Vintage Vittles: Spam Fiesta Peach Cups

Vintage Vittles is like a time machine. In your kitchen. It seeks to go back and try strange and likely disgusting things our ancestors (read: grandparents) ate, all in as historically accurate of a way as possible.

It all began innocently enough. Pictures of freaky 1950s food were being posted on the Mellophant forums for amusement. Then, I began wondering. Just what the hell did this stuff taste like, anyway? And so I chose one of the most disturbing looking recipes of all to begin with:


Spam Fiesta Peach Cups. Yummeh.

I recruited my brother to assist me, both because he's got a camera and because he's a sixteen year old boy and will eat anything.

First, we had to go to the store since I didn't have the fixings for those delightful Spam 'n' peach balls in the house. I saw that they had Spam Lite which had half the fat and 25% less sodium than the original, so was going to get that, but my brother stayed my hand. "It would be historically inaccurate," he warned me solemnly. Shamed, I agreed with him.

Back at my house, we assembled the ingredients:


I found a nice old-fashioned measuring cup to use, since if I was going to be subjected to Original Spam then I was going to make this as accurate as possible. It was at this point that I considered putting on a dress and a string of pearls, but decided my jeans and rasta beanie would have to do.


This is the most historically accurate cup. Ever.

As soon as I opened up the can of Spam, my cat leapt up onto a chair and was anxiously watching everything I did. As my brother put it, "It looks like a canned brain. Without the wrinkles."


Pictured: Brain

This is where I made my only major mistake in cooking this. I'd misread the recipe and used a tablespoon of mustard instead of a teaspoon.


Mommy, can I lick the bowl?

The recipe said that the Spam should be ground. Since it was just mush in a can anyway, I assumed I could do this by hand. I was wrong.

(In case you were wondering, the smell was somewhat like what you might imagine canned split pea and ham soup would smell like after being vomited up.)

After some research I determined that there were food processors on the market during the 1950s, so I was still historically accurate, though a meat grinder probably would have been more in keeping with how a housewife at the time would have done it.

When I started arranging the canned peach halves in the pan, I discovered a problem. Either peaches were far, far, far bigger in the 1950s than they are now, or nobody actually tested this recipe before deciding that it would call for six canned peach halves. They were tiny and there was no way all of that Spam goo would fit on six of them. So, I had to use two cans worth of peaches.


It's also possible their Spam was smaller, but unlikely when compared to the amount of milk added.

Rolling balls of Spam (with milk, oatmeal, ketchup and mustard) in my hands was just about as gross as you can imagine. It did end up filling up two cans of peaches perfectly, though, so there's that, at least, even if it was way, way more than six halves.

We popped it under the broiler for twelve minutes, checking occasionally after ten minutes. The change from "glistening pink goo" to "orange goo with some brown spots where it's starting to burn" happened quickly.

When we sat down to eat it, there was this long, quiet moment of horror as we just stared down at what we'd put on our plates. Finally, we each took a bite. I gave a little shudder at all of the salt and felt my blood pressure start to rise moments after swallowing. It tasted very, very odd. On the second bite, the salt wasn't so bad and I could start to really taste the Spam mixture. My brother and I determined that if it hadn't been for the extra mustard, it might not be too bad. It was still horrifying on a fundamental level, but the taste itself was simply odd, not revolting.

My brother asked me to reflect on the experience:

This wasn't really the end of it, however. Shortly after we turned off the camera and started to clean up, we both began to have stomach pains. The only thing we can figure is that our diet--more whole foods than processed and salt is added by hand to taste--had left us ill-equipped to deal with the monstrosity of sodium we'd just attacked our bodies with. It didn't make us sick exactly. It just made us feel dirty on the inside.


Not pictured: Pain. So much pain.

Comments

For the record, this was the funnest writing assignment I've ever had. I couldn't stop giggling while making the damn things.

It looked fun! Perhaps not fun enough for me to try it, but fun!

Tell me honestly, Zuul, you can't wait to make it again, can you?

You're a sick woman, Zuul.

Also I feel a little guilty for posting that picture. Guilty and slightly nauseous because I suspect someone here is going to try to guilt me into doing something like this down the road.

This article is hilarious. And good on your brother for keeping you in line!

Here is the link to the original thread which contains this monstrosity.

Quote Originally posted by Sarahfeena View post
It looked fun! Perhaps not fun enough for me to try it, but fun!

Tell me honestly, Zuul, you can't wait to make it again, can you?
I'm actually considering making something along these lines again. However, I'd use nice ground pork rather than Spam. The meat/peach combination isn't bad. It's a slightly less acidic take on the ham and pineapple idea.

Quote Originally posted by Exy View post
You're a sick woman, Zuul.

Also I feel a little guilty for posting that picture. Guilty and slightly nauseous because I suspect someone here is going to try to guilt me into doing something like this down the road.
Oh, no. I am fully prepared to do all of the gross cooking around here. You're safe...for now.

Wrinkled brains!? Do not insult the food of my people!

No, but seriously you are a braver braver person than I am because I don't think I'd be able to eat a mixture of Spam and oatmeal.

The milk and oatmeal are the two ingredients that would make me

You guys rock for actually eating this.

Quote Originally posted by jali View post
The milk and oatmeal are the two ingredients that would make me

You guys rock for actually eating this.
C'mon. Haven't you ever made meatloaf? It's just...oats instead of breadcrumbs!

(Stay tuned for our chicken gelatine!)

Quote Originally posted by Zuul View post
C'mon. Haven't you ever made meatloaf? It's just...oats instead of breadcrumbs!

(Stay tuned for our chicken gelatine!)
Yeah, actually, my mom always put oatmeal in her meatloaf, I think because she thought it was healthier than breadcrumbs. And I think she might have put some milk in, too, if I recall correctly. You can't detect the oatmeal at all, it's just used for filler and texture.

Quote Originally posted by Zuul View post
(Stay tuned for our chicken gelatine!)
My mind pronounced this gel-A-TEEN. I don't know if that's right, but that's how I'm saying it.

I look forward to your chicken gel-a-TEEN.