“Spam-tastic!” by JSC

IMG_1652Being a “chef’s helper” definitely has it’s perks as I’ve gotten to travel with Chef Bentley for a Forth of July party here in Hawaii. However, I quickly learned the hard way that being part of an entourage sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!
Like something out of a Top Chef challenge, our first task was to hit the Kailua farmer’s market almost immediately after stepping off the plane. We had to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables for the 100-person party and after an 8-hour flight from Mexico this wasn’t as easy as it should have been. However, when traveling it’s always fun to see what the local farmer’s market has in stock.
Hawaii doesn’t offer the extensive produce that one finds on the mainland (I think possibly because of the more limited tropical climate here) but we did find gorgeous papaya and obviously lots of pineapple, mango and herbs such as basil and mint.
Since this is my second visit here, I knew that it was essential to my sanity to find these amazing creations called spam musubi. Offered in pretty much any deli, they’re composed of a slice of spam and a block of rice wrapped in nori (dried seaweed), sort of resembling sushi. I admit, I was highly skeptical before trying one (all I could think of were the stacks of spam in cans gathering dust on grocery shelves) but was immediately a musubi convert after my first bite.
Served hot, the spam is typically cooked in teriyaki sauce, which mirrors the sea saltiness of the nori wrapped around it. Depending on where you get it, a light splash of soy sauce is also added to the rice for a greater depth of flavor. No matter how great your fear of spam may be, I highly recommend this local treat for anyone that makes the trip over to Hawaii.


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