Company: Patrick Cudahy
What would you say if I told you that there was once a time when you could actually have a choice when purchasing fake processed meat in a can? I know, "Who cares" was my response too. But then I realized that the magical treat I am going to tell you about comes from my home state of Wisconsin, and I felt it my duty to represent. I am sick of people always saying that the only things to come out of Wisconsin are brats, cheeseheads, and beer. It's time that they add another thing to that list: Hamdingers.
Hamdingers were a short lived meat product produced by the Patrick Cudahy Company out of Cudahy, WI in the mid 70's (they trademarked the name "Hamdinger" in 1976, and that Trademark has expired and is available if you feel the need to own it). The product was sliced ham patties, about the size of a hamburger patty, and it came in a round can. Like Spam, it became a great meat to fry up with some eggs for breafast, but the great thing about Hamdingers is that it came in individually sliced portions, so you could grab a patty and fry it up for that perfect Hamdinger sandwich.
Hamdingers became a recurring joke used on the TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, where the product often would be brought up by the cast. In one episode, they found an escape pod in a large box of Hamdingers. The reason nobody ever found it before was that nobody had any desire to open the box.
Hamdingers were so short lived, they have sort of become lore, in that there isn't a ton of information about them, but people definitely do remember eating them in the late 70's. I'm not sure if it was a regional thing that pretty much kept to the central states or if it could be found in other parts of the country.
Do you remember eating Hamdingers? If so, please let us know what you thought and what memories you had of them!
The world needs more meat in a can. Patrick Cudahy, the time is now.