What is it about Spam that we love so much?
Is it the mysterious parts of a pig that make up the pink block of canned meat? Is it that you can keep it in an underground bunker for years in case of a zombie apocalypse? Or is it because, well, it just tastes so good?
Hard to say, but for whatever reason, Spam — and its line of products — is hugely popular in Hawaii. We put in our fried rice, we make musubis out of it, we slice it thin and put it in our saimin.
And, for the past decade, we’ve been celebrating it at the annual Waikiki Spam Jam held this Saturday on Kalakaua Avenue.
Like many folks who grew up in the Islands, I’ve eaten Spam my entire life. My mom loves to fry it up — crispy is best — and eat it with hot rice. And I’ve been known to eat a Spam musubi every day for months. (It’s true.)
Spam has a long history in the Islands. The luncheon meat was served to GIs during World War II, and it quickly became part of the local culinary culture here. More Spam is consumed per person in Hawaii than in any other state. Almost 7 million cans of Spam are eaten every year. And I know my family has helped with that number.
The Spam Jam — one of my favorite food festivals, by the way — offers various preparations of our beloved canned meat, from Spam loco mocos to Spam nachos. And maybe this year there will be chocolate-covered Spam, too.
So I’m curious about your Spam addiction — or lack thereof. How do you take your Spam? Or are you one of those rare breeds in Hawaii who doesn’t eat it?
11th annual Waikiki Spam Jam, 4-10 p.m. April 27, Kalakaua Avenue. Admission is free. Visit www.spamjamhawaii.com.
It HAS to be crispy! But, OMG, we just saw a commercial last night with the weird little SPAM knight mascot and it was for microwavable SPAM meals with sauce…eeeeewwwwwwww!!! Have you seen it? That right there is where I draw the SPAM line.
Hey Cat … I’m a true local … except for my lack of love for Spam … I’ve eaten it all my life … yes in saimin, fried crispy, and sometimes straight out of the can … but I’m not a Spam lover … *gasp* …
… and I don’t like Vienna sausages either … but I’ll eat ’em …
… I don’t even have a single can of Spam or Vienna sausage in my cupboards …
… I did love this Spam musubi a friend of mine made when I was at school at UH … she was a Korean lady who had a barbeque shop in Liliha … it was made with a kinda teriyaki-ish sauce … tasted a little Japanese-ish teriyaki with a hint of Korean Bar-B-Q style with sesame seeds … that Spam did not taste like Spam … maybe defeats the purpose for love of Spam … but that’s the best ever that I tasted in my life!!! …
… I wish I could have that now!!! …
nothing like a teri spam and egg musubi for those early morning tee times.
I love spam, I’ll eat it anyway it’s prepared. It’s my go to fuud. If there’s nothing to eat at home there’s always spam and rice.
Used to like Spam musubis until watching the video on how Spam is made and the brain lllnesses that factory workers get made me swear off Spam. It’s worse than how factory manufactured hot dogs are made.
Oh my goodness. What kind of brain illnesses? Is it from the spam itself or from the processing?
Manufacturing process using high pressure hoses causes misting which workers inhale. I think the workers had all kinds of neurological problems.
Spam is the Nectar Of The Gods. There is no meat(?) more versatile, more flavorful, more RIGHT than Spam. I grew up eating Spam. I still eat it often for breakfast, lunch or dinner. My only problem is now that I live in Oregon, I can’t just go to a neighborhood store and pick up a spam musubi to satisfy a craving. I have to make my own.
Like rayboyjr, I’m another local Hawaiian guy who never jumped on the spam bandwagon (or vienna sausage wagon either, for that matter). I’m an anomaly and that’s ok. Won’t eat fish, raw or cooked, no shellfish either, so even my siblings purport I’m an adoptee.
I don’t view spam the way many mainlanders do (some are grossed out by the mere mention of its name). I just never cared for its taste.
Grew up eating it fried in the beloved Spam sandwich. When I moved to Hawaii and discovered Musubi I was in heaven. Still love the spam musubi at the 7-11. There was a place in the BankOH tower that sold a variety of Spam things, all were excellent. It was awesome. OMG…. LMAO… I just did a spell check on musubi because it isn’t in the dictionary and its suggestion was Muslim… talk about politically incorrect!!!! WOW.
CAT: One of my favorite recipes for Spam was called the “Poor Man’s Ham”. I would take a block of Spam, cross hatch cut the top for looks, then put some clove studs where the cross hatch met. Cover with Pineapple Jam or some fruit jam, enough for taste, then bake in an oven till the sugar caramelized and the Spam had a nice color. Slice and serve as if it were a miniature canned ham. A cherry on top gives it a nice look.
Love spam musubi & spam in saimin. The spam used for musubi must be cooked til crispy
I think I’ll go make me a Spam and natto sandwich slathered with some Best Foods mayo. Be back later.
SPAM! Love the stuff! Spam, eggs and rice breakfasts from McDonalds are our Saturday family routine. Spam musubis are always taken when offered. And once every couple of weeks we have breakfast for dinner and I make spam, eggs and rice.
My favorite SPAM haiku:
Old man seeks doctor
“I eat Spam daily”, he says.