205 Harbor Place, Goodland, FL
Spam. Some people eat it. Some people sculpt it.
Scandalous pajama-cladded artists and chefs gathered at Little Bar Restaurant in Goodland on Saturday night to enter their delectable masterpieces into the Spam sculpture and culinary contest.
The owners of Little Bar, Ray Bozicnik and Nicolette Bauer, superstitiously conceived the idea for the annual Spammy Jammy party following a series of unnamed storms and Hurricane Andrew, which hit South Florida in August 1992.
“The way they see it, every culture has its own mythological beings they pay homage to,” wrote General Manager Jenni Peters in an e-mail. “Therefore, it became our duty to appease the Atlantic basin hurricane goddesses by way of throwing them a righteous party.”
Spammy Jammy is intentionally held in June to ward off storms because June 1 is the start of the hurricane season, Peters said.
“Although Wilma came our way, we were very fortunate and suffered little damage,” Peters wrote. “Perhaps the goddesses have a taste for hand made Spamaroli with chipotle dipping sauce?”
Spam was the entrée of choice because everyone buys it during hurricane season, sticks it on a shelf and then stays as far away from it as possible, Bozicnik explained.
“We give everyone a chance to get rid of that Spam can from last year’s hurricane season,” Bozicnik said.
Bozicnik also referenced Hawaii’s obsession with Spam, which became increasingly popular on the islands during World War II when fresh meat was hard for soldiers to come by. The Atlantic basin goddess is a second cousin twice removed of the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele, Bozicnik said.
Pajamas was the mandatory dress-code.
“Well, if a hurricane comes in the middle of the night, what are you wearing?” Peters said. “If we’re going to be paying homage to the Atlantic basin hurricane goddesses, and if they want to razzle us up in the middle of the night, then you know, we’ve got to be prepared.”
Some of the sculpted masterpieces included the grand coolee cup Spam dam, frosty the Spam man and a Spam beach setting complete with an umbrella, towel, cooler and beach ball.
The aroma of the delicious entrées and appetizers such as Spam on a Shingle, Sphummus, Spammy Jammy Hash: the breakfast of champions and Spam Bombs, saturated the showroom air.
Peters also recalled some of her past favorite entries in the competition. “Some of my favorites are a bust of Spamela Anderson, the Miss Spamerica beauty contest, Goodland’s own Spamsters and Spamamogram. That was probably my favorite,” Peters said.
The contest also included a professional division for chef’s from local restaurants such as Roy's of Naples, Verdi’s and the Little Bar.
Sandy Bryson, who entered her Spam Bombs, has been competing in the Spammy Jammy since it started.
“It’s just good clean fun, and I love Spam,” Bryson said. “There’s something about the smell and the texture … working with it and cooking with it, and all the dogs and cats from all over that come and beg at the door.”
Peggy Koelle, a concierge of the Marco Marriott, was one of the four judges and has been one for the past three years. Koelle was wearing a Spam can “judge” necklace around her neck.
“They’re all phenomenal,” Koelle said. “This is a very creative group, and people do not understand. They think, oh, it’s something made out of Spam. They don’t realize the creativity and the true art that goes into it. We’re always totally amazed.”