Spam you very much! (w/ poll)

The thing about living on a coral atol with no good soil, waaaaay out in the middle of the Pacific ocean is … well, you’re a wee bit stuck when it comes to what you can and cannot eat. Bottom line, if nothing grows where you live, then breakfast, lunch and dinner all begin to take on the same appearance:

Which is okay, since fish is the bees knees. And, as for breadfruit – it apparently smells like freshly baked bread – and pandanus fruit is said to be very sweet and juicy; they both sound like winners.

Even still, the importance of imports in a country like Kiribati cannot be underestimated.

Fresh deliveries of rice, colorful produce, and canned goods are much anticipated. I’ve even read that the chicken is imported.

Now, time to get serious.

Any ideas for what two of the most enjoyed canned goods in Kiribati are?


wait for it….


Spam and corned beef.

Are you into it?


  1. Brian S. says

    Corned beef and spam are also loved in New Guinea and, I guess, throughout the South Pacific. Once, in a part of central New Guinea that had rarely if ever been visited by outsiders, I chucked my empty corned beef can into the bushes. Immediately one of the villagers dove for it and put it on top of a big pole so everyone could look at it and admire it.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ha, ha… I’m not entirely sure what to make of this. I wish you had a picture!

  2. I’m from Hawaii and we eat a lot of SPAM. We make SPAM musubi (think SPAM sushi). You can get SPAM at restaurants in Hawaii. McDonalds even has a breakfast platter with SPAM. I love it! Fried SPAM, rice and eggs.

  3. Jenny says

    I’m english and i’ve grown up with both. I eventually managed to persuade mum that spam really wasn’t my favourite and she stopped putting it in my school lunch sandwiches but you absolutely can’t beat a corned beef and branston pickle sandwich on a really nice multigrain bread! That was a lunchbox regular and I still buy corned beef myself!

    It’s also great with a salad as the meat component and if you chop and fry it up with potatoes and onions, herbs and spices and a little squirt of tomato puree you can make a lovely corned beef hash 😀

  4. When I was a kid, my mom would cook spam on the griddle and put it in grilled “cheese” (velveeta) sandwiches. This sounds a bit white trashy now that I’m typing it.

  5. We still don’t know what the people look like…especially after knowing all they eat is so limited.

  6. We have a can of spam my mom has kept since childhood back in the days of the cold war, my mom kept the spam as a joke because it is “end of the world food”. she warned me it was not to be eaten until then. Though strangely, corned beef we nearly a staple of my childhood diet and the only thing my dad could “cook” haha.

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