Waikiki Spam Jam crowdHawaii's distinctive culinary culture will be on full display at the 12th annual Waikiki Spam Jam on May 3.


Among the Aloha State's most anticipated food festivals, the one-day event draws about 25,000 people to Kalakaua Avenue, where officials shut down Waikiki's main drag for live music and performances, a crafts market and, of course, a variety of food booths featuring Spam dishes.

"Each restaurant has to have at least one Spam dish," explained event organizer Karen Winpenny. "We've had Spam french fries, Spam tacos, Spam ice cream and Spam cheesecake."

Hawaiians buy 7 million cans of Spam annually, more than any other U.S. state.

Asked about folks who don't think Spam is worthy of such hoopla, Winpenny replied, "Don't knock it until you've tried it. Some of these recipes are fabulous."

Proceeds support the Hawaii Food Bank. Visit www.spamjamhawaii.com.
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