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I'm hungry... but my Spam fritters went from tin to bin; To mark Remembrance season - and get a feel for how tough life on the home front was - Telegraph reporter GEORGIA ARLOTT has set herself a challenge to exist on wartime rations for five days...

Byline: GEORGIA ARLOTT

SPAM is a mysterious meat. The first enigma is the name itself. Some say the letters stand for 'Supply Processed American Meat', others think it's 'Shoulder Pork and Ham', while many who lived through the war have their own - often unprintable - suggestions.

The second riddle, for me, is why it's still available and quite popular today. This gelatinous, baby pink mass still holds a special place in many people's hearts. For the life of me, I can't understand why.

I was subjected to Spam at school, and I've never really recovered.

There's no doubt, though, that this processed meat was a godsend during the Second World War.

It was fed to serving soldiers very regularly, and enjoyed by civilians who missed their daily meat, too.

Most famously, it was used as a substitute for battered fish, and that is how the Spam fritter came about. Once cooked, it actually smelt quite good, and - initially - it tasted nice, too.

But then there was the texture. And it brought me right back to those haunting school lunches.

The older generation often say that people of my age are spoilt, and after my performance with the Spam fritter, I can't help but agree.

Despite what I said in yesterday's column, I chose hunger over my dinner.

I felt really guilty about that, because I was reminded of a wartime poster that said 'A clear plate means a clear conscience. Don't take more than you can eat.' I know I would never have wasted my food during wartime.

So far, though, I haven't been hungry at all. The food is quite stodgy, and I'm eating much more than I normally would.

A 2012 survey showed that, 60 years ago, housewives burnt 1,000 calories a day doing their daily chores. The average woman now burns only 560.

Maybe that's why I wasn't hungry enough to eat a Spam fritter...
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 12, 2013
Words:318
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