Gift boxed Spam?

South Koreans keep tight embrace of Spam

SEOUL » As the Lunar New Year holiday approaches, Seoul’s increasingly well-heeled residents are scouring store shelves for tastefully wrapped boxes of culinary specialties. Among their favorite choices: imported wines, choice cuts of beef, rare herbal teas. And Spam.

Yes, Spam. In the United States the gelatinous meat product in the familiar blue and yellow cans has held a place as thrifty pantry staple, culinary joke and kitschy fare for hipsters without ever losing its low-rent reputation. In Hawaii it is a dietary staple.

But in economically vibrant South Korea, the pink bricks of pork shoulder and ham have taken on a bit of glamour as they have worked their way into people’s affections.

"Here Spam is a classy gift you can give to people you care about during the holiday," said Im So-ra, a saleswoman at the high-end Lotte Department Store in downtown Seoul who proudly displayed stylish boxes with cans of Spam nestled inside. [emphasis added]

Which means… I’m done with my Christmas shopping for 2014!!

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