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10 BEST PODCASTS OF 2021 New York Times BEST FOOD PODCAST James Beard Awards, Webby Awards

How SPAM Became A Filipino Staple

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Apr 04, 2022
How SPAM Became A Filipino Staple

During World War II, wherever American troops were sent, they left the canned meat known as SPAM in their wake. When American GIs landed overseas, they often tossed cans of SPAM out of trucks to feed hungry people. Producer Gabrielle Berbey of The Experiment podcast is familiar with that story: It’s how her grandfather first came to know and love SPAM as a kid in the Philippines. But 80 years later, SPAM no longer feels American. It is now a staple Filipino food: a beloved emblem of Filipino identity. Gabrielle sets out on a journey to understand how SPAM made its way into the hearts of generations of Pacific Islanders, and ends up opening a SPAM can of worms.

Thanks to our friends at The Experiment from WNYC Studios and The Atlantic. This episode was produced by Gabrielle Berbey and Julia Longoria with help from Peter Bresnan and Alina Kulman. Editing by Kelly Prime, with help from Emily Botein, Jenny Lawton, Scott Stossel, and Katherine Wells. Fact-check by William Brennan and Michelle Ciarrocca. Sound design by David Herman with additional engineering by Joe Plourde. Transcription by Caleb Codding. Special thanks to Noella Levy and Craig Santos Perez. You can listen to the rest of “SPAM: How The American Dream Got Canned” here.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Johanna Mayer, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

Music in this episode from Alexander Overington, Tasty Morsels, and Black Label Music:

Additional audio from U.S. National Archives, Paramount News, gilbertoy69, PublicDomainFootage.

Photo courtesy of Alex Maida/WNYC Studios.

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