Spam, the mysterious canned meat of legend, has been a controversial item since it appeared on the market. Many people shun it, saying that it isn’t meat at all, and just reconstituted scrap bits of meat folded in with what is most likely meat glue. Plus, there was also that incessant urban legend, which claimed that cannibalistic loved the taste of the stuff because it was the closest to human meat.
But there are others- like the people of Hawaii and Guam, and our own shores—who revere the processed ham, eating it during virtually every meal of the day, and forming awesome dishes out of it. While spam comes in a myriad of different flavors including teriyaki and jalapeño, the tocino version is exclusive to the Philippines, and is an homage to the Filipino breakfast, an insane hybrid between two items that have become staples to our almusal repertoire. It sounds like only something stoners would dream about, but it’s real, and it’s here, and it is actually pretty good.
The flavors are a good attempt at our beloved marinated tocino, but are still a little far from it.
To regular fans of Spam, the texture and consistency of Spam Tocino hardly differs. It is just a tad soggier because of the sugary marinade added to the ham, which means it takes longer to crisp up on the pan. This product is definitely better thinly-sliced, and a little charred, as it caramelizes the sugars, and reminds you exactly of the burnt ends of tocino. The flavors are a good attempt at our beloved marinated tocino, but are still a little far from it. If it were called Sweet Spam or Honey Spam, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
If you were never a fan of how salty the canned pork mush could be, then this might be the version of Spam that will convert you—the sweetness cuts away from the usual punch of salt, and comes off surprisingly balanced. The hype might just be real this time—this may not be gourmet stuff, but I guarantee many late nights and early mornings will be better off when this is sugary and toasted, placed on top of garlic rice, and hidden under a gooey egg.