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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Foundational Fried SPAM | The Walking Dead (cookbook review + giveaway)

Foundational Fried SPAM | The Walking Dead
Foundational Fried SPAM | The Walking Dead (cookbook review + giveaway)
It's premiere week! Are you as excited as I am? I wasn't to create seven new Walking Dead inspired recipes to lead up to Sunday like I did last year, but I do have something just as fun to share—a review of the just-released The Walking Dead: Official Cookbook and Survival Guide! If you're a regular reader, you know how much I love TWD, so I jumped at the chance to receive not only a review copy, but also a copy to give away to one of my readers! So, let's get to it.

I'll start out by saying that yeah, I am incredibly jealous that I'm not the one that wrote the official cookbook for TWD, because it's a goal that I've had for years (you can check out the recipes I've made that were inspired by The Walking Dead here). Getting past that, it was written by a name that I recognized. Author Lauren Wilson also wrote a fun zombie-themed cookbook that I reviewed (and really enjoyed) a couple of years ago called The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse.

Much like her first book, this cookbook includes some apocalypse survival techniques. In the first chapter, called Food Survival Basics, you'll find ideas on how to survive in "any situation where you find yourself in danger and unable to flee your home base—or if you should deliberately choose to hunker down and defend your homestead at any cost..."
Foundational Fried SPAM | The Walking Dead
It lists a plan of action, a list of supplies you'll need, useful items to keep in a "bug-out bag", ideas on having some survival caches, the importance of potable water, and how to gather, treat, and store it, fire basics (the three components for starting a fire and preparation) and ways to build it for cooking food, and "power hacks" for generating and storing power. She also talks about shelf-stable foods, scavenging, bartering, foraging, growing, hunting, fishing, and food preservation.

The remaining five chapters are all recipes. Now, what I love about the recipes are that they are not gimmicky. You won't find "Bob's grilled leg" or "walker bait" (not that those don't have their place and aren't fun), instead you'll find recipes inspired by actual "TWD moments". You'll find recipes that you might actually be able to make, should you find yourself in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. Recipes that call for things like soy sauce packets, powdered and freeze-dried ingredients, canned foods, fish and game you could hunt, and vegetables that you could grow yourself (or be lucky enough to find growing wild).
Foundational Fried SPAM | The Walking Dead
Best of all, while I do think this would make an amazing addition to any TWD lovers collection, or left out on the coffee table for guests to ogle over, the recipes are actually ones that you can actually make and enjoy NOW. No zombie apocalypse required. So, while I may be a little salty that I wasn't the one to write the official TWD cookbook for a while, I definitely recommend this to all the Walking Dead, zombie, apocalypse, or just cooking, fans out there!

Today I'm sharing Wilson's Foundational Fried SPAM recipe, inspired by the origins of Woodbury, which, according to the Governor, was a colony that began thanks to a handful of survivors "holed up in an apartment with Spam and Saltine crackers". It's simple, which is great for apocalypse cooking, with a fun twist—I'd actually make it again to eat on any given Sunday.

The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide

The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide

author: Lauren Wilson
publisher: Insight Editions (October 10, 2017)
photos: yes
hard cover: 144 pages

chapters/sections: Food Survival Basics | Fueling Up for Survival | Dig In! Meals for Hungry Survivors | Sweet Treats to Die For | End of the World Beverages and Libations | Putting Up: Food Preservation for End Times

fun features: What's not fun about this book?! Not only does it make an amazing collectible for fans of The Walking Dead, the recipes are good enough that you'll want to make and eat them even though we're not currently in a zombie apocalypse. It also makes a fun coffee table book, for paging through both the recipes and the food survival basics chapter. Never hurts to be prepared!

(a few of the many) recipes destined for my kitchen: The Kingdom's Breakfast Cobber | Morgan's Peanut Butter Protein Bars | Amy and Andrea's Campfire Fish Fry | Dixon Deer Stew | Tara's Turkey Chili | Carol's Quarter Chocolate Bar Cookies | Homemade Chocolate Clusters | Cherry Moonshine | Apocalypse Sweet Sun Tea | DIY Deer Jerky | Carriage Bar Pickled Eggs

about the author: Lauren was infected with a rare strain of undead enthusiasm over a decade ago while fighting off the zombie menace of Raccoon City in the original Resident Evil. From video games to comic books, zombie walks to online communities, there are few corners of the culture she has not explored. And she’s got a decent zed t-shirt collection, to boot.

When not nerding out about zombies, space, or Adventure Time, Lauren works in the world of food as a professional cook and writer. Since completing her culinary training at Toronto's George Brown Chef School in 2008 she has done a variety of work—from restaurant cooking to cheesemongering, online sales to catering, teaching cooking classes to writing for print and online media. She completed research and course development work at George Brown examining the career motivations, ambitions, and expectations of students with the aim of better understanding low female representation at the executive level of professional kitchens.

After eating up all the good bits of Toronto, Lauren followed a trail of crumbs to Brooklyn, New York, where she is cooking, eating, writing, and teaching happily.

Lauren Wilson, photo credit Joseph Wachowski
connect with the author: website | facebook | twitter | instagram

recipe(s) I have already tried: Foundational Fried Spam | Aaron and Eric's Linguine | Sanctuary Seeded Bread | Dwight's Egg Sandwich 

Yield: serves 4-6
Foundational Fried SPAM | The Walking Dead

Foundational Fried SPAM

prep time: 5 MINScook time: 5 MINStotal time: 10 mins
A little sweet, a little savory, this recipe makes being "holed up in an apartment with Spam and Saltine crackers" something to look forward to!


  • 1 tablespoon (1 packet) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 can SPAM classic


  1. Whisk the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat a large pan over medium heat with the oil.
  3. Slice the SPAM into 6 equal slices.
  4. Brush the glaze onto one side of the SPAM slices. Add them to the hot pan, glaze side down. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  5. Fry in batches as small as two, if necessary. Fry until golden brown and crunchy, about 2 minutes. In the meantime, brush glaze onto the side facing up.
  6. When browned, flip the SPAM and reglaze the browned side. Once the other side is browned, flip once more and brush again with glaze. Serve hot.


This recipe comes from (just slightly adapted) The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide by Lauren Wilson. Original recipe called for only 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne (but the 1/4 teaspoon adds a nice warmth to your tongue).

Watch carefully, because the sugars in the maple syrup can get dark quickly over the heat!
Created using The Recipes Generator

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

What type of food do you think that YOU would be eating/preparing if you were in the zombie apocalypse? Let me know in the comments!

Giveaway open to residents of the USA only. Must be 18+ to win (or have parents permission). Winner will be given 24 hours to respond to notification email before a new winner is chosen. More details in the giveaway widget.
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in the kitchen with zombie fiction logo
This is part of my "in the kitchen with Zombie Fiction" series, which features food pulled from or inspired by different works of zombie fiction.

To check out all of the past recipes and some upcoming featured titles, check out my "in the kitchen with Zombie Fiction" page!

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