Not content with selling tins of meat/gelatin hybrid, Hormel is now rolling out new dried Spam Snacks to select U.S. markets, including the Southeast. Guess where I am? If you said oily hell, you’re pretty close.
As much flack as I give the world’s most popular meat in a can, Spam and I developed a grudging respect for one another in one of my earliest Snacktaku reviews. Between that tenuous bond and my current love affair with dried meat (don’t tell my wife), I figured dehydrated rectangular pig solids might not be such a bad thing.
I am such a fool.
Spam Snacks come in three varieties—Classic (like grandma used to make), Bacon (they heard we like pork so they put pork in our pork) and Teriyaki (not appearing in this review). During a trip to my local Walmart I managed to pick up two out of three. If you’re on the prowl, check the “Canned Meat” aisle.
Sold in single-serving packs for $2.99, a sack of Spam Snacks contains 220 calories worth of pinkish-red meat-substance and oil. Here’s a look at a single piece posed set against what I consider an appropriate tableau.
Looks delicious, no? No.
Classic Spam Snacks (how dare they) taste of Spam and oil, but not equally. The Spam flavor rises like on oncoming sneeze and then fades away just as quickly, leaving a lingering slick of oil. I’m not talking grease. Grease is different. This is oil, slippery, wet and mildly pork-infused, all over your tongue.
Well, my tongue. I took this hit for you.
The Bacon flavor Spam Snacks taste of mildly bad ham. The flavor is stronger, I’m guessing because they doubled up on the pork bits. The bacon effect seems to be simulated via smoke flavoring plus a little extra pig juice which is totally a real term and not something I made up to help illustrate how horrible these are.
What bothers me the most about Spam Snacks, aside from the taste and texture and sound they make when I chew them (see video), is that they are a $2.99 bag of dried jellied meat product trying to muscle in on a market dominated by real dried meat.
In the end, Spam Snacks’ hubris is their downfall. That and the oily sickness I can’t wash out of my mouth.