Humans have a strange relationship with food. This seems to be a global truth that is perhaps best evidenced by the array of unusual food festivals the world over. We don't merely celebrate food, we wrestle in it, wage war with it, idolize it, and, in Gloucestershire, England, race it down a steep hill.
No matter what your favorite food is, chances are somewhere, large gatherings of aficionados have found some outlandish way to commemorate it. Even Spam has found a place of honor.
"Hawaii is one of the biggest consumers of Spam in the world," explains Karen Winpenny, an organizer of the annual Waikiki Spam Jam, which last year had 25,000 visitors. Hormel Foods sells more product in Hawaii per person than in any other U.S. state. According to the Spam Jam website, almost seven million cans of the stuff are eaten in Hawaii every year.
"This year, we had Spam cheesecake and Spam ice cream. In the past, we've had Spam ravioli, Spam kotsu, Spam poki, Spam French fries - pretty much everything can be made with Spam," says Winpenny.
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