Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hawaiian Seduction

Whenever I visit my family in Hawaii, I try to eat mostly foods that I can only find in Hawaii - malasadas, fresh fish, plate lunch and truly ripe pineapples. Of course, that doesn't restrict one to poi and pulled pork from the imu these days - all the other cultures that have flavored Hawaii have brought their own favorites with them.

Like this one. Spam™ musubi (pronounced moo-soo-bee with the accent on the bee). The sticky rice, the nori (seaweed wrapper) and the name are all obviously Japanese in origin, but the Spam™ is pure "coast haole" food, transplanted to Hawaii from some Mainland factory. I suppose Spam™ became popular in the Islands because the can keeps it fresh on the long ocean voyage, because it keeps in the pantry virtually forever - and because it is simply delicious. Call it a guilty pleasure if you will, but when I'm in Hawaii, I am actively on the hunt for Spam™musubi.

You can get "Hawaiian food" on the Mainland but it's never the same. The fish is never as fresh, the rice is never as sticky, the pineapple is never as sweet. There is something about eating in the open air with a soft, warm breeze teasing your hair and a flower tucked behind one ear that makes the whole meal special.

We found this hearty musubi, made from a slab of Spam™ cut the long way from the loaf, up by the volcano where we stopped for a lunch. Cousin Jan, who graced us with her company on this trip, was initially skeptical about taking a bite, but we cajoled and urged until she caved and tried it. "Not horrible," was her comment; I'm convinced that with repetition she will grow to love it. Everyone does, sooner or later.

Spam@musubi is like Hawaii - seductive.


Blogger Hungry Dog said...

I'm not sure why this is, but I have never had spam musubi! Ridiculous because I am sure I would like it--I have no hangups about spam. Must put this on my list to try on our next trip to the islands.

Thursday, December 08, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You don't know how Spam became popular in Hawaii? Ask your dad. It was introduced to the Islanders during WWII occupation, a beneficial move to improve diets.

Thursday, December 08, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Hungry Dog, you can make musubi at home. It's funL

Thursday, December 08, 2011  
Blogger James said...

Well I remember growing up and when my folks would go out "steppin" often my dinner would be:
1 can of Spam-studded with cloves
1 can candied sweet potatoes
1 jar applesauce
Put Spam in 8X8 pan, pour sweet potatoes around and cover with applesauce. Dust with cinnamon and bake in 350Deg oven until hot and bubbly.
It was always a hit with me, Cheers.

Thursday, December 08, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Hungry Dog, hope you have a trip already planned.

Cookiecrumb, sadly, I can't ask my Dad, as he went to heaven several years ago. But, I still have you for answers. :-) Thanks.

Cookiecrumb, yes, you can make it at home, but it's not the same as eating it wearing "slippahs" and shorts.

James, my parents always left us TV dinner when they went out - and we LOVED them. Little philistines.

Thursday, December 08, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Honey, I know your dad is flapping his angel wings all around the test pilots' lounge up there...
You seem to channel him, so that's what I was suggesting. I should have written it ::::askyourdad::::

Thursday, December 08, 2011  

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