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Spamarama


The SPAMŴ is lined up waiting for contestants in the SPAMBURGERŴ Hamburger Eating Contest
Photo courtesy of Spamarama
Apr 2009 (annual)
Hours: 12pm-6pm
Cost: US$5; under 12s free
Telephone: +1 512 834 1827
Link: Official Spamarama Website
Many things in this life achieve cult status, but not many are more deserving than the boiled, canned and processed flesh of the pig.
Where else but Texas would thousands descend on the "The Perpetual Pandemonious Party of Pork" in celebration of the potted pig and its glorious incarnation, Spam? To join in with the fun, head down to Austin's Waterloo Park for the annual Spamarama festival.

Started over 25 years ago by two Texan rockers as a take-off of one of the great US social institutions, the chili cook-off, this annual event has since ballooned out of all proportions. Event organiser David Arnsberger, latterly christened as the "Potentate of Potted Pork Parties", and his friend and porky henchman, Dick Terry, decided that anyone could cook a decent chili. If someone could make Spam edible, on the other hand...

The first Spamarama took place as a side-show to a gig by Arnsberger's band, The Uranium Savages, on April Fools Day in 1978 and was a resounding success. The band hammed it up, the crowd spammed it down and the legend of Spamarama was born. It has run every year since, apart from 1986 where a strike by local meatpackers led to a drought of the elysian foodstuff.

The main event is the cook-off, with both amateur and professional level entries, and prizes for Best Dish, Best Showmanship and the stomach-churning Worst Dish category. Contestants entering this take note; judges responsible for tasting have the right to ask you to eat a couple of mouthfuls first, so the true art is to make it exquisitely bad.

On an edible note, some old favourites include the Spam Daiquiri, Jurassic Pork and Spamish Omelette. Personal favourites of the potentate's are Spam-accini-Amfraidso and Spam Wellington. If you're still hungry, dessert comes in the shape of delicious chocolate-covered Spam truffles.

To limit the fun to culinary purposes would be a travesty and to that end Spamarama also features the Spamalympics. Check out the athletic prowess of the competitors competing in the Spam Disc Shoot, the SPAMBURGER eating contest, the Spam Can Relay and the mysterious Spam Call.

All the above occurs to the tune of the Spam Jam as local bands perform a series of spam-inspired toons. The Uranium Savages always close the music stage with their collection of spam parodies which have included the bestial Who Let the Hogs Out (Oink, oink, oink)...

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a chef, check out the Spamarama website for details about how to enter your own creation. Word is out that Spam creators, Hormel foods, have now released a new turkey spam, but as the potentate himself says, "I'm not gonna eat any Turkey Spam, are you?"
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