What: Launched in 1937, Hormel’s finely ground pork-and-ham gift to World War II Army grunts is spiced with salt and sugar (“SPiced” plus “hAM” equals SPAM) and bound together with potato starch. It’s huge in Hawaii, and thus gaining ground during New York’s tiki moment. At the Polynesian-themed Lani Kai in Soho, chef Craig Rivard reverse-engineered a tin of the stuff to create his own from naturally raised pork butt, prosciutto cotto, garlic, shallots, brandy, and various secret spices (above).
WHERE: Pop-up brunch spot Maharlika (351 E. 12th St., nr. First Ave.; no phone) employs thinly sliced Spam and calamansi hollandaise to reinterpret eggs Benedict as eggs Benigno. And Rivard’s housemade version graces a pressed “Spam-and-cheese” (above) and studs the mac and cheese at Lani Kai (525 Broome St., nr. Thompson St.; 646-596-8778).
BUY: Your local bodega.