TIME

Spam takes its place on the menu

IN THE NEW NETFLIX ROM-COM ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE, a young Asian-American girl comes home from school and fixes herself dinner, carefully arranging slices of Spam on a plate with rice. It’s a key scene for the character, who grows up to be a chef—and for the pink block of meat, which has come a long way from being the butt of a Monty Python joke.

In recent years, a growing number of

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