SPAM Gourmets Share Mystery Meat’s Secrets

By Stefanie Tuder

Apr 29, 2014 4:22pm

To some it’s the scariest thing on the supermarket shelves and to others it’s a gourmet delicacy. But for Hawaii residents, SPAM is undoubtedly a local treat.

“This is one of the biggest items that Hawaii has,” Aloha Plate food truck cofounder and Hawaiian Adam Tuburi said on “GMA Live!” “It’s been around since 1937, and it’s like filet mignon for us.”

Tuburi, his brother Lanai Tuburi and business partner Sean Selipe appeared on – and won – Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race cooking with SPAM.

The pork product has gotten a bad rap over the years, but Lanai Tuburi argues it’s for no good reason.

“I think it got that reputation because it’s in a can, but it’s totally not like that,” he said. “There are only six ingredients in a SPAM can.”

Pork (shoulder and ham), salt, water, potato starch (for moisture), sugar and sodium nitrite (for color) make up this Hawaiian food staple, which locals consume daily.

“One of the stores that sells SPAM in Hawaii makes SPAM musubis [sushi], and they sell over 16,000 a day,” Tuburi said. “That’s only one store. So it gives you an idea of how much SPAM we eat.”

Even McDonald’s there serves SPAM, rice and eggs for breakfast, something the chain definitely doesn’t do in other parts of the country.

The Tuburi brothers appeared on GMA Live!, sharing recipes for SPAM musubi, a SPAM sandwich and SPAM fried rice.

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