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Austin, Minnesota

Spam Museum

Ever wanted to can Spam?  

These days ‘spam’ recalls an e-mail folder full of unwanted advances and potential scams.

But once it was solely a food product, either an abbreviation of “Spiced Ham” or an acronym meaning “Shoulder of Pork and Ham,” depending on who you ask. (Other creative acronyms, or rather ‘bacronyms,’ have been created since, including “Spare Parts Animal Meat.”)

Hormel Foods, fan of neither the use of the word to describe junk email or the bacronyms would like to remind all of us that Spam is a great cultural artifact and current food product. According to its website, “the SPAM® Museum is dedicated to the delicious meat first created at the Hormel Foods Corporation plant in 1937.”

The museum has extensive Spam memorabilia dating from World War II, as well as a special exhibit on the role of this meat in World War II diet and culture.Spam is still hugely popular in island cultures, such as Hawaii and the Marshall Islands as a result of WWII. Visitors can also can “spam themselves” and test their Spam knowledge

Know Before You Go

The museum opened in its new location in April 2016.