It’s too bad Hawaii doesn’t have a state canned meat. There would be a clear choice, no arguing, and it would be Spam.
Think about it. What would be even a distant second? Vienna sausage?
So anyway, in my capacity as an observer of foodstuffs in this island state, it is both my right and responsibility to write about Spam once a year.
I begin by Googling “Spam haiku.” Gets me in the correct frame of mind. Here is one chosen at random, by a brilliant poet named Francis Heaney:
Eating Spam is like Having two tongues in your mouth, And swallowing one.
So anyway (again), Saturday is the Waikiki Spam Jam Festival, 4 to 10 p.m. all along Kalakaua Avenue. Venture forth and you shall find arts, crafts, activity booths and entertainment, plus you may partake of Spam prepared in manners both dubious and delightful. To wit: Garlic Shrimp and Spam Skewers from Blue Water Shrimp,
Spamcicles from Ono Pops, Spam Volcano Nachos from Jimmy Buffet’s at the Beachcomber.
Admission to the street fair is free, although donations of Spam and other canned goods will be accepted for the Hawaii Foodbank. They expect something like 20,000 people. Never underestimate the power of Spam.
In other Spam-related news, Hormel, the maker of Spam, has developed an online method for sharing recipes for its signature product and for you to win money if you’ve got a really good one.
Part 1 is called the Recipe Exchange. Go there and you can click your way through many, many choices submitted by regular home cooks who’ve figured out how to use Spam in ways other than musubi and Spam ’n’ eggs.
Part 2 is the Meal Makeover Challenge, which offers a $1,000 top prize (four runners-up each receive a one-year supply of Spam products). The upcoming challenge runs from Tuesday to July 7: Submit an original recipe meeting the theme of “Weekend Brunch” for posting on the website. Winners are chosen by popular online vote.
Go to spam.com and click on Recipe Exchange or the meal challenge to enter or just to browse.
The last challenge was for “Casual Gatherings.” The winner is not yet posted, but I picked my favorite. It’s a take on the Japanese somen salad but must have come from a somen-deprived part of the word as it suggested using spaghetti. Here it is with some changes, including cooking the Spam. The original had it mixed in straight from the can, which even as a Spam lover I find kinda yucky.
Asian-Style cold noodles
1 pound dry somen noodles
2 medium carrots, shredded and juices strained
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
3 Japanese cucumbers, shredded and juices strained
1 (12-ounce) can low-sodium Spam, cubed
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Rinse under cold running water. Drain again.
Blanch carrots 1 minute in boiling water; drain. Rinse under cold running water.
In large bowl, stir together soy sauce and sesame oil. Add noodles, cucumbers and carrots; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pan-fry Spam until brown. Drain on paper towels. Add to noodles just before serving. Serves 6.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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