Spam Jam 2011 preview

It’s natural for people who live in Hawaii to love Spam; after all, we grew up with it. It’s natural, then, to have a food festival that celebrates our favorite processed meat. Introduced in 1937 by Hormel Foods, more Spam is consumed per person in Hawaii than in any other state. Almost seven million cans of Spam are eaten every year in Hawaii.

The ninth annual Waikiki Spam Jam takes place on Kalakaua Avenue on Saturday, April 30 from 4 to 10 p.m. with free, live entertainment, Spam-themed merchandise tents, games and prizes, and of course, food booths put on by Hawaii restaurants. The event benefits the Hawaii Foodbank, so it’s fun as well as worthwhile.

We got to check out what the participating restaurants are offering for the Waikiki Spam Jam as a preview.

New Spam dishes

Aqua Cafe

Picture 1 of 20

A newcomer to the Spam Jam is Aqua Cafe, which is an outpost of the Top of Waikiki located in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza. One of the dishes expected to be popular is their Spam-loaded potato skins, served with a ranch dipping sauce. Normally, you would have bacon on the skins, but Aqua has replaced it with Spam, and it works.

Looking for the classic Spam Jam dishes? Here are the best sellers, returning for another round:

The Spam classics

Duke’s & Hula Grill

Picture 1 of 13

It’s not just for breakfast anymore. Duke’s and Hula Grill are bringing back their signature rendition of fried rice ($5), generously flecked with cubes of sautéed Spam, vegetables, egg and a slight kick of garlic and ginger. It’s a fancy version of the homestyle fried rice we all know and love. You can add an egg for $2 more.

See you on Saturday!