Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spam Musubi

Hawaiians, including President Obama, love Spam. More than 4 millions cans of Spam are consumed in Hawaii each year. At the Saturday farmers' market, vendors were selling Spam in breakfast dishes (fried Spam, rice, and eggs) and as Spam Musubi - sliced, fried, and tied to a ball of rice with a strip of nori (seasoned seaweed). In Hawaii, Spam is sold everywhere: convenience stores, grocery stores, food carts, gas stations. How did Spam (developed by Jay C. Hormel in 1926) achieve iconic status in Hawaii? According to an article published in The Huffington Post, Spam made its way into the Hawaiian diet when military personnel introduced it during World War II. Because it's shelf stable, it became a standard K-ration for soldiers who ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For curious mainlanders, an instructional video on how to make Spam musubi is posted alongside the article. When I asked Geoff (pictured here) how his Spam musubi tasted, he described it as "salty" and "fatty" tasting. I think I'll stick with the papayas.

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