WELLESLEY — Those who know Susumu “Sus” Ito, 93, know that he is a Nisei (second-generation Japanese-American), a Congressional Gold Medal recipient from World War II’s legendary all-Japanese-American 442d Regimental Combat Team, an emeritus professor at Harvard Medical School, a furniture maker, photographer, dad, and grandfather.
But what many may not know is that Ito is also a master at Spam musubi, the Hawaiian snack made with the infamous canned ham and rice. Spam musubi is part of a cuisine adapted by Japanese immigrants who settled in Hawaii in the first half of the last century. One of their specialties was rice balls (musubi). GIs stationed in Hawaii had in their rations cans of Spam, the meat product made by Hormel Foods with pork shoulder, ham, and spices, says Ito.