Wham, Bam, Thank You, Spam
Come April 3, Spam is taking over the capital of Texas. Austin’s Spamarama—a festival as infamous as the potted pork product that it celebrates—started 26 years ago as a joke and has grown over the years into a gonzo tribute to the gelatinous hunk of pink protein. On the designated day, 8,000 to 10,000 FOS (Friends of Spam) will congregate to eat, drink, and observe just how versatile and Spamtastic the stuff can be. The festivities kick off Olympics-style with the conclusion of the Spam Torch Carry, the arrival of a can of Spam on a stick following a circuitous three-thousand-mile journey by vehicle and foot from New York City. After the “opening ceremonies,” the competitive spirit begins with the likes of the Spam Toss, the Spam Call, and the inaugural World Championship Spam Burger Eating Contest. The festival’s highlight will be the Spam Cook-off (green eggs and Spam, anyone?), in which local restaurants valiantly attempt to disguise the flavor of the venerated victual. Last year’s winner was Napa Valley grape leaves stuffed with Spamrizo (think chorizo), veggies, and pine nuts. Who knows what fiendish creation will take top honors this year. But one thing is assured: Bad taste will prevail. (See Austin: Other Events)