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I can’t stop saying Spong


A “Spong mincer” sounds like a particularly unpleasant homosexual. Or a serial killer with a fetish for one very particular body part.

I bought a Spong over the weekend, and it is neither. It’s a mincer, but unlike the one I have already (and the Spong in the picture), it doesn’t clamp to a table edge, it just stands on the surface. Much easier to set up, then clean.

I like to take leftover pork roast or the ass-end of a ham and grind them into ham salad.

Spong was a brand to be reckoned with. Have a look at an eBay search. Mine is a Fifties model in green enamel. But the old black ones with gold accents are really beautiful.

James Osborn Spong was born in 1839. Yes, yes…it’s one of those remarkable Victorian stories. He founded Spong and Co. at the age of 16, and made heaps of domestic shit. The company wasn’t 100% completely wound up until 1985 and the retirement of the last Spong (a great-grandson).

Oddly enough, there isn’t a Wikipedia entry for Spong. Damned Americans. Though ‘pedia informed me that Spong is a surname in multiple Germanic-speaking cultures. In England, it is an archaic term for a narrow strip of land.

The place I found out more about Spong is my gift to you this day: Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

Grace’s Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 118,799 pages of information and 172,070 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

If you like to read about industrial history — and, let’s face it, who doesn’t? — you’re welcome.


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: August 3, 2016, 8:00 pm

Dont they have changeable mysterious blades?

I always wanted a cherry pitter.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: August 3, 2016, 9:06 pm

My mother had one just like it. Clamped to the table top, made ham salad. And Cole slaw. That’s all I remember.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 3, 2016, 9:31 pm

I have one of those, Ric Fan – bought from a stall at a village fete stall and very useful. For three weeks a year.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: August 3, 2016, 9:50 pm

Uncle B and Sweas:

Those kind of things also have attachments that allow you to stuff sausages. Which can be made with ingredients you know and trust, with flavorings adjusted to what you like, and air dried or smoked to your preference. Just saying. To quote Glenn Reynolds: “In hard times, it is good to have food”.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 3, 2016, 10:05 pm

But, according to some scientivists in the colonies this week, eating sausages takes years off your life.

Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t just close all the universities down for being a lost cause.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: August 3, 2016, 11:28 pm

“Spong Mincer” is now my go-to insult. Hillary is a dirty spong mincer. I’m also stealing “scientivist”.

Comment from Ben
Time: August 4, 2016, 3:03 am

Spong mincer, I hardly even know ‘er…

Comment from catnip
Time: August 4, 2016, 4:47 am

So that’s what it is. We’ve always just called it the meat grinder. Mine is a hand-me-down from my mother, dates back to the late 1930’s, I think. So seldom used now, the attachments have to be buffed up because they tend to gather light rust in some spots. Amazing what we don’t know that we don’t know, then find out here. Thanks!

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: August 4, 2016, 7:00 am

Uncle B,

I don’t know about you, but I am old enough and have enough already broken down, that enjoying sausages probably is not what is going to finish me off. Given the usual Asian . . . immunity to cholesterol, I’d rather die well fed.

And those same scientivists are now saying that real butter is better for you than margarines, etc. Which is handy, because I tend to eat it in large quantities, along with obscene amounts of bacon. My Dr. is just shaking his head, because with my diet I still have excellent cholesterol levels.

Comment from SpongeBobSaget
Time: August 4, 2016, 7:09 am

The table edge clamp version is to be avoided. If you put any real torque on the handle it starts to wander all over the place and before you reach sufficient clamping force to keep it in place it breaks.

If you have the right welding rods for cast iron it can be reinforced enough to get by.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: August 4, 2016, 11:51 am

The non-clamping countertop model I have is great, except that it attaches by suction, so it tends to work loose while in use. How is yours stablilized, Sweas?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 4, 2016, 4:04 pm

It’s stabilized by asymmetry. Quite clever, really. This one isn’t mine, but it’s similar.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 4, 2016, 4:06 pm

Found this cringeworthy ad while looking for the above picture:

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: August 4, 2016, 5:25 pm

I am no chef, but isn’t there an attachment for the front of a Kitchenaid that does the same thing? Plus you don’t have to crank it, its all motorized.

OTOH, the asymmetry of the Spong is pretty cool – form follows function.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 4, 2016, 6:42 pm

I have the American equivalent—an inheritance from my mother. I rarely use it, but nothing it better if that’s what you need. My mother always kept a few canned hams in the pantry so she could make ham salad sandwiches for a crowd in an emergency. A one pound canned ham, some of sweet pickles run through, and mayonnaise make a fine ham salad. Then there’s chow-chow, salsa, and pepper relish. Dang—I miss having a garden.

@tomfrompv: Yes, KitchenAid has a grinding attachment, but KitchenAid mixers and attachments are very expensive. I’ve lusted for a KitchenAid all my life, but at age 64, I’m about to give up 🙁

Comment from Nina
Time: August 4, 2016, 6:56 pm

I’ve got one, and I love it! I don’t have the ice cream attachment, however…

And I would never ever make ham salad, jes’ saying. It sounds dreadful!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 4, 2016, 7:16 pm

Raise your hand if you have a sudden, violent urge to buy Deborah a KitchenAid…?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 4, 2016, 9:01 pm

Ham salad is nice. I think it’s the same thing we used to call deviled ham.

Comment from Nina
Time: August 4, 2016, 9:17 pm

My mom loved it, I’d rather just eat the ham. 😉

Comment from AliceH
Time: August 4, 2016, 11:53 pm

::raised hand::

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 5, 2016, 12:45 am

Aw … thanks Stoaty and you, too, Alice. The problem is that I want the Pro Model, with the 7-quart bowl and metal gears (not the nylon gears). List is about $600, but from time to time I find it for around $450—except invariably, I’ve just spent all my money on tires, the dentist or something else frivolous. I should put one in lay-away, but then my computer would crash and die, or another event equally ghastly would occur.

Comment from Nina
Time: August 5, 2016, 7:55 am

I had the same problem, Deborah…wanted the big one with the huge metal bowl. I used my tax refund one year to get it. I’ve not regretted it!

I hope you get yours someday soon!

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: August 5, 2016, 1:08 pm

Ah, yes, that is clever, Stoaty. Thanks! And Eeeeewwwww! to the ad …

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