Pizzaburgers with Spam: A Culinary Treat from the School Cafeteria Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Pizzaburgers with Spam: A Culinary Treat from the School Cafeteria

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The unsung heroines of the US educational system: the Cafeteria Ladies. For generations, these indefatigable women have managed to nourish the nation's young scholars, day in and day out, using only the ingredients available in bulk on their school systems' budgets or donated by the state. Never in human history have so many been fed so well, for so little. Their recipes attest to soaring imagination and dedication to nutrition.

Here is one such recipe, provided by the inventive cooks of western Pennsylvania's schools, helpfully cut down to serve a reasonable horde of 10-12 hungry people. You'll want to try it at your next party: not only is the Pizzaburger (with Spam) cheap and easy to make, but it combines all the major crowd-pleasing elements of festive eating: hamburger, cheese, spiciness, and tomato-y goodness. Oh, and Spam, of course.


Lovely spam
Wunderful spa-a-m
Lovely spam

- Monty Python

  • One 12oz (0.3 kg) can of Spam
  • 1lb (0.5 kg) ground beef1
  • 1lb (0.5 kg) grated Cheddar cheese (or whatever the School Board will provide)
  • One 12oz (0.35 lt) jar of your favourite pizza sauce, containing tomatoes
  • 10-12 individual pizza bases, or 10-12 English muffins (crumpets will work), bagels, OR an equivalent quantity of any other breadstuff you have lying around

How to Make This Delight

  1. Open the Spam tin. Um, isn't it lovely? The Spam (along with the pizza sauce) will provide all the spices needed to make this delectable. Grate the Spam using what the Cafeteria Ladies call a 'knucklebuster'.
  2. Brown the ground meat in a skillet.
  3. Add Spam, grated cheese and pizza sauce. Mix thoroughly and heat until it smells really good.
  4. Spread Pizzaburger topping on breadstuff and toast in the broiler or grill.
  5. Hand out to starving hordes. Remind finicky children that Spam is the favourite processed food of cannibals. They will shriek 'Ewww!' and demand seconds.
  6. Serve with a side salad or crudité assortment (maybe they'll eat it2), and apple crisp3 (also known as Apple Brown Betty) for dessert. Result: well-fed and happy crowd.

You can easily make your Pizzaburger gluten-free. The wonder food Spam is gluten-free! So is hamburger, unless someone's been messing with it. Check labels to make sure your pizza sauce is gluten-free. This goes for the cheese, as well: some cheese producers have the nasty habit of using gluten in their anti-caking mixture. Use a gluten-free bun, muffin, or pizza crust, and you're good to go.

...or Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce served in a Provençale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.
- Terry Jones, as the Waitress
1If you call ground meat 'mince', you are also permitted to use a mixture of beef and pork.2If they absolutely won't eat their veggies, try a Cafeteria Lady tip: you can always sneak a few cooked veggies into the pizzaburger mix. Any kid who spots the odd green bean in there will shrug and think it arrived by kitchen accident.3A sweet dish made of cooked apples, brown sugar, and crumbs or oats.

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