s favorite foods.

Here are two recipes for Budae-jjigae.

2. Eat Spam as a side dish for rice.

First, roast a slice of Spam in on a fry pan.
If you eat it with rice, the two flavors harmonize so that you can feel the sweet and moderately salty taste at the same time. If you add kimchi here, it blends with the meat’s taste and makes it more flavorful.
If you add seaweed to it, you can feel a more savory flavor.

Option 1: Rice+Spam
Option 2: Rice+Kimchi+Spam
Option 3: Seaweed+Rice+Kimch+Spam

Seaweed-Cooked rice-Kimchi-Spam

It is difficult for you to cook delicious rice, so I recommend a few instant rice. It’s instant, but it’s as delicious as the cooked rice.

Instant cooked rice

Click the image to check availability on Amazon.

CJ Rice – Cooked White Hetbahn, Gluten-Free & Vegan, 7.4-oz (12 Count), Instant & Microwaveable

Delicious COOKED RICE, Gluten free, Microwavable instant cooked rice, Precooked ready to eat

Bibigo Restaurant-Style Cooked Sticky White Rice, 8 – 7.4-ounce Bowls – PACK OF 2


Click the image to check availability on Amazon.

[JONGGA] Korean Cabbage Kimchi Can 5.64oz(160g) / Canned Kimchi / Korean Spicy Food

Korean Canned Kimchi, Original Authentic Tasteful Can Napa Cabbage, Vegan Gluten Free

Mama Kim’s Kimchi – Spicy Napa Cabbage Kimchi 32oz Pouch Freshly Made

To make kimchi more delicious, freeze it for a while in the freezer until it freezes on thin ice.
This tip is not common. It is my personal preference.

Seaweed Snack

Click the image to check availability on Amazon.

CJ Premium Roasted Seaweed Snack 5g
-(Pack of 8)

Daechun Seaweed Snacks, (Pack of 20), Green Tea Powder, Product of Korea

Nonghyup Roasted Seaweed with Green Tea,
24 Count


Rice Cooker


Click the image to check availability on Amazon.

Korean Kimchi Powder Seasoning Mix 3.5 oz (100g) – Spicy Seasoning Mix, Rich in Probiotics, Gluten-free, and NON-GMO, Delicious Barbecue Dry Rub for Chicken Beef Pork Fish Vegetables

Luncheon Meat Slicer, Soft Food Cheese Sushi Cutter, Egg Fruit Slicer, Ham Peeler, Canned Meat Cutting Machine with 10 Stainless Steel Wires(Yellow)



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