One of the beautiful things about world cuisine is the diversity of tastes and opinions it inspires. Foods people can’t stand in one place are considered local delicacies in others. Spam, a treasure in Hawaii and the Philippines but regarded skeptically in many other places, is a perfect example.
So what do you get when you combine divisive Spam with maybe the most universally loved food on the planet? You get a Spam Cheesy Bites Pizza that’s now being sold by Pizza Hut in the Philippines. And it truly is loaded with more spam than your email inbox or that classic Monty Python sketch.
The first thing that stands out is that, yes, this is a cheese pizza topped with tiny little cubes of Spam. Totally normal if that happens to be your thing. What’s crazy about it, though, is that the stuffed crust is comprised of more Spam smothered in mozzarella. It’s like if you surgically grafted pigs in a blanket onto a pizza, except it’s made from canned pork shoulder.
Why would the Philippines in particular be the ideal place to put people on Spam? Because locals can’t get enough of it. As the story goes, Spam reached the Philippines during World War II, where it was a cheap way to feed American G.I.s without the need for cooking or refrigeration. Maybe because it was an imported product from the U.S., Filipinos took to Spam, where it’s played a role in local cuisine (especially alongside rice) ever since.
So far at least, the internet seems to be more intrigued than repulsed by the Spam Cheesy Bites Pizza, which is frankly surprising given the canned meat’s reputation. “Why do I want to try this?” one commenter on a Reddit thread asked, while another asserted that “Spam should be a common pizza topping.” No one seemed to be freaked out about it, though this is admittedly a very unscientific process with a small sample size.
If you find yourself in that particular corner of Asia, maybe you can finally find out what all the Spam fuss is about by adapting it into a familiar format. It also wouldn’t be shocking if the Spam Cheesy Bites Pizza also ended up in Hawaii, given its similar local love for Spam. Just don’t expect to see any emails about it.