15 Years in Hawaii and what do I have to show for it

A Six-Pack o' SPAM

Key: R20120503-174940-v1

We are coming up on our 15th anniversary of moving to Hawai’i.  In Hawai’i terms, that means we are (possibly) approaching a status of Kamaaina, loosely translated as “long time resident” (the nomenclature and distinctions for  “resident”, “local” and “Hawaiian” is slightly complicated for those not intimately familiar with the islands, and I will not bother going into it here–that’s a story for another time).

The islands work mysterious magic on those who dwell here.  For those who think the a move here does nothing more to you than give you copious fresh air and sunshine, think again.  To those of you contemplating a move to Hawaii–let this be a foreshadowing, of sorts!

Here is the rough progression of how it happens:

(Before you move to Hawaii).  “SPAM?!!! —ew, gross! “

(Soon after you move to Hawaii).  “There is SPAM in this dish?!!  Uh, No Thanks.”

(A few months go by).  “SPAM, huh?…Oh, what the hell…”

(A couple of years go by). “You know, I think I kind of like this!”

A few more months go by and you try your first full slice of SPAM in a SPAM musubi.

Another year goes by and you are happily taking a SPAM musubi off of every plate that passes under your nose.

A couple more years go by and you purchase your first can of SPAM, to make musubi at home.  (This is a watershed moment.)

A couple more years go by and you are starting to buy cans regularly, especially if you have children.

A couple more years go by and …

… yesterday I find myself in the local bulk discount warehouse outlet thingie, looking at and contemplating a bulk purchase of SPAM.

A … bulkpurchase

And I had to reflect on the absurdity of the situation as I would have viewed it fifteen years ago.

I bought the six-pack.


12 thoughts on “15 Years in Hawaii and what do I have to show for it

  1. The irony doesn’t escape me that in such a beauty and one would think “healthy” place SPAM has become such a staple element of the food chain. However, I’ve eaten fried SPAM and it’s not bad. 🙂

    • It was curious to me as well, Earl. It is largely explained by the fact that during WW2 the product became popular because servicemen had it in their rations. During those days it was sometimes difficult to obtain fresh meat, and spam became popular. Of course the recipes followed each of the different ethnic population’s cusine.

  2. Local customs in most places of the world go way beyond the thinkable (when foreigners look at Bavarians, the most often wonder what is going on).
    But SPAM in Hawai? Good heavens…

    • Hi Markus. It is very interesting what one culture will find acceptable to eat. I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater, but I have to admit that even at victualianmarkt there were a few things I would raise my eyebrows at!

    • Hi Cheryl, I’ll have to try that. First round I might have to substitute some other kind of cheese for the velveeta though. In my mind velveeta is to cheese what spam is to meat. But then again, that’s the same feeling I used to have about spam! Ha!

  3. Well, I would probably start somewhere lower in the list, considering that I LOVE SPAM! Mmmmmmm. I’ve not had any in a long time, though. I may just have to purchase a can and have it with eggs tomorrow morning!

  4. After reading this post a few days ago I questioned my born and raised Hawaiian neighbor about spam musubi. His eyes lit up and with a big grin his said “Oh yes”. He was over borrowing my ice chest for his class reunion ( a few casinos cater to the islanders) and mentioned they could be had at the downtown California Club. He returned the chest today and brought me a still warm spam musubi. What a great light lunch.
    Thank you for turning me onto it and I am now a quest for musubi press so I don’t have to drive downtown for a fix.

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