Hawaii Celebrates National SPAM Musubi Day On 8/08

Years ago, I had a major, incredible, food experience while in Hawaii, and I took it very seriously.

Was it a top-shelf dinner, you ask?

Perhaps The Food Network was filming?

Was someone I know getting Chopped?

No to all of the above.

Truth be told, I attended a SPAMboree, which celebrated all-things-SPAM, and it was huge fun.

So now, get ready for another unprecedented SPAM event.

L&L Hawaii Barbecue — a popular drive-in – will celebrate National SPAM Musubi Day on August 8! (The 8/08 date pays tribute to the state’s area code.) The crucial question, however, is: Are you ready to celebrate the big day, America?

OK, first things first, we understand some of you might be asking out loud right now, “What the heck is a SPAM musubi and why should I celebrate it?” All right, picture this mouthwatering tastiness. Take a single, savory slice of SPAM grilled to semi-crisp perfection in a teriyaki or soy-sauce glaze and place it on a palm-sized block of warm, fluffy white rice. Wrap the block of rice and SPAM together with a crisp, umami-rich ribbon of dried seaweed — aka nori — and BOOM! You’re about to indulge in one of Hawaiiʻs most popular and beloved any-time-of-day comfort-foods. It’s easy enough to make SPAM musubi yourself at home. But here’s a better idea: Head to your nearest L&L location and have them make one for you. Better yet, make plans to head to select neighborhood L&L restaurants on August 8, National SPAM Musubi Day, where the good folks there will not only have SPAM musubi warm and ready for you but give you one FREE if you plan ahead and secure your free SPAM musubi on the nationwide Hawaiʻi-style comfort-food restaurant’s app. (More on how to do that ahead!) Proud to again lead the charge for this year’s second annual National SPAM Musubi Day, L&L Hawaii Drive-In is celebrating the big day with: Free SPAM musubi. That’s right. To get one, first download the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue app.

Next, 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 U.S., with 20,000 SPAM musubi sold daily across 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 loves SPAM musubi as much as we do, or treat anyone curious to try this Hawaii comfort food favorite for the first time,” said Elisia Flores, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue chief executive officer. “At L&L, we love that a single bite of this tasty and popular Hawaii snack has the power to instantly transport our customers’ taste buds to the Hawaiian Islands whether they’ve already visited or have yet to experience our home state.”

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 Hawaii musubi shop owner Manabu Asaoka writes that many trace SPAM musubi’s invention to Hawaii-born nutritionist and entrepreneur Barbara Funamura, who first started selling it at Kauai’s now-closed Joni-Hana restaurant in the early 1980s. (Musubi, so you know, is a type of sushi made with seaweed.)

Hormel-produced and proudly made in Minnesota, SPAM had long been a favorite breakfast meat in Hawaii, introduced to locals by GIs during World War II. Hawaii residents already loved chowing down on fried SPAM slices and rice together. So Funamura simply combined the two ingredients into one amazing simple, tasty snack. The popularity of the salty, satisfying treat originally found only on Kauai soon spread to Oahu then the rest of the state. These days, you’ll find SPAM musubi everywhere in Hawaii along with in Japan, and even on the mainland at L&L shops in states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, and more.

L&L’s SPAM musubi is seasoned with L&L’s signature original Hawaii-inspired barbecue sauce. Added Ms. Flores: “We sell 20,000 SPAM musubi a day. It’s our Number One item per store. Paired with rice, and our signature, homemade barbecue sauce, takes it to a different level…It has just the right amount of sweetness to complement the saltiness of the SPAM.”

And lest you forget: You can actually buy SPAM musubi-makers at stores throughout Hawaii. “Everyone has one at home,” said Ms. Flores with a wonderful laugh.

For more about my Wanderlust Travels, please Follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham.

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