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Cruise Diary: SPAM – An Iconic Hawaiian Delicacy

Guest Sharon Johnson and her husband are cruising again with HAL, this time on Zaandam’s 21-Day Collectors’ Voyage to Mexico and Hawaii. Sharon will chronicle their cruising experience for us on the blog. Enjoy!

Feb. 19, 2013:
Today we had another busy day of activities and lectures. When I was a kid my mother served us SPAM. SPAM is a staple to Hawaiians. It is one of the favorite breakfast foods in the islands and can be found served everywhere. Our Location Guide Kainoa talked about the use of SPAM in the Hawaiian diet. He said that during WWII, the Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders started eating canned meats since fresh meat was so hard to get during the war years. There are all kinds of SPAM in the islands as you can see from the picture of me holding the two cans of SPAM — Jalapeño and Hot & Spicy are just a few of the various types sold in Hawaii.

Wearing the lei I made and holding two kinds of SPAM.

Wearing the lei I made and holding two kinds of SPAM.

Kainoa likes to cook so he demonstrated how to make SPAM Musubi in the Culinary Arts Center at 9 a.m. He cooked the SPAM in soy sauce, oyster sauce and white sugar. He then molded the sticky rice into tiny loaf placing the SPAM on top. In Hawaii they have a form that they use to mold the sticky rice. Then he took dry seaweed and wrapped the seaweed (Nori) around the sticky rice and the SPAM.

Kainoa was busy today as not only did he have a cooking demonstration, but he then gave the talk about Oahu and Honolulu — his home town. We have had some excellent travel guides on all of our HAL cruises, but Kainoa is in a league all by himself. He is so passionate about his home state of Hawaii, his hometown of Honolulu and the Hawaiian culture. That passion especially comes out in his talk about Honolulu and his home island of Oahu. It was the best introduction to Oahu I have ever heard. And we have been on quite a few HAL cruises to Hawaii. — Sharon and Al Johnson

Kainoa, the Zaandam Location Guide. He did a cooking demonstration this morning. He is absolutely fantastic. In his talks the Mondriaan Lounge is packed.

Kainoa, the Zaandam location guide. He did a cooking demonstration and he is absolutely fantastic. In his talks the Mondriaan Lounge is packed.

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