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Spam is glam in South Korea

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 - 01:27

Feb. 11 - Spam, or processed meat in a can, was first brought to South Korea by U.S. troops during the Korean War and has become one of the most popular items to include in gift sets during festive seasons. Tara Cleary reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 South Korea is the biggest consumer of Spam outside the U.S. American troops introduced the processed meat during the Korean War and it became popular added to a traditional stew called "budae-jjigae". Seventy-nine-year-old restaurant owner, Huh Gi-sook claims to have invented the dish. But she says getting hold of Spam in the 50s was tough. SOUNDBITE: Huh Gi-sook, restautrant owner, saying (Korean): "The (U.S.) army had meat. There were leftovers. They wouldn't eat the leftovers and threw them out. All of it. But it was the hungry days for us then." In the past five years, sales of Spam have jumped more than 40 percent in South Korea. And local manufacturer, CJ Cheilchedang can hardly keep up with the demand. The company's brand manager Jessica Shin says they're trying to give the lowly meat a glamorous twist. SOUNDBITE: Jessica Shin , senior brand manager, CJ Cheilchedang, saying (Korean): "Spam was an invaluable food in South Korea in the past and so we're rolling out a marketing campaign by selling the Spam gift set, renewing the product as a gift in efforts to put a fanciful image on it." The idea is working - Spam sets are selling well, its popularity attributed to a long shelf life. And even a link to diabetes can't keep fans from their salty processed pork fix.

Spam is glam in South Korea

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 - 01:27

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