Years ago, I had a major, incredible dining experience in Hawaii, and I took it very seriously.
Was it an upscale dinner, you ask?
Maybe The Food Network was touring?
Has anyone I know got Chopped?
No to all of the above.
Truth be told, I attended a SPAMboree, which celebrated all things SPAM, and it was a lot of fun.
So now get ready for another unprecedented SPAM event.
L&L Hawaii BBQ – a popular drive-in – will celebrate National SPAM Musubi Day on August 8! (The 8/8 date pays homage to the state’s area code.) The crucial question, however, is: are you ready to celebrate the big day, America?
OK, first of all, we understand that some of you may be asking out loud right now, “What is a SPAM musubi and why should I celebrate it?” Alright, imagine that tantalizing flavor. Take a single savory slice of SPAM toasted to semi-crispy perfection in a teriyaki or soy sauce glaze and place it on a palm-sized block of warm, fluffy white rice. Wrap the rice block and SPAM with a ribbon of crispy, umami-rich dried seaweed – aka nori – and BOOM! You’re about to indulge in one of Hawaii’s most popular and beloved comfort foods any time of the day. It’s quite easy to do SPAM musubi yourself at home. But here’s a better idea: head to your nearest L&L store and ask them to make one for you. Better yet, plan to hit up some L&L restaurants in the neighborhood on August 8, National SPAM Musubi Day, where the good folks there will not only have SPAM musubi hot and ready for you, but you’ll give away one FREE if you plan. ahead and secure your free SPAM musubi on the national Hawaiian-style comfort food restaurant app. (More on how to do this ahead of time!) Proud to once again lead the charge for the second annual SPAM Musubi Day, L&L Hawaii Drive-In is celebrating the big day with: Free SPAM musubi. It’s true. To get one, first download the L&L Hawaiian BBQ App.
Then, ONLY on August 8, National SPAM Musubi Day, download the coupon for a free SPAM musubi from the app. Finally, visit select L&L locations ONLY on August 8 to claim your SPAM musubi and enjoy! Oh, and tell everyone you know to do the same.
“As the top seller of SPAM musubi in the continental United States, with 20,000 SPAM musubi sold daily in 14 states, we knew the best way for us to truly celebrate National SPAM Musubi Day was to show our appreciation to everyone who already love SPAM musubi like just like us, or treat anyone curious to try this favorite Hawaiian comfort food for the first time,” said Elisia Flores, General Manager of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. “At L&L, we love the that just one bite of this tasty and popular Hawaiian snack has the power to instantly transport our customers’ taste buds to the Hawaiian Islands, whether they have visited before or have not yet discovered our land of origin.”
How did SPAM musubi – and for that matter SPAM itself – become so adored in Hawaii? In his “The Musubi Book” (Watermark Publishing, 2018), musubi culture expert and Hawaiian musubi shop owner Manabu Asaoka writes that many trace the invention of SPAM musubi to Hawaiian-born nutritionist and entrepreneur Barbara Funamura, who started selling it in Kauai. closed the Joni-Hana restaurant in the early 1980s. (Musubi, you know, is a type of sushi made from seaweed.)
Produced by Hormel and proudly made in Minnesota, SPAM had long been a favorite breakfast meat in Hawaii, introduced to locals by GIs during World War II. Hawaiians already loved eating fried SPAM slices and rice together. So Funamura simply combined the two ingredients into one simple and tasty snack. The popularity of the salty, satisfying treat originally found only on Kauai quickly spread to Oahu and then to the rest of the state. These days you will find SPAM musubi all over Hawaii as well as Japan, and even on the mainland at L&L stores in states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Colorado, Florida , Virginia, etc.
L&L’s SPAM Musubi is seasoned with L&L’s original Hawaiian-inspired barbecue sauce. Ms. Flores added, “We sell 20,000 SPAM musubi per day. This is our number one item per store. Accompanied by rice and our signature, our homemade barbecue sauce, takes it to a different level… It has just the right amount of sweetness to complement the salty taste of SPAM.
And lest you forget: you can actually buy SPAM musubi makers from stores across Hawaii. “Everyone has one at home,” Ms. Flores said with a wonderful laugh.
For more on my Wanderlust trips, please follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham.