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Will ‘lovely Spam, wonderful Spam’ be Brexit Britain’s dish of choice?

PUBLISHED: 18:01 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:18 16 January 2019

Business Writer, Caroline Culot about to try SPAM. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Business Writer, Caroline Culot about to try SPAM. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Are you stockpiling in case of a chaotic Brexit ... and will former pantry essential Spam soon be back on the region’s dining tables?

It kept the nation going in the Second World War after it launched in 1937. But who would have thought that all those years later when our palates have been refined by the likes of mashed avocado and sundried tomatoes, that good old fashioned luncheon meat with a thick layer of gelatine on top – Spam – could be our saviour? The Spam-loving husband in the famous Monty Python sketch would be over the moon.

But what did the people of Norwich think? Are they going to resort to buying this age-old blend of pork and ham, which can be eaten straight out of the tin or warmed up and which has an impressive three-year shelf life?

MORE: Are first time buyers holding back because of Brexit?

David Walters, 77, said he’d have no problem in saving it up: “I love it, I used to have it as a boy. I like the jelly on top best.”

We asked the people of Norwich if they were stockpiling Spam in the case of a no deal Brexit. Picture: Victoria PertusaWe asked the people of Norwich if they were stockpiling Spam in the case of a no deal Brexit. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Kevin O’Regan said he would chop it up and serve to his family with pasta – and would start stocking up. “We will start saving items if we see things disappearing from the supermarket shelves,” he said.

And David Webb, 70, added: “I’ve got loads of tins at home already.”

But many people said they thought stockpiling was a ridiculous idea. Anne-Marie Brennan, 49, from Norwich, said: “It’s just scaremongering.”

However it seems concern is growing over whether necessities such as tinned foods and toilet roll – 85% of which is imported – should be bought in bulk now in case they become scarce later.

Like it or loathe it? You can hear the squelch when spam meat falls on the plate. Picture: Victoria PertusaLike it or loathe it? You can hear the squelch when spam meat falls on the plate. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

A Facebook group called the 48% Preppers now has almost 5,000 members, set up to ‘discuss the practical preparations people are making for life after Brexit and make the assumption it will mean food shortages along with unemployment, house price collapses and a shortage of medicine’.

Sales have also been increasing of the ‘emergency Brexit box’ costing £300 and made by the Emergency Food Storage UK which includes enough for a month with 60 meals, a fire starter, water filter and energy gel.

On parenting website Mumsnet one user even advised: “I plan to add frozen food and veg, some long life milk, make sure I have my batch cooking done, I have store cupboard meals for two weeks at least, and both car tanks filled a week before Brexit.”

Business Writer, Caroline Culot about to try SPAM. Picture: Victoria PertusaBusiness Writer, Caroline Culot about to try SPAM. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Business writer Caroline Culot did her own taste test on Spam

I was very impressed with the oblong tin it comes in. I bought one which had a metal ring you pull off and then attach to roll around the outside covering to reveal the meat inside – very practical.

It then took a bit of prodding and pushing and ... yikes, out it squelches in its entire shape. A pure processed delight. What I didn’t like was the look of the gelatine covering and the smell which reminded me of when I used to open up a tin of food for my cat.

However, in the spirit of journalism and not being prepared to ask the general public to do something I wouldn’t do myself, I gingerly sliced it up and tried a couple of blobby pieces.

Younger generations trying Spam for the first time. Picture: Victoria PertusaYounger generations trying Spam for the first time. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

It takes a bit of chewing and doesn’t taste like it smells. To be honest, I didn’t really think it tasted like much, a bit insipid, but then I was eating it on its own. On the back of the tin, there’s a recipe for a cheese ’n’ spam toastie which I’d definitely try. Apparently it’s also fantastic fried up with a bit of bacon too. An instant meal for £2. Tuck in.

Spice up your Spam?

There are many different recipes using Spam – how about trying Spam eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce?

Ingredients

Half a 340g can of Spam or one 200g tub, cut into thick slices

Two fresh organic eggs

Two English muffins

A little butter – optional

A little freshly chopped parsley

Hollandaise sauce

1 – Lightly toast and butter muffins

2 – Add your Spam

3 – Poach eggs and place on Spam

4 – Garnish with hollandaise sauce

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