Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Waikiki Spam Jam

Although most people consider spam disgusting, in Hawaii it is one of the most popular canned meats around.  In the mainland, SPAM may be considered poor people's food or even a form of mystery meat, but not here.  Since WWII,  locals have come up with tasty and creative SPAM recipes that have become a part of local cuisine.  In fact, SPAM is so popular here that you can even order SPAM and eggs at any local McDonalds.

Every late April, SPAM Jam Waikiki occurs on Kalakaua Avenue in celebration of the popular canned meat and its significance in Hawaii.  SPAM Jam also helps support the Hawaii Food Bank.  Tonight was my first time at SPAM Jam, the 8th annual event since 2002.  Besides crafts and entertainment, the highlight of SPAM Jam is being able to enjoy food with SPAM cooked by local restaurants.  SPAM fried rice, SPAM cakes, SPAM okonomiyaki were some of the things I tried tonight, among the many other dishes available.

A young Japanese tourist posing with a SPAM can mascot.

A row of tents a long the street for the Spam Jam event.

Chibo Okonimyaki began to reduce their prices by the end of the night.  They were almost sold out.  One okonomiyaki only cost $2.00 by the time it was 10:00 p.m.  If you aren't familiar with Okonimiyaki, it's basically a Japanese style pancake.  I have no other way to explain it, but it is good! 

SPAM Okonomiyaki

At Duke's, I tried the fried rice, but it wasn't the greatest.  I've had much better home made SPAM fried rice.

At Seafood Village, they were selling a number of SPAM dishes.  I ate the SPAM cakes, which tasted nothing like the canned meat.  In fact, the SPAM cakes reminded me of little potato cakes.  I wondered if there was even any SPAM inside. 

We got 4 SPAM cakes for $5.00 ... A lot of the restaurants were running out of food, which they gladly celebrated.  The event finishes at 11 p.m., so many tents were slowly closing down as the end became near.

The SPAM cakes were one of the best items I had tonight, although I tasted no SPAM. 

Two bands played tonight and both were great.

SPAM Jam Waikiki wasn't what I expected.  I thought there would be more SPAM food items being offered.  And I thought the food would be much better too.  It was good to at least check the SPAM Jam out, so that I could at least experience it and see what it was all about.  I'm glad that it at least supports the Hawaii Food Bank.  If anything, that is a major plus.

It was a weird night tonight in Waikiki though.  Besides the rowdy boys and drunk people around, a young female was having multiple seizures on the street.  It felt like 10 minutes before the paramedics arrived.  I really hope she is okay!  The traffic was crazy too, especially because there was a game going on at the university, while the Jack Johhnson concert had also just ended.  Everyone was trying to leave town, so it was a bit of craziness.

I don't know if I'll attend the next SPAM Jam, but I'm glad I checked it out.

For more on SPAM, I found a great article from Wikipedia:
Wikipedia - Spam


  1. Like your blog..really interesting.
    I'm kinda starting something similar on my blog.Well restaurant recommendations anyway. Check it out and follow for updates

  2. Hi, just found you from 20sb...

    My aunt and uncle were in town and went to the spam festival. I'm not a big fan of spam myself, but I like the fact that we have a spam festival. I was actually at the Kokua festival watching Jack Johnson. I guess I was lucky that I got out of Waikiki before encountering much craziness.

  3. This post made me hungry, lol! I love Spam too!

  4. That SPAM festival looks fun! And SPAM cake! Who would thnk about that!LOL

  5. I hate to admit but I'm a spam lover.

  6. the pics are indeed delectable haha! you got a cute blog. :)


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