No, this isn't a commentary on Obama's $timulus bill that we just found out included $20.5 million dollars worth of pork and ham purchases. Instead, I am talking about the REAL Spam capitol of the world located in Austin, Minnesota, home of Hormel's SPAM MUSEUM.
Yes, there really is a SPAM MUSEUM! Although it is not a destination in itself, it certainly is a fun drive-by attraction. Located just off I-90, it is easy to find and well worth the hour or two visit.
We happened upon it several years ago* on a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. There it was in all it's glory, complete with bronze statue of a farmer and 2 pigs.
Attractions include a computer Q & A Cafe of Spam facts. (Photo) They cleverly placed the computer controls on breakfast plates of Spam and eggs! Just roll the egg yolk track ball and click the butter pat to select the answer. The facts appear on the specials of the day menu. Cute.
Historical exhibits include a few full sized scenes of WW2 camps, complete with soldiers. After all, Spam was a major component of a soldier's chow, as my dad would refer to military dining fare. (Surprisingly, he still enjoyed the occasional meal of baked Spam when we were growing up.)
There is a Monty Python section, with wacky clips from the show--evidently Spam was a popular topic of the program. On the more serious side, there is a Spam movie and lots of interactive things for kids to do too.
The gift shop was pricey, in my opinion, but we each did buy a Spam can bank. (They also sell SPAM!) At least the museum admission was free, as I recall, which is more than I can say about touring Kelloggs' Cereal City in Michigan.
So if you are heading out on I-90 sometime, make plans to stop at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, and serve up some fun. (Photo) I think you will find it an entertaining diversion. Do call first to make confirm their hours: 507-437-5100.
*Third time was a charm for us with the Spam Museum: We first came upon it while looking for a place to eat in Sept. of 2001. Since we like to visit interesting places we serendipitously discover on our trips, we decided to stop in the next morning. The next day we found out it was brand new but closed--its Grand Opening scheduled a few days before on Sept. 12th was delayed because of the 9/11 attacks. Oh well, next time? The next trip out in 2004 we again planned on visiting. That time the museum was closed due to flooding! At last we made it in 2006.