What is consumed at a rate of three cans of per second in the United States? Coco-Cola? Pepsi? No ... the answer is good old Minnesota-made SPAM.
Austin — SPAM Town USA
Austin is not only John Madden’s hometown, but more importantly it is where Hormel Foods has its flagship plant and international headquarters. Hormel is so much the hub of this community that Austin has adopted the moniker: SPAM Town USA. Although we enjoyed the self deprecating humor and light heartiness of the SPAM museum, we noticed that this PR extravaganza contained only one sentence referencing Hormel’s dark side … the infamous Hormel strike of 1985. The impact of this strike on the employees and Hormel’s ruthless union busting tactics has been documented in the academy award winning film: American Dream.
Standing at the SPAM Museum entrance is a bronze statue commemorating the importance of hog farming. A vacant K-Mart was amazingly transformed into what now houses both the museum and the Hormel Headquarters.
A towering wall of SPAM, comprised of thousands of cans, rises to the ceiling in the lobby of the museum.
As evidenced by the interactive Cyber Diner, the decor in the Spam Museum has a retro flair … a throw back to the 40's and 50's.
The pig theme can be seen on the doors of the museum’s theater. Inside we watched a 10-minute tribute film entitled Spam ... A Love Story. We laughed out loud as devoted SPAM fans were interviewed about their lunch-meat lust.
Exhibits trace the important role that Spam played in WWII, feeding the troops. It’s amazing to learn that Nikita Khrushchev once credited SPAM for saving his army during WWII.
Hormel produced the first canned meat product that did not require refrigeration in 1937. Originally marketed as ''Hormel Spiced Ham'' ... this lackluster name was quickly changed to SPAM ... an pseudo-acronym for SPiced hAM.
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