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People are surprised after finding out what SPAM really stands for

People are surprised after finding out what SPAM really stands for

And no, not that junk mail in your folder.

Do you know what SPAM stands for?

No, not the junk mail filter in your email, but the ‘mystery meat in a can’ that has been a staple stashed away at the very back of people’s pantries for almost a century now.

This little square of pink pork and fat was first released in 1937 by Minnesota-based food firm Hormel Foods.

According to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, SPAM was first created 'as a way to peddle the then-unprofitable pork shoulder'.

While it’s been dubbed the ‘mystery meat’, SPAM is actually just an assemblage of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate.

Another SPAM-based mystery that has been causing confusion for decades now is what the acronym SPAM actually stands for.

Artur Kozlov/Getty

Over the years, many people online have presented their own wild theories.

“On a whim I purchased canned meat. With the first taste I understood SPAM was an acronym for Salt Preserves Any Meat,” one person theorised.

“I often conjectured that ‘Spam’ was an acronym for ‘Spoiled Ham’,” another added.

“I just learned that SPAM is an acronym for Sizzle Pork And Mmm,” was another theory presented.

Other theories that have been floating around for years include “stuff posing as meat”, “shoulder of pork and ham” and “scientifically processed animal matter”.

But it seems the mystery has finally been solved.

As TIME reported, SPAM is actually a portmanteau of 'spiced ham' that actor Ken Daigneau, the brother of a Hormel executive, came up with during a naming contest.

According to Eater, when Daigneua first said the word, company founder Jay Hormel immediately knew it was the one.

“I knew then and there that the name was perfect,” he said.

SPAM skyrocketed in popularity during WWII and is now available in 44 countries.

Featured Image Credit: Artur Kozlov/Getty Images. LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Topics: News, Food And Drink