I have never in my life eaten "potted meat," but I've been accused of doing so whenever consuming deviled ham. I decided to put the SPAM spread head to head against my favorite non-perishable meat spread, Underwood's Deviled Ham. Let's take a look:
The first thing to note is the price and the size of the can. Locally, I paid $1.64 for 4.25 oz of Deviled Ham vs. $1.38 for 3 oz of the SPAM spread. That's 36¢/oz compared to 46¢/oz respectively.
Nutritionally, the contents are pretty comparable. Sodium is a little higher in the SPAM, but if you are salt-sensitive you'd probably want to steer clear of both. I'm not salt-sensitive so the sodium content here doesn't bother me in the slightest. Carbs are a little higher in the Underwood due to the brown sugar, but that's pretty insignificant. The one thing that really stood out is that the Deviled Ham is basically ham & spices, where the SPAM spread ingredients give me the impression that it really is just a bunch of offal scooped up off the floor.
Popping open the cans I noted that the Underwood product had a courser, firmer texture than the SPAM, which I prefer. Straight out of the can, both had decent flavor, but the SPAM was obviously more bland, and the chicken content was very noticeable under the traditional SPAM flavor.
Both products spread nicely, and held their shape on the crackers very well. This is where the Deviled Ham really shined, as the spicyness of the product still gave plenty of kick over the saltine to provide a more interesting presentation of flavor. The Hormel contender barely had enough flavor behind it to overcome the cracker.
As expected, the Deviled Ham also provided longer lasting enjoyment due to the extra 1.25 oz in the can.
Don't try this at home. Aside from the squishiness, you'd hardly know the SPAM spread was in there if sandwiched between TWO crackers. The Underwood, however, still held its own under the saltine assault.
In the end, this was really no contest. More meat for your money, and better flavor for the long haul makes the Underwood Deviled Ham the clear choice for crackery meat spread. The chickeniness was not bad, just a little unexpected coming from a SPAM product. It really needed some help from some Tobascco, mustard, jalapeño slices, or some other product that can step the flavor up a notch or two to be on the same level as the Underwood straight out of the can.
Sorry SPAM! It was a good try, but for today I'll continue to buy the can in the white paper wrapper.