Nevertheless, the people behind this much maligned product have tried really hard to jazz things up by adding a little spice and some major repackaging. Unfortunately they could not really do much about the taste or texture. The can sat on the kitchen table for a week under a cloud of foreboding but when my partner offered to cook it, curiosity got the better of me. He found that, despite a new-fangled opening system, getting past the trendy packaging was still a tricky business and presented a very real danger of slicing his hand open. And although the recipe on the tin promised a quick-and-easy meal, this was thwarted by the necessity for no fewer than three saucepans in which to fry eggs, boil carrots and cook rice. When the contents of the tin were chopped up on a plate, you would have forgiven our two cats for thinking their luck was in. We followed the recipe and threw the chopped meat into a wok with everything else, stirred it and added a chopped spring onion and a bit of seasoning. Dinner was served. And it was truly disgusting. For a start, you can't get away from that peculiar and unworldly texture that belongs to Spam alone ­ a kind of gritty, sludgy feel that I remember as fritters at primary school. But this time it had a fiery kick from added spicy' flavouring that a balti chef would be ashamed of. It proved too hot for the little one, dashing all hopes of an easy child-friendly meal option. We had to pick the spam off his plate in order for him to eat any of the meal at all. Even a glass of red wine failed to improve matters, and to be honest you'd be hard pressed to get a starving student to tuck in. For a hard-working family eager to make the most of what free time we have, it definitely left a sour taste. The verdict? Never, ever again. {{P&P }}