Regrettably, I did not carefully research the provenance of the Spam used to make Spam brand Spam that I used in the first two (1,2) Spam chili recipes. For all I know, the folks at Hormel could be harvesting endangered wild Spam from delicate ecosystems in the Everglades, Appalachia, Northern Wyoming, or wherever-the-hell Spam thrives. However, I have (un)reasonable assurance that the generic Spam (aka “Canned Luncheon Meat”) is sustainably raised in rural Ohio, Deep Sea Vents, Starbucks break rooms, or wherever-the-hell people could (un)reasonably hand-raise Spam. Remember, mistakes we make with sustainability will doom us before we have a chance to repeat them (ominous? Yes. Bumper sticker worthy? Sure. Why not?)
2 C cubed sweet potato
12 oz generic (sustainably farmed) spam, cubed
1 ½ C vegetable juice
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 T brown sugar
1 t onion powder
1/3 C spicy pickled carrots
2 T Chipotle salsa (San Marcos brand)
Simmer ingredients in a pot for 1 hour.
In making this tantalizing nod to canned wholesomeness, I burnt 3 toes on my left foot (don’t ask). The flavor of the chili was top notch, as it displayed layers of flavor complexity that are rarely seen (in the wild). My sole complaint was the texture of the generic spam-it was fairly squishy. Apparently a life of relaxing on a chaise lounge and watching reruns of Seinfeld does absolutely nothing for muscle tone. As a society, we may want to collectively put our heads together and come up with a better way to treat our farm-raised Spam. Better texture demands it.
Chili Jr.: Jeez Dad. Spam? Are you trying to kill us?
Chili365: On the contrary, I am looking out for the future of our planet. That’s why I serve generic Spam. Carry on, soldier.
Mrs. Chili365: How do “normal” people eat Spam? What I mean is, what is the traditional way to eat Spam?
Chili365: Traditional? You’re looking at it sweet thang. The Pilgrims parked the Mayflower and set about making (domestic) Spam chili, post-haste.