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3 Catt. 7: In re Hula Girl

2011 November 30

CATTLEYA, J., delivered the opinion of the Cart. JEREMY, C.J., delivered a separate concurrence.

We granted cartiorari to Hula Girl (“HG”) under Rule of Procedure 2-4(a), according to the petition of NotDeansPolsby. Hula Girl is a food truck “bringing a taste of the Hawaiian Islands to DC.” Is there a food product that’s more Hawaiian than spam? This Cart thinks not, and so today we review HG’s version of the Hawaiian staple called spam musubi. (For a brief history on spam in Hawaii, which dates back to World War II, see, e.g., Hawaii’s Love Affair with Canned Item Continues, Associated Press (Feb. 22, 2009)).

Hula Girl

In In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011), this Cart explained that street food “can be cooked in front of you” and is “meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” Spam musubi meets this three-part definition. First, spam musubi — fried spam and vinegared white rice wrapped in nori — can be made on the spot, on a truck. (Despite this possibility, HG most likely makes its spam musubi ahead of time to facilitate quicker service. If so, this is a business decision that does not affect whether a food is in fact “street” in nature.) Second, one eats spam musubi with one’s hands. One is not supposed to use a fork, knife, spork, or any other eating utensil. Finally, spam musubi can be eaten on the go. It is neither messy nor complicated. One need only bring it close to one’s mouth, bite, and chew. Therefore, spam musubi satisfies the three-prong Eat Wonky test; it is the kind of food that should come off a truck.

Spam Musubi

Having determined that spam musubi is a proper street food, this Cart can recommend HG’s spam musubi without hesitation. The spam slices were salty, as one expects spam to be, and yet they were not too salty. The generous portion of vinegared rice balanced the spam very nicely. And the seaweed wrap was perfect — not tough or chewy. Although the spam musubi was gone in less than three minutes, it was a simple and satisfying snack.

Bottom line: Looking for an afternoon snack? Line up for HG’s spam musubi, and look no more. Not only is it a yummy, filling treat, but it’s relatively cheap, too! At $3, it’s the lowest-priced item that the Justices of this Cart have sampled so far. Cf. In re International Grill, 3 Catt. 6 (2011) ($5 meal).


JEREMY, C.J., concurring.

I share my sister’s enthusiasm for HG’s spam musubi. I have little to add and write only to note that HG’s spam was of the highest quality.

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