You know, if you say the word “spam” outside of Hawaii, there’s a very good chance that people will assume you’re talking about junk email.

My kids have never heard of it, but we live on the Mainland. I have a small doomsday supply (like all responsible citizens are supposed to keep) in case of blizzards, tornadoes and various other catastrophes.

In that large emergency tub, I have dry milk (never tried it, but I’m assuming it’s pretty gross), chocolate bars (I’ve had to replace those several times because of very real PMS emergencies) and a few cans of meat called SPAM.

I’d never actually tried it. But, I figured in an emergency, I’d pry open the lid and hold it over a match and I’d make lemonade out of lemons~~~or rather, steak out of a highly processed meat.

There are a few things I discovered while writing this piece. First, my husband has eaten Spam. I’ve known the guy since we were 12. We’ve been married for 28 years. Never once have I prepared SPAM.

Spam musubi

Yet apparently, as a kid he ate it and enjoyed it. Loved the stuff, actually. (Oh pssst…you wanna hear something else that’s pretty funny?) He jokingly considers himself a “native” Hawaiian since he was born there. His military family was stationed on Oahu and he spent the first three MONTHS of his life (mostly asleep) in his “homeland”.

He’s as Irish American as they come, but he will still occasionally claim that the “islands” are calling him home. Okay now, let’s get back to the wonderful world of SPAM.

The second thing I discovered while writing this piece is that SPAM is revered and enjoyed and it’s a serious staple in the pantry of the Hawaiian people.

Learning this, I just had to find several kick-ass recipes to share with our readers. If you’re already a SPAM fan, then you gotta try these.

If you’re new to the club, or have never heard of SPAM, then let me advise you: Ditch the ham, and grab the SPAM! You won’t be disappointed.

1. SPAM in a kick-ass sandwich? Are you about to make the kids a PBJ? Come on, Mom! Send the rugrats on a culinary voyage when they open their lunchbox at school. Whoop, there it is!

Spam Fried Rice

2. SPAM sushi? Shut the front door! Think you can’t master the art of making homemade sushi? Come on Grasshopper, this sushi sensei’s recipe assures you: “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

3. Fries on the side? Yes, please! But why serve potatoes and ketchup? Wasn’t George McFly eating those in 1955? How about you get yourself back to the future and update the menu a few decades? What do you say about SPAM fries with key lime dipping sauce? Great Scott!

4. Fried rice for dinner? Why not change it up and add some pineapple and SPAM and enjoy fried rice with island flavors?

5. Hate brussel sprouts? Then you’ve never had them like this. If you’ve been serving brussel sprouts steamed and plain, you really are torturing your family and friends. I assure you your guests are hiding them in their napkins and throwing them away when you’re not looking. But, here’s a totally amazing recipe that you’ll probably have to double, because everyone will be fighting over them.

It doesn’t matter if you’re native Hawaiian, currently stationed there, or an “ex-native” Irish American, with zero percent Hawaiian DNA.

Don’t wait for a blizzard, typhoon or tornado to crack the can. Open that Spam, and get creative. There are infinite SPAM recipes on the web. Fried SPAM over ice cream sundaes? Why not? Bacon wrapped around SPAM and then grilled? What could be better than meat wrapped around meat?

The next time you’re standing at the deli, and about to order a pound of Black Forest ham, 86 that request. Grab some SPAM and you’ll become a fan.
Then head for Hawaii where they devote a large section of every grocery store to the multiple exotic variations of SPAM.

Want more SPAM recipes? Check out their website.

Got a few SPAM recipes of your own?  Share ’em!!!