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skchai

Unfiltered Hawaii Spam

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For no good reason, I decided it was time to start a new thread on Spam in Hawai`i. This isn't the first Spam-related thread in our august forum; see for example the following:

spam and mac salad: "hawaiian" foods

White Rice, Spam and Health in Hawaii

But there's always room for another Spam thread. That's why they call it Spam! (*)

The idea is that I'll try to pull together all the factoids, images, and links I can about Spam and Hawai`i, and feed you all about one entry a week for the next month or so . . .

And for my first entry, I was finally able to get ahold of the special Commemorative Hawai`i Spam can, which in turn was an imitation of a concept put forward by Hormel's great Danish competitor, Tulip. Both feature Spam (Tulip?) Musubi on the cover, which apparently led some unwary customers to expect a great trapezoidal wad of musubi inside the can. The Tulip concept was one and a half years in the making, which gave Hormel plenty of time to head them off at the pass! Both were announced last August, but took a while to finally make it into the stores.

Here's the Tulip Hawai`i Can:

i2924.jpg

And the Spam Hawai`i Can:

i2922.jpg

Note the gratuitous hula dancers, compared to the "purity" of the Tulip design. However, I'm not sure what that shredded thing on the Tulip design is, between the musubi and the banana leaf. Kataifi? Carrots?

For those on the mainland who are actually into this kind of thing, you can actually order a Hawai`i-motif can of Spam via Zippy's Online.

(*) Err, actually, spam (the virtual, non-pinkish kind) was named in honor of the Monty Python spam skit, the idea being that, like "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, lovely spam, wonderful spam" it just keeps on piling up. . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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I think I found the best Spam musubi: at Diamond Head Market & Grill. The Spam is marinated in a teriyaki-type sauce, the rice is moist...I never thought I'd crave Spam musubi.

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you know..the musubi on the tulip can looks more appetizing to me than the one on the spam can.

the spam one is too pinky looking.

i want some spam now. :sad:

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At around 9 PM on Thursday, while getting on H1 on our way back from dinner, Chris and I ended up next to the Spam-Mobile. It is a huge blue Spam Box on wheels, with the license plate SPAM4U registered in Minnesota--the home of Hormel--and "Spamtastic" written on the side.

I can only begin to imagine how much fun it must have been to be working on that boat.


----------------------------------------------

Emily in London

http://www.august18th2007.com

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you know..the musubi on the tulip can looks more appetizing to me than the one on the spam can.

the spam one is too pinky looking.

i want some spam now.  :sad:

It is very pinky looking. I think this reflects the Scandanavian - Hawai`i divide. People in Hormel's home state of Minnesota must be used to eating the it uncooked - kind of like a pork lutefisk. On the other hand, the Danish may view musubi as a kind of "rice smørrebrød", and hence recognized the possibility of frying the meat before serving it. Just a speculation - and a racist one at that. . .

Spam on top of musubi must always be fried to the point of crustiness. As Lesa mentioned, local fanatics will often marinate the spam in a teriyaki-style sauce (and hotdogs too!) for an extreme, extreme saltiness. However, this is good because it adds flavor and offsets the blandness of the large block of rice underneath.

Regarding the SPAMmobile - wow you had quite an experience, Emily! Glad you lived to tell about it. I assume you were unable to get the free SPAMBurger that they distribute. . .

Incidentally, it's ironic that Hormel has been trying to expand into the "ethnic" food market by buying up such brands as Patak, House of Tsang, Herdez, Doña María, Búfalo, Marrakesh Express, Carapelli, and Peloponnese. When ethnic success was right under their noses in the form of their most "vulgar" product.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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hormel bought up patak?

i did not know that.

but it explains why the mango pickle is now called mango "relish". i was so confused by that....


Edited by tryska (log)

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I think they did - or they at least bought up sole U.S. distribution rights. On the worldfood website linked above (which is owned by Hormel), Patak is listed as one of their in-house brands.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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you know..the musubi on the tulip can looks more appetizing to me than the one on the spam can.

the spam one is too pinky looking.

i want some spam now.   :sad:

It is very pinky looking. I think this reflects the Scandanavian - Hawai`i divide. People in Hormel's home state of Minnesota must be used to eating the it uncooked - kind of like a pork lutefisk. On the other hand, the Danish may view musubi as a kind of "rice smørrebrød", and hence recognized the possibility of frying the meat before serving it. Just a speculation - and a racist one at that. . .

Spam on top of musubi must always be fried to the point of crustiness. As Lesa mentioned, local fanatics will often marinate the spam in a teriyaki-style sauce (and hotdogs too!) for an extreme, extreme saltiness. However, this is good because it adds flavor and offsets the blandness of the large block of rice underneath.

Regarding the SPAMmobile - wow you had quite an experience, Emily! Glad you lived to tell about it. I assume you were unable to get the free SPAMBurger that they distribute. . .

Incidentally, it's ironic that Hormel has been trying to expand into the "ethnic" food market by buying up such brands as Patak, House of Tsang, Herdez, Doña María, Búfalo, Marrakesh Express, Carapelli, and Peloponnese. When ethnic success was right under their noses in the form of their most "vulgar" product.

Sun-Ki:

Your wrong about "Hormel's" most vulgar product.

I personally feel that this title should go to the two items that have become Hormel's most profitable products.

Item # 1 : Hormels success in the "Lean & Tasty" fresh packed Pork Products that have prolifigated some of our largest Super Market Chains such as Krogers and Albertsons in cooperation with the packer friendly "USDA" to allow premium prices for Water, Salts and Chemicals being injected into our retail fresh meat products.

Item # 2 : The most important item utilized by almost every Pizza Chain everywhere and even most Independents. Hormel's canned # 10 Tins "Sliced Pepperoni", needs no refrigeration all your required is to dump the stuff onto Pizza's. And go to the Bank. It's thin sliced and for Chains a major profit center, but is it Pepperoni?

At least "Spam" has a history and has paid it's dues for building it's place in the Marketplace but Hormel has always not treated it with the respect it's earned.

Irwin :laugh::biggrin:


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Spam is in the news in Hawai`i again. This time, some are taking offense with the latest box office-dominating Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore vomitfest, "50 First Dates", which is set in Hawai`i. According to Michael Tsai of the Advertiser, the movie contains a number of err, rustic stereotypes about local people and culture, including "an overweight cook with Polynesian tattoos on his face and a meat cleaver — which he uses to cut Spam, can and all — in his hand." See:

Pidgin-holed

and

The real 'Ula' isn't much like Schneider's portrayal

Most local people seem to take a somewhat lenient view of inaccurate and potentially negative stereotypes on TV and Hollywood films - it's good for business, they rationalize. And, as Tsai notes, the stereotypes in "50" are not nearly as offensive as those found in another Sandler vehicle, "The Waterboy", which was set in Cajun Country. An interesting quote:

"Oddly enough, 'The Waterboy' is remembered fairly fondly in Louisiana, particularly among college-age students, said film critic Michael Kleinschrodt of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

College-age students?


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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skchai, this isn't much of a revelation to you i'm sure, but this is how i make musubi not just "the blandness of the large block of rice underneath"...

i make a really nicely seasoned sushi rice (vinegar, dashi, all that), make sure that my spam is cooked to a nice crisp turn, use wasabe flavored furikake on top of the rice (sandwiched between rice and spam is fine) and then seaweed. man, i love it!

i looked on the zippy's site, it costs $14 to mail one can of freakin' spam! was i disappointed! do they still have the commemorative hawaii spam on the shelves? i may ask you hawaii eGulleteers to send me some...cheaper, i am after all, pake!

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Alana - sounds extremely ono. What you're describing, with its seasoned and vinagered rice, deserves the title "Spam Sushi" rather than merely Spam Musubi. Perhaps you could even run a little dab of wasabi between the meat and the furikake? And then serve it as part of a "nigiri" platter. . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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i did this for a party once and cut the spam into thirds. they were tiny spam musubis and sooo cute! definitely looked like nigiri...

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Sounds wonderful and very post-Adria, Alana . . . one could even imagine a mixed "sushi" platter with char siu "tako" and pork hash "uni". . . :smile:

BTW, yesterday I took the kids to the Sacred Hearts Academy "Superfair". It was a lot of fun, but as came out of the craft exhibits and turned the corner and what should we see but . . .

i3299.jpg

THE SPAMMOBILE.

As you approached it, we were bombarded by a surprisingly aggressive recording of some quasi-hiphop piece about spamburgers - can't recall the words, though. After managing to brave the spamburger song, we munched on free spamburgers (1/3 of a hotdog bun filled with a slice of grilled spam). No one per customer here - eat as many as you want, the lady inside the spammobile said. I can just imagine what would happens when some local Konishiki-type hears that. No spam musubi either, but the lady was wearing a T-shirt with the musubi commemorative design on it. She said that they were going to be around until the end of Feb, then ship back out to the mainland to join their normal West Coast tour. If you are so inclined to eat unlimited free spamburgers, their schedule is posted here.

Here is the rest of the Hawai`i sked:

2/22 Schofield Commissary Wahiawa HI

2/25 Costco Gentry Waipio HI

2/26 Daiei Honolulu HI

2/27 Walmart Mililani Mililani HI

2/28 Safeway Beretania Honolulu HI

2/29 Sunset on the Beach Waikiki HI

Then it takes them about a month to get back to the mainland, just in time to attend the "Monster Truck Jam" in Reno NV.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Sun-Ki:

Since my friend "Eddies" daughter [i'm the Godfather] graduated from "Sacred Hearts" and went on to attend UH. I've got to put my two cents into this "Spammobile".

I would instigate a rumor to the Samoan Community that if they are able to eat a record breaking number of free "Spam Burgers" that Hormel would consider sending the Spammobile to Samoa for a visit, especially since Samoa has the highest percentage of Spam consumption based on the population.

Samoa is # 1 for Spam, Canned Vienna Sausages and Chef Boyardee or Franco American Canned Pastas. [i didn't make this up. USDA figures]

They deserve this opportunity to welcome the "Spammobile" or at the least should be able to enjoy free Spam-burgers for this once in a life time chance.

I wish I'd had the experience of enjoying this treat with my former dining companions the "Sons of Makaha". What a feast.

Irwin :rolleyes:


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Sun-Ki:

Samoa is # 1 for Spam, Canned Vienna Sausages and Chef Boyardee or Franco American Canned Pastas. [i didn't make this up. USDA figures]

dont forget the canned wahoo!

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Hey, Skchai, thanks for the SPAMMOBILE schedule. Might try and catch it at Safeway Beretania this Saturday. My wife, from Florida, won't touch the stuff, but I'm already cultivating a healthy appreciation for it in our kids.

FWIW, I've had some of that Tulip luncheon meat, and it is pretty good. For some purposes, I'd dare say, possibly superior to Spam. There's more to the flavor, and I think they got the texture just right.

I'd take it over other Spam-wannabes any day. But there's just something about the real thing!


user posted image HawaiiThreads.com - Let's talk story!

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Irwin, you're right that Samoa deserves its own visit from the Spammobile, and it's sad that it's not happening, especially since they've already come all the way out here.

I believe we had a conversation in another thread about the ubiquity of canned and preserved meat products throughout the Pacific. Even Okinawa, famous for its allegedly healthy diet, gets in on the obsession with canned meat, though there the king of pink meats is Tulip, not Spam.

On the difference between Tulip and Spam - Ryan, I agree with you that Tulip stacks up well. For me, particularly in the way that it fries up with a very crisp edge.

And yes, though some may scoff at this, there are real quality differences between Tulip and Spam on the one hand, and their competitors (e.g. Treet) on the other. Tulip and Spam are made from ground pork shoulder, leg (ham), and belly (bacon). No fillers or "recovered" meat. Treet and their ilk are made from such things as mechanically extracted chicken meat with some pork added for flavor. No comparison.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Haven't updated the SpamBlog in a while, and I know you were all worrying about me, like Salam Pax's fans, wondering if I had been knocked off by members of CSPI. Don't be concerned, I just couldn't think of anything to write after the overwhelming SpamMobile experience.

But finally got enough wind to return to work - this week's installment is about the Great Tulip Challenge.

Tulip has been a major player in the European processed meat market for years. With a name like Tulip, you would expect it to be Dutch (herring spam, anyone?), not Danish, but indeed it proudly Danish, an official purveyor to the royal family of Denmark, my by repute one of the top 10 most recognized Danish food brand names.

Yet, despite its prominence, it has never sought to challenge the dominance of Hormel in the Spam heartland of (no, not the Midwest) Asia and the Pacific, with the curious exception of Okinawa. This is changing. Tulip luncheon meat was launched on the Hawai`i market in August 2003, and is claiming shelf space away with its Hawai`i-only musubi label. Hormel rapidly countered with its own musubi label (see above). Tulips claims to taste better because it contains real bacon, though a Star-Bulletin blind taste test was inconclusive (six of the testers chose Treet as better than either, which to my mind busts the credibility of the entire test).

Other areas pincer points in the Danish expansion plans include South Korea, where Spam was for a long time a luxury item smuggled out of Army PXs to be wrapped in gaudy ribbons to be humbly presented to one's superiors as a New Year's gift. While there have been domestic challengers such as Lotte's Rose Farm (in Korean, "Rosu Pam", get it?), none has really challenged Spam for supremacy until Tulip began to nose in in the 1990s via its Korean joint partner, Nongshim, makers of "Shin" Ramyeon and other popular products. Using the Nongshim's marketing channels, Tulip has managed to nose in Hormel's market share to the point where it is the leading imported brand (Hormel produces Spam domestically in South Korea under a joint venture). In recognition, Nongshim was recently awarded "The Diploma of the National Association for Danish Enterprise and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik’s Medal of Honour".

What about the U.K., Spam's biggest foreign market other than South Korea (no, Hawai`i is part of the U.S.)? Here is were the true cold-blooded nature of business in the highest echelons becomes evident. U.K. Spam is solely produced by . . . Tulip, under a joint venture corporation called Hormel Foods Tulip Ltd. (Thetford, Norfolk)!


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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i4136.jpg

Proof that Spam is everywhere in Hawai`i. McDonald's Hawai`i decided to take the big step in August 2003 after a very successful test-marketing. Actually, it took longer for than you might expect for Spam to hit McDonald's here, since saimin, rice, and Portuguese Sausage have been on the menu for more than 20 years. And where's the Big Smac?


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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their spam isn't looking very good either.

interesting tho - spam and those syrup splotches.

i need to move to hawaii.

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their spam isn't looking very good either.

yeah, it has that pinkness. . ..

Don't know if that's just the food stylist's rendition - have never tried the Spam McGriddles or McMuffin yet. If I do so, "for anthropological purposes", I'll let you know the result. . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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it's probably made of pink rubber. like one of those fake tongues.

please do tell us how the spam mcgriddle is. i, for one, am very curious!


Edited by tryska (log)

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