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Spam, the canned cooked pork product, is beloved in Hawaii and incorporated into local cuisine in creative ways. If you’re curious about the many kinds of spam available in the Aloha State, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Popular spam varieties enjoyed in Hawaii include Original Spam, Spam with Bacon, Hot and Spicy Spam, Honey Spam, and Teriyaki Spam.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the history of spam in Hawaii, look at over a dozen common varieties and how they’re used in local dishes, and highlight some of the best restaurants to try creative spam menu items.

History and Popularity of Spam in Hawaii

Origins of Spam in Hawaii

Did you know that Spam has a rich history in Hawaii? It all began during World War II when the United States military brought in large quantities of Spam to feed its soldiers. The canned meat quickly became a staple in their diet due to its long shelf life and versatility.

After the war, surplus cans of Spam were sold to local stores, making it accessible to the general population. This led to Spam becoming ingrained in Hawaiian cuisine and culture.

Cultural Influences and Acceptance

In Hawaii, Spam is not just another food item – it has become a cultural icon. The influence of Asian and Polynesian cuisines, which often use canned meats, has further contributed to the acceptance and popularity of Spam.

Hawaiians have embraced Spam and incorporated it into traditional dishes like Spam musubi, a delicious combination of rice, seaweed, and grilled Spam.

The dish is so beloved that it can be found in convenience stores, local markets, and even high-end restaurants throughout the islands. Spam has become a symbol of local pride and a reflection of Hawaiian cuisine’s unique fusion of flavors.

Hawaii’s Spam Consumption Compared to Other States

When it comes to Spam consumption, Hawaii stands out from the rest of the United States. According to the latest data, Hawaiians consume more Spam per capita than any other state.

In fact, it is estimated that Hawaiians consume over 7 million cans of Spam each year. This is significantly higher than the national average.

The love for Spam in Hawaii is so strong that there is even an annual Spam Jam festival in Waikiki, where locals and visitors gather to celebrate all things Spam.

While Hawaii may be the Spam capital of the United States, other states also have their fair share of Spam enthusiasts. Alaska, for example, has a strong affinity for Spam due to its long shelf life and suitability for outdoor activities like fishing and camping. However, Hawaii’s unique cultural influences and historical connection to Spam make it the ultimate Spam destination.

For more information on Spam in Hawaii, you can visit the official website of the Hormel Foods Corporation, the manufacturer of Spam. The website offers a wealth of information on the history, recipes, and cultural significance of Spam in Hawaii and beyond.

Also read: What Foods Is Hawaii Known For?

Common Spam Varieties Found in Hawaii

Spam, a canned meat product made by Hormel Foods Corporation, has a special place in the hearts and plates of many Hawaiians. With its versatility and unique flavor, Spam has become a staple in local cuisine.

Here are some of the most common varieties of Spam found in Hawaii:

Original Spam

Introduced in 1937, Original Spam is the classic, beloved variety that started it all. Made from a blend of pork shoulder and ham, this iconic canned meat has a savory and slightly salty taste.

It is often used in popular Hawaiian dishes like Spam musubi and Spam fried rice.

Lower Sodium Spam

For those who are conscious of their sodium intake, Lower Sodium Spam is a great option. With 25% less sodium than the original variety, it offers a healthier alternative without compromising on taste.

It is perfect for those who want to enjoy the flavor of Spam while managing their salt intake.

Spam with Bacon

Want to take your Spam experience to the next level? Look no further than Spam with Bacon. This variety combines the rich and smoky flavor of bacon with the goodness of Spam. It adds an extra layer of deliciousness to any dish, from breakfast scrambles to lunch sandwiches.

Hot and Spicy Spam

For those who like a little kick in their meals, Hot and Spicy Spam is the perfect choice. Infused with a blend of spices, this variety brings a fiery flavor to the table. It’s great for adding some heat to stir-fries, noodles, or even as a topping for pizzas.

Honey Spam

If you have a sweet tooth, Honey Spam might be your new favorite. This variety is glazed with a delicious honey coating that adds a touch of sweetness to the meat. It pairs well with pineapple and is often used in Hawaiian-inspired sandwiches and sliders.

Teriyaki Spam

Teriyaki Spam combines the umami flavors of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic with the hearty taste of Spam. This variety is a popular choice for marinating, grilling, or pan-frying. It can be enjoyed on its own or added to rice bowls, salads, and wraps for a burst of Asian-inspired flavors.

Jalapeño Spam

For those who like a little heat and a touch of spice, Jalapeño Spam is the way to go. Packed with diced jalapeños, this variety adds a zesty kick to any dish. It’s perfect for adding some extra flavor to tacos, quesadillas, or even as a topping for nachos.

Spam Singles

If you’re looking for a convenient and portable option, Spam Singles are a great choice. These individually wrapped slices of Spam are perfect for on-the-go snacking or quick meals. They can be enjoyed as is or used in sandwiches, salads, or wraps.

Spam Spread

Spam Spread is a smooth and spreadable version of the classic canned meat. It is often used as a sandwich spread or a dip for crackers and vegetables. Its creamy texture and tangy flavor make it a popular choice for adding a unique twist to everyday meals.

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi is a beloved Hawaiian snack that combines two island favorites – Spam and sushi rice. It consists of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped in a strip of nori (seaweed). It is a portable and delicious treat that can be enjoyed any time of the day.

These are just a few of the many Spam varieties that can be found in Hawaii. Whether you’re a longtime Spam enthusiast or a curious newcomer, there’s a flavor to suit every taste preference. So why not embrace the Spam craze and give these delicious varieties a try?

Creative Spam Dishes in Hawaii

When you think of Hawaiian cuisine, you might not immediately think of spam. However, in Hawaii, spam has become a beloved ingredient and is used in a variety of creative and delicious dishes.

Whether you’re a fan of this canned meat or just curious about the unique flavors found in Hawaii, here are some must-try spam dishes:

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi is a popular snack in Hawaii that combines the flavors of sushi and spam. It consists of a slice of grilled spam placed on top of a block of rice, all wrapped together with a strip of nori (seaweed).

The combination of the salty and savory spam with the sticky rice and the umami flavors of the nori creates a delightful and portable treat that is perfect for on-the-go snacking.

Fried Spam and Eggs

Looking for a hearty breakfast option? Look no further than fried spam and eggs. This dish is a staple in many Hawaiian households and local diners. The spam is sliced and fried until crispy, and then served alongside sunny side up eggs.

The salty and savory flavors of the spam complement the richness of the eggs, creating a satisfying breakfast that will keep you energized throughout the day.

Spam Fried Rice

If you’re a fan of fried rice, you’ll love the Hawaiian twist on this classic dish. Spam fried rice is made by sautéing diced spam with vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and green onions, and then adding cooked rice and soy sauce.

The spam adds a delicious salty and savory flavor to the rice, making it a stand-out dish that is perfect as a main course or a side dish.

Loco Moco with Spam

Aloha meets comfort food in the popular Hawaiian dish known as loco moco. Traditionally, loco moco consists of a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and gravy served over a bed of rice.

However, in some variations, spam takes the place of the hamburger patty, adding a unique twist to this already delicious dish.

The combination of the salty spam, the runny egg yolk, and the savory gravy creates a flavor explosion that will leave you wanting more.

Spam Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is a classic side dish in Hawaii, and adding spam takes it to a whole new level. The spam is diced and mixed with cooked macaroni, mayonnaise, and other ingredients like onions and celery to create a creamy and flavorful salad.

This dish is a great addition to any barbecue or potluck and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Spam Poke Bowls

Poke bowls have gained popularity all over the world, and in Hawaii, spam poke bowls are a unique variation. Instead of using traditional raw fish, spam is marinated and then combined with rice, fresh vegetables, and sauces to create a delicious and satisfying bowl.

The combination of textures and flavors in this dish is truly a delight for the taste buds.

Next time you find yourself in Hawaii, don’t be afraid to embrace the unique and creative spam dishes that the islands have to offer. Whether it’s in a musubi, fried rice, or a poke bowl, spam is a versatile ingredient that adds a unique twist to traditional Hawaiian flavors.

Best Restaurants for Creative Spam Dishes

If you find yourself in Hawaii, you must indulge in the unique culinary experience that is spam dishes.

While spam may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of gourmet cuisine, the locals in Hawaii have found creative ways to incorporate this canned meat into their dishes.

Here are some of the best restaurants in Hawaii where you can enjoy delicious and innovative spam dishes.

1. Spam Jam Café

Located in the heart of Honolulu, Spam Jam Café is a must-visit for spam enthusiasts. This charming café offers a range of spam dishes that will leave you craving for more.

From spam musubi, a popular local snack, to spam fried rice and spam loco moco, they have it all. The café also offers vegetarian options for those who prefer to skip the meat.

2. The Spam Shack

If you’re looking for a casual dining experience with a focus on spam, The Spam Shack in Waikiki is the place to be. This laid-back restaurant offers a variety of spam dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Try their spam sliders or their signature spam fries for a unique twist on this classic canned meat.

3. Poke Paradise

Located in Lahaina, Poke Paradise is a hidden gem that specializes in spam dishes. This family-owned restaurant offers a wide range of spam delicacies, from spam sushi rolls to spam tacos.

The friendly staff and cozy atmosphere make it a great place to enjoy a meal with friends and family.

4. The Spam Factory

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and production of spam while enjoying a delicious meal, The Spam Factory in Kona is the perfect place for you.

This unique restaurant offers guided tours of their spam production facility, followed by a meal featuring their freshly made spam. It’s an educational and tasty experience all in one.

Whether you’re a spam enthusiast or just curious to try something new, these restaurants in Hawaii are sure to impress with their creative and delicious spam dishes.

So, the next time you find yourself in Hawaii, make sure to check out these culinary hotspots and embark on a spam-filled adventure!

Also read: The Ultimate Guide To Hawai’I’S Best Local Foods


Spam holds a special place in Hawaiian food culture thanks to historical factors like WWII rationing and local culinary traditions. While some mainlanders may turn up their noses at canned meat, Hawaiians have wholeheartedly embraced Spam and incorporated it into beloved dishes.

With a range of common varieties from Original to Teriyaki available across Hawaii, there are endless ways locals prepare this salty, savory treat. From the classic Spam musubi to fusion-inspired poke bowls, Hawaiians prove that Spam can be surprisingly versatile.

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