When I was a kid, the best thing we did with Spam® was grate it like cabbage, added mayo, chopped green peppers, a little onion, spread it on bread and called it a ham salad sandwich. Spam® is simply processed and cooked pork shoulder and ham preserved in a can. The oft’ termed mystery meat gets its name from a shortened, “spiced ham.”
But, why do the people of such exotic islands as the Hawaiian Island actually tend to love Spam®? Because the GI’s during WWII ate a lot of Spam® in the Pacific theatre, it stands to reason the locals got to share some. As obtaining meat was difficult in that part of the world and the canned meat needed no refrigeration, Spam® became a prized commodity throughout all the Pacific islands and is to this day.
We learned Spam® in the Pacific islands is a childhood memory thing, probably a comfort food thing, kind of like our mac n’ cheese. They have learned how to incorporate it into any meal, and it moved readily into the kitchens of the vast numbers of ethnicities on all the Pacific islands. Its popularity, it seems, tends not to wane.
Let’s look at our child treasure, mac n’ cheese and see how we have manipulated it:
Gouda and bacon
Sausage and onion
How have islanders adapted their Spam®, and we are told there are Spam® snob there too.
We found a book on Amazon.com entitled: Hawaii Cooks with Spam®: Local Recipes Featuring Our Favorite Canned Meat, by Muriel Miura.
“In this beautifully illustrated book, you’ll find scrumptious dishes for any occasion; from tailgate parties to dinner parties, from picnics to luau,” she claims. Whole sections of the book are devoted to recipies preferred by different Pacific nationalities. Here’s a few just from the Hawaiian favorites:
Spam® Loco Moco
Spam® Potato Salad
Broiled Spam® Nigiri
Crispy Spam® Won Ton
Spam® Saimin Salad
Now, the Hormel Foods Corporation offers Spam® in several varieties:
Spam® Hot & Spicy
Spam® Less Sodium
Spam® Oven Roasted Turkey
Spam® Hickory Smoke flavor
Spam® with Bacon
Spam® with Cheese
Following are two sites with Spam® recipes: