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Celebrating Spam: Hawaiians flock to annual Waikiki Spam Jam festival

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Minnesota-produced Spam is a favorite in Hawaii – so much so that there's an annual festival dedicated to the tinned meat.

Hawaiians eat the most Spam per capita, and on Saturday thousands of people flocked to a festival that celebrates everything the product has to offer.

There were over 40 different Spam dishes at the 13th annual Waikiki Spam Jam for people to try, including Spam cupcakes, Spam lo mein, Spam Cheesecake – even Spam sushi, the event's website says.

“Well, you know, this is fun,” Chef Chai Chaowasaree, who owns a restaurant that was at the event, told KHON. “A lot of people and once a year so. I think it’s something where you can interact with your guests. It’s kind of nice. We done this every year, many many times. So it’s pretty good.”

To honor all of the Spam lovers on the island, Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel foods released a new flavor of the meat – Portuguese sausage Spam – which was available to sample at the event, The Associated Press reports. It's exclusive to Hawaii, but may expand to other markets, the AP says.

The event benefits the Hawaii Foodbank. This year, the Spam Jam Foundation donated $15,000 to the cause, Spam tweeted.

Last year, the one-day festival attracted roughly 25,000 people.

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