Why is SPAM so popular in Hawaii?


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Allan Heller
November 11, 2019 6:57PM

At 7 million cans per year, the people of Hawaii consume more SPAM than any other population, so this is definitely a valid question. They get fancy with it, too—dishes like SPAM fried wontons and SPAM musubi often top Hawaiian kitchen tables. Heck, it's even on the menu at Hawaiian Burger Kings and McDonald's.

The reason why dates back to World War II. Since SPAM has a long shelf life and doesn't require refrigeration, it was served to GIs, including those stationed in Hawaii. It was quickly adopted into the local culture and cuisine; eventually, it earned the nickname "Hawaiian steak." Today, SPAM fans flock to the Waikiki SPAM Jam, "a street festival that celebrates the people of Hawaii’s love for SPAM."

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dana lau
November 21, 2019 3:48AM
Spam is an kind of "junk" or unhealthy meat that originated in asian countries and it very popular espescially in japan (spam mushubi). Hawaii is the U.S. state closest to Japan and that among other factors leads to TONS of Japanese (and other asian) tourists visting Hawaii all the time. So, they probaby brought their love of spam with them and stores and businesses, to keep with demand, adopted spam too!
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Hello Kitty Berry
November 25, 2019 11:48PM
Spam began in World War II, when GIs were served the salty luncheon meat because it didn't require refrigeration and had a long shelf life. Though the name Spam is a shortened version of "spiced ham." Spam is so popular throughout Hawaii that it's been nicknamed the "Hawaiian steak" and in even found on the islands' McDonald's and Burger King menus. But Hawaii isn't alone. In the territory of Guam, each person consumes 16 cans of Spam a year on average. In the UK, Spam fritters are served battered and deep-fried. In Hong Kong, Spam is often eaten with instant noodles. And as a result of the Korean War, Koreans enjoy Spam kimbap, a rice and vegetable filled seaweed roll.