Once again, Hawaii residents converged in Waikiki to celebrate all things SPAM. This would be my first SPAM Jam, despite it being the 12th annual SPAM Jam Festival. SPAM was everywhere. I walked out of that festival all SPAMed out.
There were SPAM twists on American favorites, like the SPAM burger from Aloha Plate and SPAM fries from Eggs ‘N Things. There were SPAM twists on cultural classics like the SPAM Okonomiyaki from Chibo Okonomiyaki Restaurant and SPAM Siu Mai from Seafood Village. There were SPAM twists on classic desserts like the Candied Spam Caramel Crème Brulee from Hard Rock Cafe and SPAM flan from Buenos Antojitos. I could go on and on about the SPAM Pancake Sliders, SPAM empanadas, and the Sicilian SPAM Basil Pizza. But what’s the point? If you could imagine SPAM in it, then it was probably at the SPAM Jam festival.
SPAM Jam really is a food festival that must be seen and tasted. In a state with such a culturally diverse and celebrated cuisine, we choose to celebrate SPAM. If you didn’t grow up in Hawaii, then you might be scratching your head, trying to figure out what the big deal with SPAM is. If you grew up in Hawaii, then you know that SPAM is intertwined in your DNA, along with shave ice and rubber slippers. A love for SPAM is one of the small things that make Hawaii an oddly special place to live.