After the decent reception of my bacon candy recipe of a couple of weeks ago-
I decided to further push the envelope of candied, processed pork products when I came across a random can of Spam in my pantry. I have had it for quite some time now for what purpose I do not know.
With the expiration date of February of 2010 rapidly approaching I felt the need to make some use of this classic American pork delicacy. It seemed to me that the sweet/savory tastiness of the bacon candy application would work equally well with Spam. However, as I have never actually eaten Spam before the success or miserable failure of this was up in the air. The unholy alliance between pork and sugar has not let me down yet, so I hoped for the best.
I decided to attempt two candying methods on the spam. The first was to cook the stuff down in a simple syrup, and the second was identical to the method that I used on the bacon. I began by cracking open the Spam can and shimmying out the quivering, jelly covered cube of pork. I was not really surprised that it smelled like ass, but I was a little shocked at the vibrant pinkness of the meat.
I cut the Spam up into thin, lozenge shapes about the size of a Squirrel Nut Zipper or a Mary Jane. Slightly unsettling was the resemblance of Spam pieces to human tongues. I threw the pork bits into a shallow bath of brown sugar syrup and set it to boil at a medium heat.
Pretty soon a lot of the moisture had boiled away and I really had to start watching the porky brew. You do not want the smell of burnt sugar and spam floatin' around your kitchen, wakin' up your maniacal pregnant wife sleeping in the other room. You really want to boil off as much of the water as you can though.
After they looked about done, I took the spam candy out and let it cool on a slightly oiled piece of aluminum foil. These little guys actually looked kind of innocuous, and they actually smelled kind of good.
When well cooled the Spam candy was fairly brittle, kind of like peanut brittle. I have decided to call this variation Spam Brittle. The verdict on these was fairly satisfactory. They had a nice porky flavor and were very sweet, a little mushy in the center, but overall kind of good. They looked pretty cool as well.
For the second Spam candy experiment I cut the pork into similar shapes and crisped them a little in some butter.
When they were lightly browned, I sprinkled on some of the brown sugar. I was going for more of a caramel thing with these guys as opposed to the hard candy type of the first method. After the sugar melted a little I flipped them over and sugared the other side.
These came out fairly crispy with a nice caramel/buttery flavor. Again, I was surprised about the fact that these were pretty good and almost normal tasting.
All in all I think that the Spam Brittle and Candied Spam were a success. They are pretty good munched by themselves, but I am currently trying to come up with a baking/pastry application. I have a couple of ideas, so look forward to a reappearance of these pink, porky delights in the near future.