More than 200 box jellyfish were found in Waikiki this morning. The influx should last all weekend. Stay out of the water!
These little bites from Eggs ‘N Things was my favorite dish served tonight at the 11th annual Waikiki Spam Jam.
And it was simple enough, too.
The pieces of Spam were dipped in pancake batter and deep-fried. Serve with maple syrup and I’m done.
Good job, Eggs!
What is it about Spam that we love so much?
Is it the mysterious parts of a pig that make up the pink block of canned meat? Is it that you can keep it in an underground bunker for years in case of a zombie apocalypse? Or is it because, well, it just tastes so good?
Hard to say, but for whatever reason, Spam — and its line of products — is hugely popular in Hawaii. We put in our fried rice, we make musubis out of it, we slice it thin and put it in our saimin.
And, for the past decade, we’ve been celebrating it at the annual Waikiki Spam Jam held this Saturday on Kalakaua Avenue.
Like many folks who grew up in the Islands, I’ve eaten Spam my entire life. My mom loves to fry it up — crispy is best — and eat it with hot rice. And I’ve been known to eat a Spam musubi every day for months. (It’s true.)
Spam has a long history in the Islands. The luncheon meat was served to GIs during World War II, and it quickly became part of the local culinary culture here. More Spam is consumed per person in Hawaii than in any other state. Almost 7 million cans of Spam are eaten every year. And I know my family has helped with that number.
The Spam Jam — one of my favorite food festivals, by the way — offers various preparations of our beloved canned meat, from Spam loco mocos to Spam nachos. And maybe this year there will be chocolate-covered Spam, too.
So I’m curious about your Spam addiction — or lack thereof. How do you take your Spam? Or are you one of those rare breeds in Hawaii who doesn’t eat it?
11th annual Waikiki Spam Jam, 4-10 p.m. April 27, Kalakaua Avenue. Admission is free. Visit www.spamjamhawaii.com.
Sometimes, in the middle of the day, I escape from work and head to the nearest beach.
I just want to sit in the sun, watch the waves, and relax. The only sound is the wind, the only smell is the salty ocean.
And I can’t tell you how many times that relaxing moment is ruined — and usually by some chatty (and loud) beachgoer on a cell phone.
But that’s the nature of a public beach. People are free to talk on their phones, to eat Doritos, and, up until yesterday, smoke on the beach.
Yes, a new law — Bill 72 — took effect prohibiting smoking at several beaches and parks on Oahu. The law, though, can only be enforced at Ala Moana Beach for now, though the bill includes Duke Kahanamoku Beach Park, Kapiolani Beach Park, Kapiolani Beach Park Center, Kapiolani Park, Kuhio Beach Park and Sandy Beach. Police can fine violators $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and — get this — $500 for any addition offense.
That’s more expensive than not wearing your seatbelt or jaywalking.
The goal of the law is to prevent secondhand smoke and the littering of cigarette butts.
And while I’m no fan of cigar smoke and I’m not a smoker myself, I can think of far worse things that people do on public beaches than light up.
I’m not sure if a ban is going to work, especially when it can only be enforced at one beach. And does it make sense to spend time and money on combating those who smoke on the beach when there are other far more serious issues our government should focus on?
Tourism is our largest industry, I get it, so it makes sense to keep our beaches clean and to provide a positive experience for everyone. But is this really going to help?
You tell me.
And ever since it closed last year, I still frequent the spot, waiting to see if there’s word it will re-open somewhere else.
But last night, something else was in the spot vacated by one of my favorite ramen shops.
Kissaten Ramen — or Japanese Noodle Shop, as it said on the window — had its soft opening yesterday
This is owned by the same folks who run the popular 24-hour Kissaten Cafe near Ala Moana Center. But it’s strictly a ramen shop; don’t expect to find the cafe’s tomato bisque or turkey pesto melt here.
Here’s what our recent dinner looked like:
Kissaten Ramen, 2250 Kalakaua Ave. Suite LL-102, Waikiki.
About Catherine Toth
Born and raised on Oahu, Catherine E. Toth has worked as a newspaper reporter in Hawaii for 10 years and continues to freelance — in between teaching journalism, hitting the surf, hiking with her two dogs and eating everything in sight — for national and local print and online publications.
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