And the No. 1 state for eating Spam lunch meat is ... Hawaii? Check out the Spam fritters, the Spam push-ups, the Spam fajitas and the Spambrosia. Spam Musubi, a seaweed-wrapped sushi knockoff, remains the island’s most popular porta-sandwich.

And the No. 1 state for eating Spam lunch meat is ... Hawaii?

Go there and seek restaurants frequented by the locals –– avoid all hotels and tourist traps. Then you will see on the menus an array of Spam-a-rama, available no place else.

Check out the Spam fritters, the Spam push-ups, the Spam fajitas and the Spambrosia. Spam Musubi, a seaweed-wrapped sushi knockoff, remains the island’s most popular porta-sandwich.

So what’s the deal? Well, during World War II, the Japanese submarines cut off a lot of trade. Hawaii was forced to fend for itself, and that meant a lot of pineapples and poi. They supplemented their diet with protein available as close as the nearest American military base. Uncle Sam always had Spam and more Spam.

Islanders got hooked on it. Now it’s one of those legacy things, the natives’ proud and noble lunch meat, isolated from the insults of “mystery meat” across the ocean.

This might cause us mainlanders to rethink Spam, letting the Hawaiians take the first bite, of course.

Maui Spam Muffins

 4 English muffins, split, toasted                 Yellow mustard  1 can Spam, thinly sliced  1 (15-ounce) can pineapple slices  1 green pepper, cut into 8 rings  1⁄4 cup brown sugar  2 teaspoons water  Scant pinch powdered cloves  Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread toasted muffins with butter and mustard. Overlap two Spam slices on each half. Place a pineapple slice and a green pepper ring on each muffin. Combine cloves, brown sugar and water, and spoon over muffins. Bake 10 minutes and serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Paper umbrella and maraschino cherry are optional. Serves 6-8.