“The Spam Fritter Returns!” or so the gloriously named http://www.meatinfo.co.uk told us back in late 2006. Sadly it seems that it hasn’t quite had the meteoric rise to fame that it should have had in the past year and the glorious product only drifted into my consciousness last week when I saw a packet sitting all on its own in my local Iceland… serves me right for doing my shopping in Waitrose…

After getting back home a quick googling revealed that the Spam Fritter is not just a part of our great nation’s heritage and well loved by millions, but also has one of the most terrifying adverts I’ve ever seen in my life. It all seems to start off well enough, but every as every line in their remarkably catchy Spamsong passes it makes me less and less inclined to ever buy their products… except that I am very much in favour of ironic eating and giving myself premature heart disease.

Spam up and get out the can,

Right… I hadn’t known that the phrase “Spam up” could ever be used in a positive way, but fair enough…

Spam up just to feed your man,

So, when your man has eaten every other available meat based product in a ten mile radius, Spamming up can be used as a last resort to put food on the table…

Spam your man cos it’s great outdoors,

Where it’s well ventilated?

Spam up when you could eat a horse,

By watching this advertisement you acknowledge that Spam and it’s subsidiary product may or may not contain meats other than those listed on the packaging and also waive any right to make a formal complaint on the sourcing of the meats or meat byproducts included in such products. Hormel inc. absolves itself of all responsibility for any animals unknowingly consumed whilst enjoying Hormel products or those products whose trademarks are registered with Hormel.

Spam up for a special treat,

“Special treats” are clearly all relative… little Jimmy sitting on the left of the table is apparently overjoyed to the point of soiling himself, but that may well be to do with the fact that dinner of any sort is a whole lot better than being locked in the cupboard for the evening.

Spam up for an anniversary,

What? No! That’s just so wrong.

Spam up for the taste of it,

Because there’s certainly nothing that justifies it in a nutritious sense, so you better enjoy something about it. You might also notice that this is also the only point in the advert where someone actually eats any Spam Fritter. Our brave and intrepid Dad tries a bite (to the great amusement of his daughter)… no words could do justice to his reaction, certainly he doesn’t look like a man who’s enjoying himself.

He does fight on and chew with an iron resolve for a whole two seconds before it cuts away, but I challenge you to find any frame in those two seconds where he has a face that you have ever seen at the dinner table.

And here’s the family in the aftermath… little Jimmy’s beginning to wonder if this really was better than the cupboard whilst Dad is fighting the aftereffects of the fritter (which are threatening to Spam Up at any moment). Only Mum’s looking pleased but I think that might well be because she’s been chopping and changing Gran and Grandad’s last will and testament this afternoon.

Anyway, having heard all the horrible things I’ve had to say about the fritter you would think that I wouldn’t be all excited to try it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After watching enough to memorise the song I skipped off merrily to the local chip shop to pick up a portion of their greasiest potato bits, turned the oven on and got a can of mushy peas at the ready. After a bit of careful consideration it didn’t seem quite balanced so I chopped up a whole load of cabbage and made some dressing to go with it.

Obviously the whole dish has to be garnished with a fried egg and served with Salad Cream for the mushy peas… maybe that’s just me actually…

Now, having been prepared for the worst by TVDad, I was actually pleasantly surprised. I really really enjoyed the whole hugely bloated meal, though had it not been for the mediating effects of the cabbage I probably would have been in trouble. The texture of the meat bit in the fritter was kind of funny and little bit disconcertingly rubbery, but for the most part the manufacturer’s claim of “succulent pieces of SPAM covered in a deliciously light and crispy golden batter” wasn’t all that far off. The questionable bit was really how much you like the Spam part of that and I think I might have to admit that that wasn’t all that much. Not to say I disliked it of course (the list of foods I dislike will stick at 3 or fewer forever if I have anything to do with it) just I would have liked it better if it had been filled with, well… not Spam.

As much as I do love the amazing idea of the product I really don’t think I’ll be buying them again soon; I have to say though, if someone were to offer me one as part of an exceedingly large fried breakfast, I’d say yes in an instant! The bit of me that says yes to things like this is probably the same bit that’s eventually going to make me die… but at least I’ll die greasily satisfied!