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I do not understand why Hawaiians love this stuff????Please expain...

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  1. How about Spam earrings or a muffler and mittens?


    I tried to get a friend to get the earrings when her daughter came home to visit from the left coast and had a hissy fit when she saw Spam in her mother's cupboard. I guess I will have to order them for her for her birthday and if she only wears them once it will be payback enough if it sends her left coast furry shinned daughter over the edge.

    1. Spam is one of America's greatest contributions to the great foods of the world.

      4 Replies
      1. re: yayadave

        Correction: Spam is one of MINNESOTA's greatest contributions (Hormel is a MN company)... about an hour and a half drive out of the Twin Cities is the the Spam Museum in Austin MN for all you ever wanted to know about Spam. I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to visit it, but if you're passing through anyway...


        There's a restaurant across the street (sorry, I don't know the name)that serves a pretty mean spamburger. Not something I'd eat every day, but fun to order in a restaurant. It's pretty decadent in a high-sodium, high-fat kind of way. I love it when it's been fried just until it has a nice crisp crust. One sandwich, though (or maybe even a half,) and I've had my fill of Spam for a year or two.

        I really got a kick out of the Spam musubi when I was in Hawaii.


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I had to see the Spam museum site. I was hoping for some information on the incredible shelf life of the food like substance.

          There was no email link at the museum so I could ask what they knew about it. I suppose they might be afraid of filling their in box with.......

          I do admit to having a few cans in my earthquake survival kit.

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Ed, you'll probably not get a straight answer to possible extended shelf life, as they must be conservative in public info, or a dozen new product liablity lawyers would arise from the primordial soup.

              However, when I emailed them (Hormel) they were very gracious to answer my q about "when the peel-the-key can was replaced by the ring top pull can":

              answer: "Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate hearing from you. The ring top SPAM can was introduced in 1987."

              Spam is pressure canned and heavily salted. Unless your stock predates Mrs. O'Leary's cow, it should be fine.

      2. My Dad was a fighter pilot stationed in Asia during WWII. Among all the dreadful rations on base, Spam stood out head and shoulders above the rest. He survived the war with an abiding love for Spam. A love that was not shared by my Mom and two brothers. I cast my fate with my father and came away with a quirkish devotion to the product. Every once-in-a-while (when no family members are present), I fry up some Spam and make a Wonder Bread/Spam/American Cheese and mayo sandwich. I eat it with gusto, and make no apologies to anyone.

        3 Replies
          1. re: yayadave

            I am in the untenable position of stating that Spam is chowish, but Miracle Whip is not. I cannot rationally defend this position, but assert that it is true.

            1. re: pikawicca

              But the combination is greater than sum of its parts.

        1. Love, love, LOVE Spam! Pan-fried slices with eggs for breakfast, diced into mac & cheese, chopped up with sweet pickle relish and mayo as a sandwich spread...

          1 Reply
          1. Bouncing off pikawicca's post about WWII: Spam was an airliftable product that was shipped to Hawaii during WWII as rations. It obviously wasn't native but given the choice of straving and eating, it became standard. I believe the affection towards it is both due to that period of time but also the convenience of the product and how it's used in a Asian-influenced diet and use of meat product, i.e., smaller servings for flavor rather then a primary entree.

            Re: spam and Monty Python...ironic the land of "beef tongue" in tins came to make pork in tins infamous.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ML8000

              I seem to remember hearing that was part of the backstory behind the Python sketch, too--the Yanks provided a lot of the stuff to English folks either in or just after the war (I forget exact details), and there were times when that was all there was to eat--hence Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, egg and Spam. Hence, also, "I DON'T LIKE SPAM!!"

              I'm with the character in the sketch, most of the time, but now and then we make Spam kebabs: cube up a can of Spam and string it on skewers with green pepper, onion and pineapple and cook on the grill. It's pretty good that way.

            2. Pork was traditionally status food in the Pacific. Spam entered the scene during WWII and seems to have been embraced throughout the islands - I understand they go nuts for it in Guam.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sharuf

                So nuts, we have a version with Tabasco too. We go nuts for Tabasco as well, so someone had the bright idea to can the too. Way too spicy for me though. I like to add the Tabasco as I'm eating Spam.

              2. It is SO alarming! Still there is something to be said for hideous food traditions.

                What I particularly don't get (despite the Hawaiian background) is the tendency to put SPAM in kimbap! We don't really see it in decent Korean markets here, but in other states you see it all the time!

                1. Yes I love Spam (although like bacon I dont eat it that often for health reasons) and feel that many people are trying to be politacilly correct and agree with the yuppies that Spam is a no no. Fry up a couple of pieces, fry up an egg, mayo on the bread with a slice of cheese and tomato and you have a great tasting breakfast sandwich. Also try using Spam instead of canadian bacon on eggs benedict, its great.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: malibumike

                    spam and pineapple slice on english muffin w/hollandaise. Pure 1970.

                  2. Must admit that I rather enjoyed the Spam musubi (Spam sandwiched between 2 layers of Japanese rice seasoned with furikake and wrapped with nori) I tried at the Hilo Farmer's Market. I am almost tempted to make some at home!

                    Also, slices of Spam/luncheon meat dipped in beaten egg, fried to a crisp, and eaten with ketchup has always been a childhood favourite.

                    Although not the most nutritious item in the world, it does pop up in my pantry once in a while.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Fid

                      I completely agree with you - I definitely developed a taste for Spam musubi while in Hawaii. And it's so incredibly easy to make!

                      1. My mom used to slice it, dip it in egg and then crushed corn flakes, and fry it that way. LOVED it. She also made a lunch dish called Squaw Corn, a scramble of eggs, Spam and cream-style corn that we kids lapped up most happily.

                        A couple of years before we left Nashville I entered the Spam-dish contest at the Tennessee State Fair with a Spam Quiche Picante. It was pretty darned good, actually, though the judges went for more show-off things.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Will Owen

                          More show-off than "Spam Quiche Picante?"

                          1. re: yayadave

                            Oh, yes - the winner was an elaborate log with cream-cheese icing, looking like a savory buche de noel, and the other ribbon-winners were likewise heavy on presentation. And you know I really don't consider a quiche show-offy at all - it's just a damn pie! I didn't decorate it or anything either, so they probably passed over it because it looked so...normal!

                        2. Spam, Kimchi and hot white rice!

                          1. Not sure when my folks started eating Spam. I'd venture a guess that it was when Dad came home from WWII after a stretch in a Navy hospital. That would have been December 1946.

                            As for me, I best remember Spam from when I was five years old and we moved to Iowa City so Dad could go to college on the GI Bill. Money was scarce so my folks were frugal. Spam was the center of a weekly dinner and was usually served with canned corn and a green Jell-O salad with shredded cabbage and crushed pineapple.

                            Mom packed the whole Spam with brown sugar and baked it. Brother and I each got an end piece with lots of crusty brown sugar on it. Always served with ketchup.

                            With one can o'Spam, Mom could feed a family of four and still be able to make Dad a Spam sandwich for lunch the next day.

                            I used to fix it the same way occasionally when I was first married going into the 1970s. Haven't had it now in eons. I might just have to buy a can and see what I think of it now.

                            1. I'm ambivalent about eating the stuff but my 85 year old father who lives with us is a Pearl Harbor survivor and STILL can't tolerate it. He had to eat it most days back then. So I just honor the wish of the "Greatest Generation" and keep it off my table. LOL

                              1. "Two billion cans served" and counting... there must be an appeal.

                                Hawaii: yes military stocks. Developed in 1937 and perfect for naval shipping/tropical storage. Also saved lot of calorie/protein depauperate diets as part of the Marshall Plan in PostWar Europe. Margaret Thatcher loved it, and it quite possibly contributed to cementing AngloAmerican relationships in the Cold War.

                                My personal contribution to the Hormel coffers is on an annual basis: 1/2 can for FriedSpamSandwiches, the other half for skewered grilling of cubes.

                                Best Spam Experience: Backpacking high in the mountains, all of us carrying only spartan minimalist dried foods to reduce the weight of our packs. A new guy shows up at a camping site, joins the crowd around the campfire and watches us simmer our paltry starches. He proceeds to gather some long twigs, and starts whittling to sharpen the ends. Whistling all the time, he then produces a surprisingly clean small table cloth, lays it out, then reaches into his pack and produces a can of Spam. Opens it, cubes it, skewers it, and silently passes the tablecloth of skewers around the circle for each of us to roast to our liking.

                                His investment of hauling a full 16 ounces of meat to share with strangers was unparalleled. With muted introspective "Thank you"s we each accepted the gift, and proceeded to share the fire and the act of roasting and the awe of real gastronomic bliss.

                                To this day, all fancy service in fancy homes or fancy restaurants is calibrated against the joy of the that single mountainside meal.

                                1. As I've written here before, all potted meats have a place of honor in American cuisine. Many, many people thrived on this stuff when there was little else available in the way of proteins.

                                  Hard times call for desperate measures. Our "greatest generation" loved potted meats because they grew up on them, survived on them.

                                  And they then influenced many of us from subsequent generations. Rest your soul, Papa Johnson....

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Im not hawaiian, but I do love spam and hot dogs thrown into my kimchi chigae. Its also great in kimbap or just sliced, fried, and eaten with hot white rice.

                                    1. Although I don't eat it anymore due to health reasons, my mom used to put spam in our omu rice and in our kimbap as well. And nothing beats spam with eggs and potatoes!

                                      1. Scene: A cafe. One table is occupied by a group of Vikings wearing horned helmets. Whenever the word "spam" is repeated, they begin singing and/or chanting. A man and his wife enter. The man is played by Eric Idle, the wife is played by Graham Chapman (in drag), and the waitress is played by Terry Jones, also in drag.

                                        Man: You sit here, dear.
                                        Wife: All right.
                                        Man: Morning!
                                        Waitress: Morning!
                                        Man: Well, what've you got?
                                        Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;
                                        Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...
                                        Waitress: ...spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam...
                                        Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
                                        Waitress: ...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.
                                        Wife: Have you got anything without spam?
                                        Waitress: Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.
                                        Wife: I don't want ANY spam!
                                        Man: Why can't she have egg bacon spam and sausage?
                                        Wife: THAT'S got spam in it!
                                        Man: Hasn't got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?
                                        Vikings: Spam spam spam spam... (Crescendo through next few lines...)
                                        Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?
                                        Waitress: Urgghh!
                                        Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like spam!
                                        Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
                                        Waitress: Shut up!
                                        Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
                                        Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.
                                        Wife: I don't like spam!
                                        Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!
                                        Vikings: Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
                                        Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.
                                        Man: Well could I have her spam instead of the baked beans then?
                                        Waitress: You mean spam spam spam spam spam spam... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)
                                        Vikings: (Singing elaborately...) Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam. Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Spam spam spam spam!

                                        1. Oh yeah, spam, eggs and rice for breakfast. Can't eat it too often but once in a while it's so ono! Okinawan's also incorporated it into some of their cooking, stir fried with vegetables. I guess they developed a taste for it after World War II and the American occupation.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: curiousgeo

                                            Yes, spam is also very popular in Okinawa, where it's part of what some consider the national dish, goya champuru (stir-fried bittermelon, tofu and spam in scrambled egg).

                                            The preferred brand is Denmark -- Tulip.

                                          2. Love, love, love Spam....only the original for me

                                            Spam fried rice
                                            Spam & egg or potato breakfast tacos (sometimes all three)
                                            Spam musubi
                                            Biscuit Spam sandwich (no spread)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: tlegray

                                              Huge Korean SPAM Fan!

                                              I *heart* SPAM
                                              SPAM fried rice
                                              SPAM dolsot bibibap or just plain bibimbap
                                              SPAM Kimbap (Korean version of maki)
                                              SPAM fried egg and a little dribble of soy sauce atop rice served with kimchi (esp. oi kimchi or ggak-to-gee)...
                                              Deviled SPAM-wiches
                                              SPAM and Blackeyed peas on rice...

                                            2. Furikake white rice nori spam
                                              man do I miss da' island kind grind
                                              excuse me while I dream of kona sunsets and the green flash and my mother inlaws chicken long rice and my sister in laws shrimp curry and chook -- and musubi

                                              1. My mother used to make Spam for us as kids...fried on top of steamed white rice or fried with egg breakfast sandwiches. I used to like it as a kid but now cringe at the taste.

                                                1. This topic really jogged my memory. Thanks to the search feature, I found this post of mine on one try. It'll be 6 years ago on 2/1 that I posted this: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28690...

                                                    1. Not only is Spam popular in Hawaii, but it's also popular in northern Canada. While working in Yukon Territory in the 1990s, we found that grocery stores in small towns in the North had lots of Spam and other Spam-like products. We were told that canned meats are popular with First Nations peoples, though I don't know whether they eat any more or less of it than the Euro-Canadians living up there do.

                                                      As others have suggested in this thread, I'm guessing that it's portability and storability in more isolated places (Pacific islands, remote towns in the Arctic, etc.) is part of the appeal of Spam-like canned meats.

                                                      1. Has anyone ever seen the spam carving contests they hold every year??? I think that is the only thing that should be done with spam- carve it up into a decorative item- not a food product.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                          One year at my old company they had a spam carving contest as a holiday activity. The winner was "O little spam of Bethlehem"--complete Spam nativity.

                                                        2. It's not just Hawaiians who love Spam. People across the Pacific love the stuff. It seems to fit in very easily with the seasoning of their food. I know Filipinos crave salty foods and Japanese seek to balance salt with other flavors and Spam has just the right kick for all that. Let's not forget that Hawaii was a popular destination for Filipinos and Japanese seeking work when the mainland was closed off to non-white immigrants.

                                                          That said, is it just me or has Spam gotten ridiculously expensive in recent years? I thought Spam would be a good way to feed myself in college, but I could barely afford a can at $3.49. It was cheaper for me to buy fresh chicken and pork. When I felt like splurging, I'd buy a can of Armour Ham which I actually now find better than Spam!

                                                          1. my dad is not Hawaiian but he loves spam. it reminds him of his childhood and hanging out with his friends in Vietnam.

                                                            1. Spam is still considered a classy housewarming gift in Korea. When I've tried to explain the questionable status of Spam to my English language students, they've been floored to find out that it's anything but a delicacy here.

                                                              1. Spam is very, very popular in Korea where I come from. As lemonfaire said, it's packaged up all fancy for gift-giving occasions. Oh, how I love Spam!

                                                                1. A wet blanket here. By mistake, like some black comedy, in a major SNAFU, a helicopter dropped off a whole pallet of Spam to our hill top out post in Nam early in '68, instead of a pallet of mixed c-rations, then stuff began to happen and we couldn't get resupplied. Close your eyes and imagine eating salty Spam in the can 3 meals a day for a few weeks in some hill top cesspool, in the jungle heat. If I never eat it again, it will be too soon. I wonder if my son who teaches in Korea eats it; I hope not.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    Hope you had access to plenty of drinkable water.

                                                                    1. re: mrbozo

                                                                      I wish I was Quebecois, like my father told me to do and enjoyed eating creton instead of hating Spam, Water?

                                                                  2. Spam stands for "spiced ham", I believe. I haven't eaten it in years, but I remember thinking it was fine enough when I did. And, when you really think about it, I'm not sure how it's any more of a gross-out than, say, a hot dog.

                                                                    Spam is on the menu at the Denny's here in San Francisco's Japantown.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: weem

                                                                      Like a hot dog, but coarser and saltier once you gnaw through the metal casing.
                                                                      (I don't like either) SPAM = salty pieces of assorted meats?

                                                                    2. Spam - the meat that saved the world from the forces of evil!

                                                                      Me, I love the stuff.

                                                                      1. The Japanese love Spam. I'm not even sure all of them know or believe it's American. My (Japanese) students call Spam "Okinawa food."

                                                                        1. Just in time! Another SPAM thread. I just had my first SPAM single for lunch today. A lone slice of SPAM in a foil pouch. Not a rectangle but square. Just the right size for bread. I fried it up nice and crusty, with a little relish on white bread, and a side of cottage cheese with wheat germ. Managed to snap a piture just before I pit the lid on. Very tasty. For those of you cncerned about sodium, there is a low salt version.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                            Let me try a photo of that sandwich again

                                                                            1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                              Oh, man! You didn't have to show us that! Now my scotch is churning around in my stomach....

                                                                          2. Because it goes so well with pineapple! Grilled pineapple and grilled spam, YUM!

                                                                            1. "Spam is truly a horror. If you fattened a weasel on axle-grease, skinned it and then pressed it into a cube, you'd get something like it, but a bit nicer."

                                                                              That quote is from a British reporter who participated in an experiment that entailed eating meals and foods as they were prepared in different eras of English history. http://www.thestar.com/living/article...

                                                                              1. Not much to add, but my dad, who grew up at Pearl Harbor in the thirties and forties had an abiding love of Spam. Especially after the bombing, I don't think much fresh food got into the islands, and his mother wasn't much of a cook, so Spam was a big treat (you can only eat so much pineapple, mango, and papaya). My mom, great cook and California raised, couldn't abide it, and he had to cook it himself. The rest of us aligned ourselves with her, even the smell of it frying gags me. But now that he has passed on, Spam makes me smile thinking about him. But I still don't eat it.

                                                                                1. An incredibly amusing post! I love Spam tho must admit I've never gone so far as to try the Spam Tempura Strips served at a local greasyspoon (sounds kinda like that deepfried twinkie in Vegas - why would you????) But Spam is the perfect Alaska meat - it will keep up at the cabin indefinately. Weathered in? Break out the Spam! Didn't intend to spend the nite? Break out the Spam! The general consensus seems to be fried spam sandwiches and that's the way I learned to eat it. I must admit that I prefer it heated/fried over straight out of the can. Never ever going hunting without a can a Spam - its good luck! And when fishing - be sure to take those Viennas in a can. And you're really worried about food storage - take Pilot Bread which keeps forever and can be used to support your Spam in its trip to your mouth.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: AlaskaChick

                                                                                    Boston spam lover here! My mom often made scallopped potatoes with spam for dinner on Saturdays. In her day, it was seen as a way to stretch the family food dollar. I really liked it though. My 25 year old daughter loves spam for breakfast and just the other morning my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter had some and she asked for 2nds and thirds! She likes it, I don't see the harm in giving it to her once in a while.

                                                                                  2. I love it!! The Spam thread just will not go away. I find Spam in every market I shop. I knew people besides me had to be buying it. There are plenty of Spam lovers out there!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                                      The spam thread like spam it self has amazing shelf life and staying power. If Armageddon rained down, the mutant cockroaches running hand-crank laptops with solar powered WIFI, would be posting to this board, lamenting the lack of humans to key open the cans.

                                                                                      More power to the SPAM thread. Time to make it Sticky, or give it it own BOARD. "FILE between General and Not about food..."

                                                                                    2. Oh God what a wonderful thread. I have been sitting here in the middle of the night reading every wonderful SPAM memory---loving it in the war when there wasn't anything else, hating in the war because there wasn't anything else, sharing it roasted at a campfire when it beat hell out of trail mix, having it like a fake baked ham on Sundays when Daddy was a student and there wasn't any money---truly, you guys should get together and publish a SPAM book. I may go out and buy a can of SPAM tomorrow in honor of you all.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                                                        I think it's funny that you have to go out and buy a can...(not that I'm making fun of you...more like I'm making fun of myself)...we ALWAYS have cans of Spam in the house. Any time our supply gets down to one or two cans, we stock up!

                                                                                      2. Spam spells Maps backwards which tastes better than Spam! I think the longevity of Spam eating populations is lower than than the national average!?

                                                                                        1. Take a can of spam and grate it on the box grater. Add some pickle relish and some Miracle Whip (which I detest) or mayonnaise. Just a tad to moisten.

                                                                                          Spread on White Bread. Cut into cute little squares. Cover with damp paper towel and plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Take to church reception the next day and watch it disappear before your eyes. Do NOT ever mention it is Spam.

                                                                                          1. To ricepad: No offense taken...low sodium here or my SO ends up in the ER...SPAM is a no-no. But it sounds inviting, kind of.

                                                                                            1. As I enjoy my breakfast of Spambled eggs, I thought I'd share a link that showed up this morning on NPR: