Why do Hawaiians Eat So Much Spam???
In this episode of Quest for the Fest, I link up with Bitsy Kelley, the co-founder of the Waikiki Spam Jam, to learn more about the festival and Spam’s history. I also hit up the popular grocery chain, Foodland to learn how to make Spam musubi and try some other creative Spam concoctions.
Held every April on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, the Waikiki Spam Jam is a super dope, beach-side, street party celebrating everyone’s favorite salty meat in a can… SPAM!
It’s true, Hawaiians DO love their Spam and this event showed me why.
With paradise as a backdrop, the event closes down Kalakaua Avenue to make room for the more than 25,000 people who come from all over the world. For the entire day, Spam is eaten about a gazillion different ways. It’s celebrated on bags, t-shirts, towels and even in song.
Introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937 during WWII, Spam became a popular food source for GIs during the war because it had a long shelf life and didn’t require any refrigeration.
Since then, Spam has become a luncheon tradition. Hawaii eats over 7 million cans of Spam every year (more than any other state) and at this festival, visitors are invited to try it as a ‘spam’-wich, in soups, fried up, stewed, sautéed and even in a flán. Yes, really.
It’s salty, it’s versatile, it’s weird, but also pretty tasty too. I personally never grew up eating it, but have really grown to like it, thanks to my recent Hawaiian adventures.
Sponsored by Outrigger Resorts and others, the festival is a pretty fun event to catch if you happen to be on Island visiting that weekend. In addition, this special event benefits the Hawaii Foodbank, the largest non-profit in Hawaii.
What’s your favorite way to eat Spam?? Comment below and let me know if you’re a fan of Spam!