Hawaii's love for Spam

Growing up in Japan I recall my Dad, a local boy from the Ewa Plantations, making this particular dish for dinner on occasion. It was Spam Stir Fry and it included strips of Spam and sliced veggies such as onions, cabbage, won bok, carrots...I guess whatever that was in the refrigerator. Dad would season it with some pepper and a dash of shoyu. The Spam was already salty so only a little seasoning was required. This dish would taste so good with hot white rice. And if there was any left over we would eat it for breakfast by cooking it up with some eggs, kinda like an omelet.
After coming to Hawaii to live as an adult I noticed that a lot of people ate fried Spam as part of their breakfast. And then there is the Spam musubi (rice ball with Spam and nori on top). So creative, I thought. There's something wonderful about eating this Spam musubi at the beach and on the golf course! It really hits the spot.
I know that this luncheon meat is high in sodium and is not considered the healthiest of foods but my kids love it. When my son went off to college his care package always included cans of Spam. There was an article in the paper today about how the sale of Spam has increased recently. Hawaii has always been known as the state to eat Spam the most but lately with the food prices going up I guess Spam has become a popular staple for not only the Hawaiians but other people across the nation. Some popular dishes in the mainland include Spam fried rice, Spam macaroni and cheese and Spam sandwich.
Did you know that Spam is so popular here in Hawaii that each year it is honored with a festival called Spam Jam? This is where our famous local chefs will make Spam dishes and all the people would go out to taste it. There are also contests for participants to create their own dishes. Pretty interesting if you ask me. Only in Hawaii!

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