Tuesday, July 10, 2012

There's a Spam Museum?!

Yes, there is a Spam Museum, and it is in lovely downtown Austin, Minnesota.

On Monday some friends and I all had a free day, so what else could we do but drive down to visit the Spam Museum?? Makes perfect sense, n'est-ce pas??

Thousands of cans make up this display. The woman whose head you see at the bottom of the photo was the most enthusiastic about Spam I ever hope to experience. She was quite the whirling dervish regarding Spam and the museum and also about everything else in the town of Austin -- great skills for her role as museum front-desk greeter!

Spam is a product of Hormel Foods whose headquarters is in Austin, Minnesota. Spam is sold all over the world, and ... hold onto your hats for this surprise ... it is considered quite a delicacy in some parts. Spam is made from ham and "other stuff." We used to eat it when I was a kid, but I haven't eaten it for years, until this week. I had a small cube of it skewered on a pretzel stick while at the museum. They actually have flavored Spam now. The sample I ate was garlic.

I'm not going to run out and stock up on Spam, but I will say that the museum was quite well done. Who knew it could be that interesting? There were some fun hands-on activities for kids, and old relics from past manufacturing days.

a sample wire glove that was used in production. A man in the museum told me he used to work in that division - they'd wear a plastic glove on their hand and then 2 or 3 of these wire things, because it kept the gunk off their hands, and because if you wore just one it would fill up with gunk and get really hard to clean. Ewww. I'm glad I have my career and not that one.

When I was a kid the Spam cans had that little key on the bottom that you hook onto the can flap and then twist across to open the can. I sort of liked doing that, except it was gross because the water and gel junk would get on your hands. A lady next to me in the museum showed me a scar she still has from cutting herself while opening the can that way. Nowdays they have easy-open pop off cans.

There was even a quilt in the museum! They used to have two, but one was stolen.

These cans of Spam rode around and around the gear-shaped thing outside and inside the gift shop.

Anyway, the idea of the day was just to take a road trip, have some fun doing something silly, go out to eat and hang around with friends. We had a good time. We had a nice lunch and still felt we had room for more, so we stopped for ice cream. We also sniffed out a really nice quilt shop that was in the middle of nowhere and was surprisingly huge for being in a very tiny town.

All in all, a good day and fun just to hang out together.

The never-ending quilt shop; looks small but goes on and on. It's across the street from grain elevators. And there's not much else to the whole town! This quilt shop has been in business for 30 years. There must be a lot of enthusiastic quilters in that part of Minnesota!


Clare said...

What a great post. Who would have guessed there is a museum dedicated to spam.

I'd love to visit that quilt shop.

BrendaLou said...

Someday you can give me the tour...Spam museum, lunch & ice cream (my treat!) and the never-ending Quilt Shop...sounds like so much fun!

BrendaLou said...

Someday you can give me the tour...Spam museum, lunch & ice cream (my treat!) and the never-ending Quilt Shop...sounds like so much fun!

Nanci said...

Spam! At first I thought the computer spam...a fun day for sure, and who knew? I was never a fan of the stuff. My dad, after the war never ate spam nor lamb....says it all. I didn't like it either, although being french Canadian, we loved head cheese, not much different I suspect. Noted the beer float...coke floats or root beer are my summer time favs.

Nanci said...

forgot to put root before the beer....my mind was faster than the fingers. lol.