Ruby's Winding Road
SPAMtastic Visit of the SPAM Museum
Oh, that little blue tin of pink meat called SPAM. There's something oddly satisfying about popping open a tin of meat and watching it slowly slide out of the can until it lands on the counter with a soft thud. Yeah, that's SPAM!
We both grew up with SPAM in the pantry. The unique pork meat with a long shelf life has made its way onto our plates as SPAM and eggs, taters and SPAM, fried SPAM, mac and cheese with SPAM and sliced SPAM on bread. So, when we heard there was a SPAM Museum only an hour away from where we were wandering near Minnesota, we decided to check it out.
The SPAM Museum is located in Austin, Minnesota. Austin has a population of around 26,000. The town is headquarters for Hormel Foods Corporation, which has been making SPAM since 1937. SPAM stands for Special Processed American Meat. Yummy!
The SPAM Museum is easy to find; just look for the bright yellow SPAM sign and bronze statue of a farmer with his two pigs. If you need it, the address is 101 3rd Avenue NE.
While John waited in the RV with our pup, I eagerly ventured inside the SPAM Museum. I was cheerfully greeted by an employee at the front desk who offered me coupons, brochures, stickers and a town map. From there I began to look around.
The SPAM Museum is not a large place, but it does have a lot of interactive displays that provide oodles of information about the history of SPAM. Yes, SPAM has a long and interesting history. While you move throughout the building you learn that SPAM was fed in abundance to the U.S. soldiers during World War II. You also learn that Hawaii consumes more than eight million cans of SPAM a year. That's a lot of SPAM!
Folks like me wandered through the museum with an amused curiosity. Kids seemed to have the most fun; they were reading, climbing, pushing buttons, laughing and jumping. During my visit I encountered a museum staff member offering free samples of a variety called Tacino SPAM.
The SPAM Museum is free to visit and is open Sunday through Saturday. Plenty of parking is available in nearby lots or on the street. Live virtual tours are also offered. Learn more at spam.com/museum. Don't forget to visit the gift shop. It's everything SPAM. There are a variety of shirts, jackets, hats, puzzles, fly swatters and every flavor of SPAM produced.
Museum staff wished me a SPAMtastic day as I left the SPAM Museum! Among the fun trinkets and treasures acquired that day from the gift shop was a shiny tin of Oven Roasted Turkey SPAM for the RV pantry. Maybe we'll make some roasted SPAM kabobs at a campsite down the road.
Thanks for reading our blog and be sure to subscribe for free to Ruby's Winding Road so you don't miss a post. In the meantime, we'll be out wandering.