Why is SPAM so popular in Hawaii?
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."