I Can’t Shut Up About Spam Figgy Pudding

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Amazon

While your stomach is still full of turkey and stuffing, I’m sure the last thing you want to think about is Spam™. However, I have seen the Spam Figgy Pudding, and it is now my duty to talk about it. Once you feast your eyes upon this limited-edition holiday canned meat, the duty will fall unto you as well.

Everyone say it aloud on the count of three. One, two, three, Spam Figgy Pudding! Doesn’t it feel awfully good to say? It’s so wrong, and yet so right. But of course Spam has released a seasonal version of its rectangle meat. Why wouldn’t it? Adele re-created the Megan Thee Stallion meme live onstage. The rules don’t exist anymore, babe.

Spam has added “cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice, along with orange and fig flavor” to its gorgeous pink pork brick. What does this mean for you? Anything, really. Spam suggests putting it onto skewers with caramelized onions and figs or adding it to your charcuterie board and waiting for a distant relative to fight you. If the artwork on the Spam Figgy Pudding can is to be believed, you could also try shoving the Spam into a Bundt-cake mold. How? I suppose with reckless abandon.

The tagline for figgy-pudding Spam is “flavor, spice, and everything nice.” As someone who has worked as a copywriter, I feel a traumatic kinship with whoever was made to come up with this. On the other hand, I would like to have a stern conversation with whichever godless creative director is responsible for this Spam Figgy Pudding ad. It’s a 90-second video where a choir of different animated holiday characters (and one pig??) sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” while passing around a can of Spam. Show us the actual Christmas meat brick, cowards.

The words “Spam Figgy Pudding” raise a lot of questions. What even is figgy pudding? Also, what is Spam? And what does it mean for these two culinary freaks to come together in festive union? Figgy pudding — known for such classic holiday lyrics as “Now bring us some figgy pudding” — is a steamed cake-like dessert typically made with dried fruit, candied fruit peels, spices, and nuts. Kinda like a wetter fruitcake? However, figgy pudding dates back to the 14th century and used to refer to a dish consisting of a wet, sticky porridge made with “boiled figs, water, wine, ground almonds, raisins, and honey.” Later, figgy pudding referred to a dish that was made with ground meat and grains. Figgy pudding is weirdly complex. On the other hand, given its reputation, Spam is deceptively simple: a mixture of pork and ham meat, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite. That mixture is put into cans, sealed, and cooked. Voila! Meat rectangle.

Though I have not had the opportunity, honor, privilege, etc., to try Spam Figgy Pudding, some reviews are in! And, as to be expected, they are mixed. Washington Post writer Emily Heil said it “tastes like a hot dog fruitcake” and suggested you “run away.” The Takeout’s Dennis Lee said, “There’s a lot of pronounced nutmeg, clove, and allspice, enough to clobber you over the head,” but in the right context (e.g., alongside some eggs), it tastes “perfectly okay.” One customer review for Spam Figgy Pudding reads, “We live in the timeline God has abandoned. This cursed item will haunt you to the grave.” The reviewer gave it five stars.

Balk as we may at the idea of some Christmas-spiced Spam, it really isn’t that absurd. A BBQ Spam slider? Yes, several, please. Some cranberry sauce atop the turkey, m’dam? Don’t mind if I do. Both Spam and holiday dinners have long incorporated savory and sweet. We simply hadn’t pushed the combination to its limit.

As we all know, humanity’s eventual collapse will be caused by our undying commitment to making foods taste like other foods. There have been candy canes flavored like gravy and potato chips made to taste like white chocolate. What if ice cream tasted like macaroni and cheese? No need to wonder, my friend. It already exists. Could we Willy Wonka a chip to taste like all the parts of a turkey dinner? Yes, Pringles did that, too. Somehow the most confusing part of this Jones turkey soda isn’t its existence or the fact that it’s been around for two Thanksgiving seasons. It’s the part of the product description that quotes the Backstreet Boys. Almost distracts you from the fact that we’re talking about soda that tastes like poultry.

Anyway, what could possibly come next? Pumpkin Spice Spam?? Ha-ha, no! Don’t be silly! That can’t be next, because it’s already here. Pumpkin Spice Spam came out in 2019. Spam Figgy Pudding has always been inevitable.

More From This Series

See All
I Can’t Shut Up About Spam Figgy Pudding