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Honoring Hawaii’s SPAM Musubi


SPAM Musubi Gift Pack – Hawaii 2006

Leading the nation in SPAM consumption, it’s no wonder Hormel Foods has once again released a limited edition item for the Hawaii market in honor of our very own SPAM Musubi! This time it’s a SPAM Musubi Gift Pack. Very very cool. What I found a bit disappointing though was that they didn’t include the “Hawaii Collector’s Edition” label on the cans that was introduced 3 years ago.

Here’s what that tin looked like…


SPAM Hawaii Collector’s Edition – Hawaii 2003.  Photos courtesy of Selva’s Flickr photo stream.

See that Hula Girl Figurine? Well, they didn’t forget about that, including it on the top of the box label for this year’s Gift Pack…


SPAM Musubi Gift Pack – Hawaii 2006

Now take a look at the back label of that 2003 tin…


SPAM Hawaii Collector’s Edition – Hawaii 2003.   Photos courtesy of Selva’s Flickr photo stream.

Then take a look at the back of this year’s Gift Pack…


SPAM Musubi Gift Pack – Hawaii 2006

Hmmm. Now that looks familiar. O.K., the equation part is cool, but who came up with the term “= CRAZY TASTY”? Common, this is Hawaii! You’re supposed to say “= ONO!”. Or at least give its partial Japanese roots some honor by saying “= OISHII!”.

Aside of some of the tackiness, it’s still really cool. When I first laid eyes on this stacked on a pallet in Costco, I knew this was something special. Locals I witnessed passing by in the store looked at it and laughed, probably thinking how silly it is. Something taken for granted when SPAM Musubi is something you find at every gas station convenience store around town. But when you’re on the mainland, you begin to realized just how much this simple, yet delicious snack and meal-in-itself identifies Hawaii’s blended culture.

You go ANYWHERE on this planet, if you see a SPAM Musubi, I can almost guarantee its origins were from Hawaii. Not Japan or New York, but HAWAII.

This is why I use it as an icon for taste ratings here. It’s so synonymous with our islands that once you see it, you know you’re home.

So here we have this Gift Pack, which I give Hormel an “A” for effort. Maika’i (well done). Included in it are THREE 12 oz. cans of SPAM Classic, THREE 12 cans of SPAM 25% Less Sodium and ONE exclusive SPAM Musubi maker (the blue thing). The back of the package also includes recipes for making a classic SPAM Musubi and several other dishes.

The 9-compartment cardboard display box with cool Hawaiiana floral print and Hula Girl is a gem. Then you have that Musubi Maker, which alone might be worth some collector buck$ in the future when it’s out of production. It even has the official SPAM logo embossed on it. Wow! While it probably can’t compete with some of the higher quality clear acrylic molds made and sold locally, it’s the licensed NAME BRAND on it that really matters.

I purchased a few of these SPAM Musubi Gift Packs just for the novelty of having it. I don’t want to open it. I’ll just proudly display it at home, then perhaps later I’ll put ’em up on eBay. lol


Photo courtesy of Lindilindi’s Flickr photo stream.

Tasty Island Rating:


9 thoughts on “Honoring Hawaii’s SPAM Musubi

  • December 17, 2006 at 12:05 am
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    They shoulda put the spicy spam and smoked spam. Those are good too.
    I HATE the directions on the spam cans though. What’s with the colons? It makes no sense!!
    Spam recipes–other than spam musubi of course–also totally gross me out.

    Reply
  • December 28, 2006 at 11:21 pm
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    This looks an awful lot like oseibo, the end-of-year gifts given in Japan. I’ve seen SPAM (and Tulip) oseibo in Okinawa (i doubt they’d have it in Mainland Japan) — maybe they decided it would work well in Hawaii, too! I know a couple of people the musubi maker would be perfect for.

    I bought one of those cute “collector’s edition” cans, but it got a little banged up on the trip home (though it’s still on display in the kitchen). I was disappointed to find out that they really were a “collector’s edition” when I came back the next year and they were gone!

    Reply
  • January 9, 2007 at 6:11 pm
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    Your photos made me homesick for Kona and hungry at the same time. I live outside Philly and miss manapua musubi and real pork hash like crazy. The topper was when I scrolled down and saw the jook! I had to email my big girl- Tita right away. Our little Lehua will not be shown the photos or I’ll be making musubi for her whole class – again! Mahalo

    Reply
  • February 9, 2009 at 6:47 am
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    Is it possible to purchase a can of the Hawaiian limited edition Spam?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • November 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm
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    I just purchased this pack as a gift for my daughter from a store we have here called Grocery Outlet (cost me $18.00). They had about 20-30 left… :)

    Reply
  • October 5, 2012 at 9:23 am
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    That is soo awesome! I love how you guys get the collectible tins. I wish back here on the mainland we had that.

    Reply
    • October 6, 2012 at 6:43 am
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      Just this past year (2011), Hormel held a label design contest for a new commemorative Hawaii SPAM label, to which the winning design was “shaka” sign hand holding a SPAM Musubi, with the Hawaiian “Union Jack” flag as the template. Very well done and representative, yet honestly Hormel’s original Hawaii SPAM can label design looked more nostalgic.

      http://tastyislandhawaii.com/2011/02/21/hormel-spam-hawaii-label-design-contest/

      Reply

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