THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods


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What Is Lassi? Check Out Dah! Lassi Drink Made From Yogurt

Pouring Dah! Strawberry Mint Lassi Into Glasses
[1] A glass of Strawberry Mint Dah!-brand lassi (all photos © Dahlicious).

Glasses Of Strawberry Lassi Garnished With Rose Petals & Pistachio Nuts
[2] Lassi served India-style, topped with rose petals and chopped pistachio nuts.

Pouring Plain Lassi Into Traditional Terracotta Cups
[3] Pouring plain lassi into traditional terracotta cups, called kulhar or kulhad.

Three Flavors Of Dah Lassi Pouring From The Bottle
[4] Pour yourself a refreshing glass of lassi; here, Alphonse Mango, Strawberry Mint, and Tomato Lassi With Mixed Berries.

Bottle Of Dah! Lassi With Tomato & Mixed Berries
[5] The Tomato Lassi With Mixed Berries flavor was created to dovetail with a child’s book by Padma Lakshmi‡‡, Tomatoes for Neela.

Frozen Lassi Pops Made With Mango Dah! Lassi
[6] Freeze lassi into frozen yogurt-type pops.

Frozen Lassi Is Like Frozen Yogurt
[7] Lassi can also be churned into “frozen yogurt.” Check out the many sweet and savory recipes on the Dah! website.

Lassi Panacotta Made With Strawberry Mint Dah! Laszi
[8] Turn lassi into pannacotta. Here’s the recipe.

Bowl Of Pumpkin Soup Garnished With Plain Dah! Lassi
[9] Curried squash soup with lassi garnish. Here’s the recipe.

Bottle Of Vanilla Dah! Lassi With Waffles
[10] Lassi at breakfast: Try Vanilla Cardamom Dah! with pancakes or waffles.

Mango Lassi Served With Bagels
[11] Lassi with bagels? Why not?

 

Our Top Pick Of The Week is Dah! Lassi, a probiotic, yogurt-based drink. There are numerous ways to get more probiotics, and lassi (LAH-see) is a refreshing, tasty, way to do it.

It’s also lactose-intolerance* friendly.

Lassi, “the original smoothie,” is one of the most-drunk beverages in Northern India, after tea. You should consider it for your own beverage “menu.” It’s delicious (or Dah!licious, as the company likes to say).

Lassi, a regional name for “yogurt drink,” is made from dahi, a traditional whole-milk yogurt from India that goes through a slow culturing process.

Like other plain yogurts (the different types of yogurt), dahi-style yogurt is low in calories, high in probiotics, and filled with protein. Like other yogurts, it’s smooth and creamy.

But due to the slow culturing process, plain dahi has a slightly sweeter flavor profile (i.e., it’s less tart).

Dahi can be enjoyed by itself or used in cooking. It’s often used to make sweet or salty lassi.

Lassi in turn can be used to make anything from dips to frozen desserts (photos #6 and #7). Check out all the recipes on the Dah! website.

Trivia: Yogurt, and thus yogurt-based drinks, can be made from any mammal’s milk. Milk from camels, cows, goats, sheep, water buffalos, and yaks is used around the world. The taste and texture of the drink will vary widely depending on the milk.

In the U.S., both lassi and kefir yogurt drinks are usually cow’s milk-based.
 
 
HOW TO SERVE LASSI

The idea of the lassi drink is simple: Dahi is blended with water to thin it into drinkable yogurt (some historians believe that lassi may have been created as a way to stretch yogurt in the bowl, by stirring some liquid into it).

The traditional way to serve lassi is in an unglazed terracotta cup called a kulhar or kulhad (photo #3).

In India, lassi is served as an apéritif; drunk with meals; consumed as a quick breakfast, light lunch, or dessert (sweet lassi); and enjoyed as a healthful sweet or savory snack at any time of day.

Plain or savory-flavored lassi is a perfect drink with spicy Indian food.

Sweet lassi, perhaps blended with extra fruit and ice cubes—is a great smoothie.

  • Sweet flavors are blended with fruit and sugar (perhaps the favorite flavor is mango, of which there are many in India).
  • Savory flavors are mixed with salt and/or spices, typically cumin, cardamom, fresh ginger, or mint leaves.
  • Rose petals and chopped pistachios are a popular garnish for sweet lassi (photo #2).
  • In some areas, malai (clotted cream) may be spooned on top before serving.
  • There’s more about garnishing below.
  •  
    There’s much more about lassi below, too. First, we’ll take a look at Dah!, a delicious lassi available in a store near you (store locator). (Dahi is a traditional Indian yogurt from which lassi is made.)

    Below:

  • The history of lassi.
  • Lassi vs. kefir vs. buttermilk: the difference.
  •  
     
    DAH! LASSI, THE TOP PICK OF THE WEEK

    If you don’t know lassi, you should get to know Dah!.

    Dah! was created by two natives of India living in the Boston area, who wanted the “feeling of home” provided by authentic lassi.

    Dah!’s products reflect the ancient Indian techniques of culturing yogurt at lower temperatures for longer times than most yogurt drinks. The result is a high-probiotic†, richly-textured, intensely flavorful yogurt that also happens to be excellent for digestive health.

    Dah! flavors include (photo #4):

  • Alphonse‡ Mango
  • Peach With Honey
  • Plain
  • Strawberry Mint (photo #1)
  • Tomato Lassi With Mixed Berries‡‡ (photo #5)
  • Vanilla With Cardamom
  •  
    The line is gluten-free and certified kosher by OU.

    The flavors are available nationwide in 32-ounce bottles—here’s a store locator.

    In 2020, Dah! took home the Gold Sofi Award (the specialty food industry’s top award) in the yogurt and kefir category for Alphonso Mango lassi.

    The company also makes dahi, whole milk plain yogurt, and India-style almond yogurt.

    (We find the bottles so attractive that we repurpose the empties for other cold beverages—iced tea, iced coffee, iced water.)

    The flavors are delicious as is, but they also provide a blank canvas for you to make them even more flavorful and eye-appealing with garnishes.
    Discover more at Dahlicious.com.
     
     
    GARNISH YOUR LASSI

    Make the drink even more special with herbs and spices. For a summer gathering, you can set up a sweet and savory lassi bar so guests can customize their own drinks. It will be a hit!
     
    Sweet Lassi

  • Fresh Fruit: A fruit garnish is always appropriate—a berry, banana slice, or fruit chunk notched and set on the rim of the glass or on a cocktail pick.
  • Dried Fruit: Dates and other dried fruits are also delicious garnishes, or a can be served on the side.
  • Sweet Herbs & Spices: Try allspice, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, citrus zest or peel, cloves, ginger, mint, nutmeg, pink peppercorns, pomegranate arils (seeds), saffron, star anise; plus orange blossom water or rose water.
  • Nuts: Add a sprinkle of slivered almonds, chopped cashews, or pistachios.
  •  
    Savory Lassi

  • Savory Herbs & Spices: basil, black or red salt, celery seed, cardamom, chili powder, cilantro, cloves, coriander seed, cracked pepper or whole peppercorns, cumin, curry powder, fenugreek, poppy seed, saffron or turmeric.
  • Fresh Herbs: fresh chives or scallions, dill, lemon or line zest or peel, mint, parsley.
  • Brined: capers, chopped olives or pickles.
  • Stalks: A celery or fennel stalk or a pickle spear, Bloody Mary-style.
  • Salted Lassi: Salt the rim of the glass of plain lassi, as you would a Margarita. You can also rim the glass with any of the herbs and spices.
  • Nuts: Add a sprinkle of slivered almonds, chopped cashews, or pistachios.
  •  
    We often enjoy plain lassi with an herb blend of snipped fresh basil, cilantro, and parsley with a shake of garlic salt, mixed into the glass; and an optional rim of sesame or chia seeds.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF LASSI

    The earliest mentions of lassi, promoting the health benefits of the yogurt beverage, have been found in the ancient Indian Ayurvedic texts dating as far back as 1000 B.C.E.

    The exact date can’t be pinpointed, but we know that yogurt was produced in Mesopotamia around 5000 B.C.E. Important trade routes were established between the two regions by 1000 B.C.E.

    The Middle East had its own version of the yogurt drink, kefir, which sources date to around 2000 B.C.E. See the differences in the next section.

    The modern lassi drink is believed to have originated in Punjab, a state of India located in the northwestern part of the subcontinent.

    When it appeared around 1000 B.C.E., some ancients called lassi the “food of the gods”* [source]. We moderns might choose to call it “refreshing and good for you.”

    According to Arun Chopra, formerly executive chef of the Taj Majal Palace Hotel:

    “In the old days, when there were no refrigerators, the Punjabi farmers used to drink milk cooled in a clay pot and mixed with curd [dahi/yogurt] and sugar and stirred by a wooden stick [source].”

    The drink spread to the rest of the world via the British Raj, which ruled the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947.

    Returning military as well as civilians brought their favorite Indian dishes back to Great Britain and other parts of the British Empire.

     
     
    LASSI VS. KEFIR

    As with kefir, another yogurt-based beverage that originated in the Middle East, lassi can often be tolerated by lactose-intolerant people.

    The probiotic bacteria in both drinks compensate for the lack of an intolerant person’s production of lactase, the enzyme that digests milk proteins.

    Lassi is a simpler recipe than kefir.

  • Kefir is made by fermenting milk: adding a colony of bacteria and yeast to milk.
  • Lassi can be made simply by mixing milk or water into plain or flavored yogurt.
  • Dahi yogurt, and thus lassi, contains bacteria only, no yeast [source].
  • Lassi contains five strains of bacteria†, but kefir contains many more—up to 36 different microorganisms (including yeast).
  •  
     
    LASSI VS. BUTTERMILK

    Buttermilk is a byproduct of milk, the liquid that is left over when butter is churned from cream.

    Lassi, on the other hand, is made from yogurt, which is milk that has been fermented with bacteria cultures.

    To make commercial buttermilk in quantity, milk is fermented with bacteria that produce acidic compounds, and is then pasteurized. That’s very similar to how yogurt is cultured (and then turned into lassi).

    Buttermilk has the texture of milk but tastes like yogurt, although it is less acidic. It’s thinner than lassi but can be slightly more sour or tart.

    Buttermilk and plain lassi can be substituted for each other in recipes.

    Enjoy every sip!

     
    _____________

    *By contrast, in Greek mythology, ambrosia was the food of the gods: a dessert made of oranges and shredded coconut. The gods of other cultures had their own preferences.

    †The probiotic bacteria compensate for the lack of an intolerant person’s production of lactase, the enzyme that digests milk proteins. Probiotics have been proven to boost immunity, counter lactose intolerance, fight infection and fatigue, help with mineral absorption, promote digestive health, and support healthy cholesterol levels. Ayurvedic health practitioners have used lassi as a restorative for millennia. The cultures in Dah! include Streptococcus theramophilus, Bifidobacterium animals BB-12, Lacatobicilus acidophilus LA-5, Lactobacilus paracasei, and Propionibacterium freudenreichii.

    ‡Alphonso mangoes have a unique quality: They’re non-fibrous and very sweet and juicy. Other mango varieties are not typically eaten as hand fruit, biting into a ripe, raw Alphonso is a delicious treat.

    ‡‡A collaboration with Padma Lakshmi’s children’s book, the Tomato With Mixed Berries flavor pairs the sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes with the tartness of fresh berries.

     
     

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    Breakfast Banana Split Recipe For National Watermelon Day

    Breakfast Banana Split Recipe With Watermelon, Berries & Yogurt
    [1] Scoops of fresh watermelon take the place of ice cream in this breakfast banana split (photo © National Watermelon Promotion Board).

    Shredded Coconut In a Bowl
    [2] Shredded coconut is the perfect garnish for this breakfast sundae (photo © Gourmet Food World).

    Bowl Of Mixed Berries [3] Mixed berries are a treat at any meal (photo © Nick Bonderev | Pexels).

     

    Enjoy this easy, yummy breakfast banana split for National Watermelon Day (August 3rd) or any summery day.

    Thanks to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, which has hundreds of watermelon recipes, for this creative idea.

    Serve a breakfast banana split for brunch, birthdays, or other special occasions.

    For a dessert banana split, you can substitute sorbet for the watermelon.

    > Check out 21 more watermelon recipes, including cocktails.

    > The history of watermelon.

    > The history of bananas.

    > The history of the Banana Split.
     
     
    August 27th is National Banana Lovers Day.

    July is National Watermelon Month.

     
     
    BREAKFAST BANANA SPLIT

    This recipe specifies chocolate granola, which is made with added cocoa powder (some also have chocolate chips).

    It’s available from brands like Cascadian Farm, Kind, Love Grown, Nature’s Path, and Purely Elizabeth, among others.

    Of course, you can use regular granola instead of the chocolate granola in the recipe.

    And if you don’t have granola, you can substitute one of your favorite breakfast cereals (we’ve used both Cheerios and Corn Flakes).

    If you don’t want a coconut garnish, you can substitute crushed nuts or dried berries: blueberries, cherries, or cranberries.
     
    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 Scoops of watermelon from half a watermelon (ideally seedless)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate granola
  • 1/2 cup berries of choice (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt (or flavor of choice)
  • Garnish: coconut shreds
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PEEL the banana and split it lengthwise into two halves. Arrange on plate/bowl.

    2. USE an ice cream scoop to scoop into half a watermelon. Place three scoops of watermelon on top of the banana.

    3. ADD the granola, berries, and garnish. Spoon the yogurt yogurt on top and optionally, around the sides of the plate or bowl.

     

     
     

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    A Spicy Mint Julep Spritz Recipe For National Spritz Day

    August 1st is National Spritz Day and the most famous spritz cocktail in the U.S. is the Aperol Spritz. We love it, but how about something new: a Mint Julep Spritz recipe (below)?

    What’s a spritz?

    A spritz is a wine-based cocktail made with prosecco, a bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari, or Cynar, and sparkling soda water (club soda, seltzer—the difference).

    This recipe, from Hello Fresh’s Chef Carol England, adapts the spritz concept to a Mint Julep by adding seltzer.

    “Spritz” is German for “squirt,” referring to the original soda siphons which squirted out carbonated water through a nozzle.

    It is often called a spritzer in the U.S. (e.g., “I’ll have a wine spritzer”), but spritz (Spritz) is correct.

    So get out the Bourbon, muddle the mint in a pitcher, and invite your favorite people to celebrate with you and a Mint Julep Spritz.

    And note that there’s another day to enjoy this cocktail: While August 1st is National Spritz Day, May 30th is National Mint Julep Day.
     
     
    RECIPE #1: SPICY MINT JULEP SPRITZ

    If you don’t like spice, you can omit the jalapeño syrup and substitute plain simple syrup.

    If you do like spice, you’ll be able to use jalapeño syrup in all the ways we’ve included below.
     
    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 1 bunch mint
  • 2 cups Bourbon
  • 1 cup jalapeño syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 cups seltzer
  • Crushed Ice
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • Jalapeño slices for garnish*
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the mint at the bottom of a pitcher until fragrant. Add the jalapeño syrup, Bourbon, and seltzer; stir to combine.

    2. FILL the glasses with crushed ice and pour the cocktail over the ice. Garnish with mint leaves and jalapeño slices.
     
     
    RECIPE #2: JALAPEÑO SYRUP

    This is an infused simple syrup. It can be made up to a week ahead and kept in the fridge.

    Simple syrup is “simply” a 1:1 combination of sugar and water, heated until dissolved.

    You can infuse any flavor. Popular infusions include lavender, Meyer lemon, mint, and vanilla.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeño plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HALVE the jalapeño lengthwise, leaving the seeds and ribs.

    2. COMBINE the water, sugar, and halved jalapeño in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

    3. REMOVE from the heat and allow to cool. Strain out the jalapeño. You can store the syrup in the fridge for a week or more.
     
     
    > The history of the Spritz.

    > The Aperol Spritz recipe and origins.
     
     
    USES FOR SIMPLE SYRUP

    Many people are familiar with simple syrup only as a sweetener in cocktails. Here are other ways you can use plain or flavored (infused) simple syrup:

  • Breakfast: Drizzle infused syrup over pancakes instead of maple syrup; mix into plain yogurt; sweeten oatmeal.
  • Cakes: Moisten pound cake and other cakes by using a squeeze bottle to drizzle the syrup over the top, or make holes with the nozzle and squeeze in the syrup.
  • Cooking: Add to marinades for sweet heat (with jalapeño syrup).
  • Drinks: Sweeten iced tea, iced coffee, or lemonade (the syrup dissolves almost instantly, unlike granulated sugar); add to club soda.
  • Fruit: Garnish poached pears, other poached fruit, and compote; drizzle over fruit salad.
  • Sorbet: Use as part of the sugar in a sorbet recipe.
  •  

    Spicy Mint Julep Spritzer Recipe
    [1] Mint Julep Spritz for a crowd: Get out your pitcher (photos #1 and #2 © Hello Fresh).


    [2] The jalapeno syrup in the cocktail has numerous other uses (see below;).

    Bunch Of Fresh Spearmint
    [3] Fresh spearmint, the mint variety almost always sold in grocery stores and markets (photo © Good Eggs).

    Classic Mint Julep Recipe
    [4] A classic Mint Julep. Here’s the recipe (photo © Woodford Reserve).

    Aperol Spritz Aperitif Recipe
    [5] The classic Aperol Spritz. Here’s the recipe (photo © DeLallo).

     
    ________________

    *You can use the jalapeno slices as you like; for example, a small jalapeno atop each cocktail on a pick, or a halved or sliced jalapeño on top of the ice.

     
     

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    Free Shipping For National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

    Levain Bakery Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie
    [1] This is one chocolate chip cookie, mega flavor as well as size (all photos © Levain Bakery).

    Levain Chocolate Cookies With Peanut Butter Chips
    [2] If we could only choose one, it might be Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.

    Levain Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    Levain’s oatmeal raisin cookies, packed with juicy raisins.

     

    Our favorite big, chunky cookie maker, Levain Bakery, is offering free shipping for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, August 4th. It’s the perfect time to treat yourself or a special someone.

    Crispy on the outside, and ooey-gooey on the inside, Levain Bakery’s beloved cookies generate lines around the block. But rather than wait on line, just order online at LevainBakery.com.

    Levain is offering free shipping on all 8 and 12 packs of their sumptuous, irresistible, 6-ounce cookies.

    The free shipping is up to $20. All you have to do:

    Order on 8/3 or 8/4 using the code: COOKIEDAY22.
     
     
    LEVAIN COOKIE FLAVORS

    It’s really hard to choose one flavor; we think that the only choice is to have them all. Fortunately, the website has assortments. (There are also alluring photos of each on the Levain website.)

  • Chocolate Chip Walnut: The original, best-selling flavor, packed with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chunks of walnuts (photo #1).
  • Two Chip Chocolate Chip: A luscious take on a classic chocolate chip cookie without nuts, made with semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips for a rich depth of flavor.
  • Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip: Dense, chewy, and dangerously rich, crafted with extra dark French cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip: Chocolaty and peanut-buttery, a perfectly balanced dark chocolate cookie dough packed with peanut butter chip (photo #2).
  • Oatmeal Raisin: Rich, buttery cookies are golden brown on the outside, moist on the inside, and full of plump sweet raisins (photo #3).
  • Rocky Road: An exclusive summer flavor, dark chocolate cookies are chock full of rich, semisweet chocolate chips, dry-roasted cashews, and pillowy marshmallows.
  •  
    Resistance is futile.

    You can even freeze the cookies (we first cut them into quarters so we can enjoy a piece at a time with coffee, tea, or yes, milk!).
     
     
    > The history of chocolate chip cookies.

    > The different types of cookies: a yummy glossary.
     
     
    ________________

    *Bonus points: Do you know what levain is? Levain Bakery started as a bread bakery—and still is a great one. Pronounced luh-VAN, levain, also called a leaven or levain starter, is a mixture of fresh flour, water, and sourdough starter. Sourdough bread is also called levain bread or, in French, pain au levain—levain is French for leaven. In France the term is often used synonymously with sourdough. Here’s more about it.

     

     
     

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    SPAM Recipes For National SPAM Day, Plus, What Is SPAM?

    July 31st is “unofficial” National SPAM Day. It’s unofficial because when we contacted the brand, they told us the holiday wasn’t established by or acknowledged by them.

    In these Internet times, anyone can declare any holiday and get it picked up through the Internet. So we’re certain that the millions of SPAM fans the world over will want to celebrate.

    There’s something extra to celebrate this year: It’s SPAM’s 85th birthday! The brand offered us these facts:

  • There are 12.8 cans of SPAM products eaten every second. More than 8 billion cans have been sold, in 44 countries worldwide.
  • There are 13 different varieties of SPAM, including Classic plus Bacon, Cheese, Hickory Smoke, Hot & Spicy, Jalapeno, Lite, Less Sodium, Portuguese Sausage Seasoning, Pumpkin Spice, Teriyaki, Tocino Seasoning and Turkey.
  • Guam residents consume an annual average of 16 cans per person.
  • Hawaiians eat 8 million cans of SPAM products each year. The annual SPAM JAM Festival is Hawaii’s largest festival.
  • In Southeast Asia, SPAM products are given as luxury gifts.
  • There is a SPAM museum in Austin, Minnesota, the birthplace of SPAM.
  • The trademark name SPAM is all uppercase. The email spam is all lowercase.
  •  
    Ready for more? How about the history of SPAM, and how it got its name?
     
    WHAT IS SPAM

    A brand of luncheon meat from Hormel Foods, SPAM is a 12-ounced canned loaf of ground and seasoned meat (photo #1).

    It’s a combination of ground pork and ham mixed with water, salt, sugar, and sodium nitrite (for the pink color).

    That’s the original recipe. Modified potato starch was added in 2009 to minimize the thick layer of gelatin on the top of the loaf.

    During the Great Depression (1929-1939), SPAM helped to fill the need for inexpensive meat products, which added protein to the diet (and yes, fat, salt, and sugar).

    Today, SPAM is often used in place of bacon or ham in everything from breakfast meat, sandwiches, and stir-fries to tacos and quesadillas.

    Search online for “SPAM recipes” and you’ll find all-American mac and cheese with SPAM (photo #3) as well as spaghetti and meatballs (the latter made from puréed SPAM), loaded baked potatoes and international dishes like pad Thai.

    Below the history of SPAM that follows, you’ll find:

  • How SPAM luncheon meat got its name.
  • Why junk email is called spam.
  • SPAM recipes.
  •  
     
    THE HISTORY OF SPAM

    After years working in Chicago slaughterhouses, George A. Hormel founded his own slaughterhouse and meatpacking facility in Austin, Minnesota in 1891. Its specialty was processing whole hogs, beef, and sausage casings.

    George’s son Jay Hormel succeeded his father as president in 1929. One of the products, sold to deli and sandwich counters, was a six-pound loaf of pork luncheon meat. Based on its popularity, Jay Hormel designed a variation for home use.

    In 1937, Hormel Foods produced its now-iconic 12-ounce loaf of SPAM luncheon meat in a shelf-stable can (photo #1).

    The loaf used ground pork shoulder, which at the time was not a desirable cut of the hog.

    SPAM became an affordable meat substitute for families on a tight budget.

    As previously mentioned, the original recipe remained unchanged until potato starch was added in 2009, due to customer requests to lessen the gelatin layer.

    The gelatin layer naturally forms when meat is cooked and canned. To make it smaller was a purely aesthetic choice—and Hormel listened to their consumers [source].
     
     
    The name “SPAM”

    The name SPAM was suggested at a New Year’s Eve party. Jay Hormel launched a naming contest for the new product, and the brother of a vice president quickly said: “SPAM” (a combination of “spice” and “ham,” even though there was no spice in the product).

    He won a $100 prize, worth about $1900 in today’s money.
     
     
    SPAM Goes Overseas

    The U.S. entered World War II in 1941, and more than 100 million pounds of SPAM were shipped abroad to feed the troops.

    With deployed servicemen often eating SPAM three times a day, when they returned home most did not want to see it again anytime soon.

    However, in Hawaii, because of sanctions on fishing, SPAM became an important substitute for fish and meat—a precious source of nourishment during a time of food rationing.

    Similarly in the Philippines—a former U.S. colony—war rationing eventually led to the incorporation of SPAM into the cuisine. SPAMsilog, the addition of SPAM to the Filipino breakfast staple garlic fried rice, has become a favorite in many Filipino households [source].

    In Japan and Korea, where the populations were on the point of starvation, cans of SPAM that were shipped in were a blessing, turned into a stew with broth and spices.

    In Korea, budae jjigae—which literally translates to “army base stew”—is still on the menu (here’s the recipe).

    In Hong Kong, SPAM and eggs in a soft bun are the local equivalent of ham and eggs on a roll at a U.S. deli (the recipe).
     
     
    A Popular Food In Asia

    Today, Korea is the world’s second-largest consumer of SPAM, after the U.S. (and the U.S. population is almost seven times larger).

    SPAM is considered a gourmet item across Asia, and is gifted for the Lunar New Year, packaged in gift boxes along with cooking oil and seasonings [source].

    In the decades after World War II, as native Koreans and Japanese migrated to Hawaii, food culture in the Hawaiian Islands became even more intertwined.

    Japanese immigrants to Hawaii are credited with inventing SPAM musubi, a Hawaiian version of sushi.

    Musubi uses SPAM instead of fish on top of a rice pad, i.e. nigiri sushi. Musubi is the Japanese word for “to tie,” referring to the strip of nori seaweed that “ties” the SPAM to the rice pad (photos #2 and #7).

    You can see the adoption of SPAM in communities worldwide, and with international SPAM flavors that include Portuguese Sausage Seasoning, Teriyaki and Caribbean Tocino Seasoning.
     
     
    Why Is Junk Email Called Spam?

    Email spam (lower case), also referred to as junk email or simply spam, refers to unsolicited email messages sent in bulk. The process is known as “spamming.”

    The name comes from a Monty Python sketch, (watch it, below!) where the name of the canned pork product, SPAM, is annoying and unavoidable.

    Here’s the sketch.

    The term was first used in 1993 in a post from USENET user Richard Depew. It was the result of a bug in a software program that caused 200 messages to go out to the news.admin.policy newsgroup.

    But that was only the beginning (as we all know too well).

    You can download a PDF the history of spam email here.
     
     
    SPAM RECIPES

  • Breakfast Skillet With SPAM
  • Classic SPAMburger
  • Everything Bagel With SPAM
  • Hawaiian SPAMburger
  • Jalapeño Tacos With SPAM & Pineapple Salsa
  • Korean Bibimbap With SPAM (photo #6)
  • Mac & Cheese With SPAM (photo #3)
  • Musubi (SPAM sushi) (photos #2 and #7)
  • Poke Bowl With Spam
  • Pulled SPAM BBQ Sandwich
  • Ramen With SPAM (photo #4)
  • SPAM Fries
  • SPAM Grilled Cheese
  • Tater Tot Casserole With SPAM
  • Teriyaki Pineapple & Red Pepper Kabobs With SPAM
  •  

    Can Of Spam For National Spam Day
    [1] The iconic blue can has been an affordable meat product since 1937 (photo © Grumbler| CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 License).


    [2] Just in case you have never heard of SPAM musubi. Here’s the recipe (photo #2 and all subsequent photos © Hormel Foods).



    [3] Mac and cheese with SPAM. Here’s the recipe.

    A Bowl of Ramen Noodles With Spam
    [4] Add some SPAM to your ramen—or to your pasta, for that matter. Here’s the recipe.

    Heart-Shaped Spam Pieces On The Griddle
    [5] SPAM for your loved one. Grill it with breakfast eggs.

    Spam Added To A Korean Bibimbap Recipe
    [6] Korean bibimbap with SPAM. Here’s the recipe.

    Musubi Nigiri Sushi With Spam
    [7] Another view of musubi, our favorite SPAM recipe.

    Everything Bagel With Spam Instead Of Smoked Salmon
    [8] Who needs smoked salmon? This “everything bagel” substitutes SPAM. Here’s the recipe.

     

     
     

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