Guest Author - Launa Stout
The charming town of Isleton, California (population 840), is located along the Sacramento River in the California Delta. The Delta is a land of rivers, agriculture, boating, fishing, and rich history.
Isleton, California hosts an annual Spam Festival each year in February.
This is the story: during the floods of 1996 in Isleton, California the many families who were displaced by the floods were offered shelter by Ralph and Charli Hand, the owners of the Hotel Del Rio.
When people returned to their homes, they remarked that the labels on the Spam cans were the only labels that survived, and all other cans would just be potluck when they were opened. The hotel owners decided to have some fun with it, and that is when the Spam Contest was created.
A “Captain Spam” is appointed, citizens cook Spam, and there is even a Spam carving contest. Others dress up in Spam costumes and try to outdo each other.
Recipes using Spam are created and the recipes submitted. Winning recipes from the past include Spamaghetti, Spam Pumpkin Soup, Corn Chowder with Spam, Off Road Spam Rollies, Heart-Shaped Spamoni, Sweet & Sour Spam and Spam Wonton Soup.
The contests are just the beginning of the celebration, and when they end the Spam party starts. Dancing to live music and drinking take center stage at the Hotel Del Rio.
Each year's contest continues the tradition of creative Spam cooking, a Spam eating contest, Spam costumes, Live Music and fun for all.
Here are some Spam facts
• Hormel produced its first can of Spam in 1937
• The original product was spiced ham
• In 1959, the billionth can was produced ... the Spam total passed six billion in 2002
• In the US, a can of Spam is consumed every 3.6 seconds
• Per capita, the biggest Spam consumers are Hawaiians
• Sept 2001, the Spam Museum opened in Austin, MN, Hormel's hometown
A quick and easy recipe to use a can of Spam – and enjoy!
1 can of Spam luncheon meat
1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Cut Sp am in half, then in ¼ inch slices
3. Unroll dough, separate into two long rectangles, and pat remaining perforations closed
4. Center Spam slices end to end down the length of each rectangle (reserving any leftover slices for another use)
5. Fold sides of dough up over the Spam and seal the seam with fingers
6. Slice filled dough into sections the size of Fig Newtons and place seam side down on a cookie sheet
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.