Monday, November 24, 2014
When this word is used today, almost everyone thinks only of unwanted emails, etc. Old timers will remember its older meaning as a canned food, with its name abbreviated from "spiced ham". Probably for most of those living on this side of the Atlantic, spam was a convenient food to keep in reserve, for occasions such as days when floods made it impossible to buy fresh meat. During wartime, spam was highly regarded in the UK at a time when such staples as butter, meat, and candy were rationed. Our ration books also provided "points", which could be used at one's discretion to buy certain supplementary foodstuffs. The UK had long been an exporter of finished goods, and an importer of food. Merchant ships bringing food were often the victims of U-boats but some shipments did get through, and one could often by spam with one of one's precious points. Spam was not a particular favorite in Britain, but it was certainly welcomed as one of the ways to stretch our limited diets.