What do you see when you think of Hawaiian food? If you’re like me, you conjure up images of fresh fruits (bananas and pineapples being the most prolific in the image, but generally anything that will fit on top of the Tropicana girl’s head will do), seafood (Hawaii is, after all, in the middle of the Pacific ocean), and exotic luau dishes like steamed taro leaves and roast pig.

In reality, Hawaii’s cuisine is both much more and much less than what the stereotypical image beholds. The bananas and pineapples are abound, in addition to avocados (which grow in most backyards), passion fruit, guavas, and a host of other exotic fruits that are beyond many an imagination. Becoming acquainted with the amazing variety of fruit grown in Hawaii takes a courageous and adventurous spirit, but one that will be rewarded with unparalleled food experiences.

Move away from the agricultural parts of Hawaii though, and you see much less of the exotic fruits and much more….well….Spam. Hawaii is the Spam capital of the USA, with almost 11,000 cans being consumed per day. Per day. Hawaii is just not that big either. That’s a lot of Spam. Walk into the grocery store, and you’ll see spam on rice (served sushi-style, and called musubi), spam hot plates, and of course, cans upon cans of the stuff. McDonalds offers Spam-based breakfasts, and most local restaurants have some sort of Spam delicacy on the menu.

And the locals lap this stuff up like it’s going out of style. Shhh…don’t tell them it already went out of style - decades ago.

The history of how Spam conquered Hawaii is actually up for interpretation. Some say that it dates back to the Second World War, where provisions like Spam were necessary for troops and easy to transport, henceforth becoming rampant and popular in Hawaii with lots of left-over stock to enjoy. Others suggest it dates back to the plantation days, as an easy alternative to meat which wasn’t always available. And others yet suggest that Spam just plain goes well with rice - another Hawaiian specialty.

So in the spirit of adopting various cuisines around the world wholeheartedly, I decided to make a valiant attempt with Spam - Hawaiian style.

Continue reading on theprofessionalhobo.com

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  • Nora Dunn

    In 2006, Nora sold everything she owned in Canada (including a busy financial planning practice) to embrace her dreams of full-…

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