CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) — Most people automatically imagine Hawaii when thinking of spam and rice, but the world’s largest spam musubi was just created in the small town of Clarksville, Tennessee.

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Kimo’s Hawaiian Grill is behind the 1,120-pound combination of spam, rice and seaweed. It shattered the current 628-pound record held by Ed Sugimoto, who created a monster musubi back in September, 2012, at the Rice Fest.

Dar Place and his wife Cindy own Kimo’s Hawaiian Grill.

“Found out in 2012 a record had been set there in Hawaii at the Rice Festival, 681 pounds. I’m like, ‘ah we can do that,'” Dar said.

They both lived in Hawaii for about 10 years when Dar was in the military, and love Hawaiian food.

They decided to open up their own eatery using a friend’s family recipes when they moved back to the mainland. What started as a food truck in Kentucky has now evolved into their first brick and mortar establishment in Tennessee.

Their inspiration for that record-setting spam musubi came from how challenging 2020 was.

“We’re gonna’ end it with something good and we’re gonna’ wrap our arms, giving when there’s nothing to give is the best time to give. Seeing our community struggle and where we’re located at in downtown, there’s obviously a large homeless contingent” Dar said.

The couple had some help from Hawaii to ensure everything was kept as authentic as possible.

“We do what we need to do to spread the aloha,” said Marlene Livesay, a grill worker at Kimo’s.

Livesay was born and raised on Oahu and moved to Tennessee several years ago with her husband.

She is the founder of the ‘Hui o Hawaii o Tennessee’ Hawaiian Civic Club and also teaches free hula lessons to the community. Livesay says, she aims to combine southern hospitality with the aloha spirit.

“They have the southern hospitality here, we have the aloha spirit and we’re trying to combine that, being here in Clarkesville, Tennessee,” she said.

The giant musubi — which went to feed the homeless — took 1,000 pounds of cooked rice, 158 cans of spam and 42 bags of seaweed. The official title will remain in Hawaii until Guinness World Records certifies the Tennessee spam musubi as the world’s largest.

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