Taste The Rainbow
... of different shades of pink.
"Salt, salt, compressed meat, and salt. Sh*t, Kenji, this just tastes like Spam," said one taster. I couldn't agree more. Delicious salt, salt, compressed meat, and salt.
Reduced Sodium Spam
Most tasters actually preferred the flavor of the low sodium Spam, which, to be fair, is still pretty ridiculously salty. While a regular slice of Spam you might want to dilute on a bed of rice or in a burger, low-sodium Spam would be the Spam of choice if you want a slice of it on your breakfast table. It has a slightly softer texture as well.
Flavorwise, it was deemed pretty similar to regular Spam, though it has a tougher, dryer texture. One taster described it as "sadness steak."
A house favorite, it reminded some of us of spicy queso dip in its sweet-hot blend and distinct green pepper-y aroma. Even tasters who ranked almost every other variety at a flat "0" gave Jalapeño Spam a few positive points. Perfect for Spamacos.
Tasters were divided on this front. Some enjoyed the smoky flavor added to the Spam, while others (myself included), thought the smoke tasted overwhelmingly chemical-y, covering up the sweet porkiness that lies underneath.
Hot & Spicy
Most tasters immediately identified the heat in this version as coming from Tabasco sauce—another apparently divisive flavor. Some tasters liked the intense, sharp heat of Tabasco, while others called it "harsh and gross," even going so far as to say "repulsive."
Come here, Spammy. It's ok, those mean people's words can't hurt you. Let me wipe that tear from your eye with my fork.
Two foods that are destined to go together eventually. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well in execution as it does in concept. The bacon flavor is completely indistinguishable under the flavor of the Spam. No smokiness to speak of.
Ok, even I had to admit this one was essentially salty cat food. Mealy and dry, it has absolutely no Spam-like qualities other than its salt level. Besides, what's the point? Is anyone eating Spam really convinced that choosing Turkey Spam is a healthier option? Pass.
Black Pepper Spam
Holy cow, this is peppery! Another favorite amongst the tasters, some liked it for its intense black pepper flavor, feeling that it complemented the sweetness of the Spam. Others liked it because the intense black pepper flavor distracted them from the flavor of the Spam. One guy (who will remain nameless, but whose name rhymes with Fax Malkowitz) liked it because he identified the black pepper to be a rare cultivar of Sarawak from Borneo.
Spam with Cheese
Seeing as Spam is often served with melted cheese, this seems like a natural fit, but it ended up not working so well. As with many cooked, cheese-studded sausage-like products, the cheese interferes with the structure, making the whole thing taste mealy. You lose the essential Spamminess of the texture.
For those of you who just can't wait to get home before you get your Spam fix. Spam singles contain a single slice of Spam, perfect as a snack while you wait on that crowded subway platform, or perhaps to keep in the glove compartment for that long ride home from Wal-Mart. If the recent popularity of peanut butter slices is any indication, Spam singles will be the next internet sensation.
Spam Lite Singles
Like their fattier single brother. Tougher in texture, though the flavor is just about the same.