Spam holds a place dear in the hearts of many Pacific islanders, a legacy of the canned food rations brought to this part of the world by American soldiers during World War II. In Honolulu, the love stays alive through the annual Spam Jam on Waikiki Beach, where local restaurants come up with recipes for using the canned meat -- with varying success.
I worked as an editor in Shenzhen, China, for more than a year. It's located right across the border from Hong Kong. I took the picture below when I visted there recently. Question: What is the purpose of the subject in the photo?
Click on Read More for the answer.
Beer discoveries in China are so exciting because the barley situation here is so grim. The breweries began way back when the Germans had "concessions" here (that means mini-colonies). The Germans and the rest of the westerners were eventually kicked out, but the breweries remained. Unfortunately, the quality didn't. Most Chinese beer is very low alcohol, lacking in any bitterness or taste of barley or hops. Imports are taxed so high into China that it keeps most beer out, except for the most vile of brews, such as Bud.
But recently I discovered a German beer called Apostel Brau. The downside: none of it is refrigerated and I don't have a fridge. Ice is a rarity. So what to do? Well, I found a Chinese "dessert" place that actually uses shaved ice for a rather disgusting treat that has dried fruit and pickled somethings on it. Now if I want a cold Apostel, I buy a bowl of ice only and drink iced beer. Yes, it's not so great, but it's waaaaay better than warm beer.
In other beer news, I also ran into this interesting variation of Pabst Blue Ribbon, military style:
In case you can't read it, this is the "World War Two edition in memory of the US Army." ("In memory"? Sorry, the army is still around, comrades.) I'm not certain what the "Yes we can!" means. Yes we put beer in cans? Yes we can come up with the most incongruous marketing gimmick of all time in China? I guess "Be all you can be" isn't that catchy.