Hormel GÖTEBORG Kauai Label Design

Hot off the heels of the Hormel SPAM Hawaii Label Design Contest (which voting for the best one has just ended last night), I present to you my first attempt at a label design in an effort to promote Hormel’s other “Crazy Tasty” mystery meat,  their Göteborg Sausage.

“What in the heck is Göteborg Sausage?” you may ask?  If so, there’s quite a bit of information and discussion about it that both I and my wonderful readers have posted and commented about in the past, both here and here.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it once again, one of my absolute all-time favorite comments made to date on this blog has to go to “Anahola Tita”, who gave her two cents (and then some!) about Göteborg Sausage, where back in 11/09 she wrote…

“OMG Guteberg! Yummo !! I am Kaua’i girl born/raised from Anahola Hawaiian Homes … My mom used to work at Kojima Store in Kapa’a–and the meat market in the back of the store was Da Bes’ Meat Market on the island … they were, and still are known for their marinated Kal Bi — and GUTEBERG !! Already sliced in the perfect 6mm cut, plastic wrapped in foam trays –you can just walk in the store and pick it up in the meat section … along with trays of marinated kal bi … just down the road, literally, at Pono Market, you can get Guteberg Musubi–gotta go early or else sell out … whenever I go back home … those two stops are a must! And of course Hamura’s, Hanamaulu Cafe, and if I can make it to Lawai Store.

I’d like to share what I remember from either someone sharing with me or perhaps reading about, or maybe a combination of both–The History of Guteberg on Kaua’i evidently traces back to GERMANY. It is a German Sausage or Salami — similar to Italian sausage, etc. — it’s a European-style deli sausage. It was introduced to the island of Kaua’i when a German Stone Wall builder moved there back in the plantation days, and was hired to build stonewalls for the plantation owners, mostly on the West side of the island — as is evident by all the old, man-made stone walls that are strewn around the island. The story goes that he introduced the sausage to the plantation owners he was hired by … and they introduced it to the plantation workers — at lunchtime — the one thing that every culture had in common — FOOD … it became customary for all the different cultures to share food … it became sort of a fun way to get to know each other and have respect for different cultures. People couldn’t speak to each other — they all spoke different languages — so food became a universal language … and that is how they started to learn about each other. Guteberg was the “Haole” man’s “kokua” or contribution to the lunchtime pot luck.

Anyways–I live on O’ahu now…married with child. My husband is from NY and looooves Guteberg–he’s part-German…I looooove German sausage…(and Guteberg too…ahem!)–my mom lives with us now…she’s the one that used to work at Kojima’s…gotta have her saussage…so we satisfy our Guteberg urges @ Marukai Dillingham. Although we found it in other stores, she looooooves the butchers there … and they loooooove her too — she’ll grab a long thing of sausage and walk up to the butcher’s sliding glass windows and press their button … and they slide the door open with big smiles on their faces … and she’s holds the sausage up in front of her — like, facing longways towards them … and she says … “I like ‘em t’ick (thick)” … aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha !! Crack Up!! Yah!! One Full-On Potagee Gramma asking the butchers at frickin’ Marukai if they can give her “6″ — serious !! She go, “You Can Do 6?” aaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha !! Da guys look at me and dey turn all red — dark-skinned filipinos !! you can see ‘em blushing !! aaaaaaaahahahahaha !! And they have no idea that my mother has no idea … hahlarious !! frickin’ cartoons I’m tellin’ you!! A bunch of deers with no eyes (no eye dear…no idea…never mind)…alrighty then–

btw … having a brain fart right now — wanna address the comment about the difference between UFOs and Flying Saucers …. Das Right !! ONLY ON KAUAI !! No other island has Flying Saucers … Kaua’i people know the difference … Kaua’i may be full of spacey people, but the upside of that is, they can tell the difference between UFOs and Flying Saucers … that’s what happens when you live on another planet …

kden — gotta get going — long over due for a visit to marukai…my mom was just saying she hasn’t “had it” in awhile … aaaaaaaaahahahaha!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha !! hoo boy … classic … hey–at least she’s free entertainment … toodles all !!”

~ Anahola Tita

LOL TO DA’ MAX! CLASSIC! I swear, I almost fell of my chair in laughter, as well as enlightenment after first reading that. So cute, you gotta’ love her!

Seriously though, note that she mentions “Flying Saucers” and “UFOs”, which (given my readers provide accurate information), come to find out “Flying Saucers” are NOT a slang name for Kauai’s beloved Göteborg Musubi, but actually a type of saucer-shaped pressed hamburger sandwich. Which another reader named “Roger” explains like this, “Well as for the flying saucer, I remember it only at Bon Dance time and some other time. Two slice of bread, ground beef with a slice of cheese inside, toasted over heat in a saucer shape. Loved those at Bon Dance time… could eat a dozen of them.”

So anyhow, as you may now have read in those links all about Göteborg Sausage, this is truly a “Kauai thang”, that’s slowly making its way across Oahu, and perhaps the other neighbor islands and beyond, thanks to the internet no doubt. I seriously think Hormel should consider boosting their marketing strategy for this otherwise obscure, yet absolutely “Crazy Tasty” sausage!

Therefore in light of their SPAM Hawaii Label Design campaign, I hereby propose to Hormel this “starter” idea for an exclusive Hawaii label design to help market and boost sales of their Goteborg Sausage. Above you see a mock-up of how it would look on the product. Here’s another pulled back view (it looks crooked, but that’s how the original label was placed, which my label design covering superimposed)…

Yes, that Göteborg Sausage measures about 17″ in length, and weighs in at an equally quantifying 3¼ pounds. Whoah! Which is about the average size, as each sausage varies just a bit in weight, hence the meat produce label from Times Supermarket which gives the specific weights and measures price.

Speaking of supermarkets, the Kaheka Don Quijote currently has Göteborg Sausage in stock at a cheaper price than that, running $5.49/lb. vs. $5.99 in this example, which I purchased a few years back from the Times Supermarket’ Kahala location.

Here’s how the current Hormel Göteborg Sausage label looks like…

As for my Göteborg Sausage exclusive Kauai/Hawaii “rough draft” label idea, I pretty much “cockaroached” (borrowed/stole) the design concept from my SPAM Hawaii label design, which once again looked like this…

With that, here’s a proof copy version of my “Kauai’s Favorite” Hormel Goteborg Sausage label design proposal…

While that comment by “Anahola Tita” was certainly playful and comical, underneath it all, it was VERY informative, and the most information I could dig up yet online about the history of Göteborg Sausage on the “Garden Isle” of Kauai.  So I took the core information from her comment and did a little “history blurbage” on my “Kauai’s Favorite” Hormel Goteborg Sausage label design. I’m going to copy and paste that “blurbage” into text form here, mainly so I can eventually quickly find it on Google…

“Goteborg Sausage is said to have been introduced to the Hawaiian
island of Kauai by a German stone wall builder, hired to do work
on the lavish estate homes of wealthy plantation owners living
primarily on the west side of the beautiful “Garden Isle”.

Upon savoring the great taste of this European Sausage delicacy,
these plantation owners then shared it with their multi-cultural
plantation workers, and the rest is history.

Similar to the iconic “SPAM® Musubi”, one of the most popular
ways Kauai folks enjoy this “Crazy Tasty” Swedish sausage is as
“Goteborg Musubi”. An East-meets-West fusion sushi type of morsel,
made simply by topping sauteed slices of Goteborg Sausage with
tightly-pressed, flattened balls of rice,
and then sprinkled with Japanese
Furikake Nori for that
flavorful finishing touch.

Enjoy with Aloha!”

That’s the “blurbage” part. As for the graphical elements, notice I made the “Hawaiian” Tapa print stand out a bit more on the yellow gradient bordering each side of the vertical label design. I also threw in the widely used and abused Lauhala mat as a background for  the Göteborg Musubi “serving suggestion” image. Most important of all though with my design is the trademark “look” of the classic SPAM label design, with the blue vertical band coming from the top, while using the “Cooper” font to spell out GÖTEBORG.

Oh, speaking of “Ö”, in case you’re wondering what those two dots are above the letter Ö, it represents the German Umlauted form of O, which is best explained in this Wikipedia article.

Last but not least, I threw in my favorite design element from my SPAM Hawaii label design, the “SPAMWICH ISLES”. I was going to superimpose Goteborg Sausage as the islands’ background, but didn’t think “Goteborgwich Isles” had the same “ring” to it as “SPAMWICH ISLES”, so left it as that, while making reference to the widely known SPAM product in that final part of the “blurbage” (we like to use that term a lot in the advertising biz).

Anyways, that’s my design, to which of course still needs some tweaking and other ideas thrown in or tossed out. I’ll play with it more both graphically and conceptually if Hormel Foods decides to contact me on this and/or take it to the next level.

I’ll just finish this post with some photos of Goteborg Musubi that I’ve featured here on The Tasty Island in the past…


JOBO’s Goteborg Musubi from The Poke Bowl at Ward Farmers Market (on Oahu)

This is the photo I “pathed out” in Photoshop and used in my label design. Note, “The Poke Bowl” in Ward Farmers Market is no longer there, but they are indeed still around under the name “Paina Cafe”, located right across the street in Ward Warehouse. I must also note, ever since “The Poke Bowl” came around, it seems there’s been plenty of COPY CATS around town doing the same thing they introduced, which is namely as advertised, “Poke Bowls” and what we have here in the form of “Goteborg Musubi”.

Take for instance, you can now find deli-prepared Goteborg Musubi on Oahu at select Times Supermarkets, as well as even Tanioka’s in Waipahu!…


Goteborg Musubi from Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering

Notice Tanioka’s totally flipped the “Jobos” Poke Bowl Goteborg Musubi design upside down to make it “their own”. Essentially “different but da’ same”, and still mighty tasty thanks to that wonderfully savory-meets-salty, absolutely onolicious Goteborg Sausage.

Here’s a good cross-cut view…

Simplicity at its best. Still, if you ask me, I’d throw an Ume in the middle!

Speaking of which, I did one “epic” post in the past here titled the “Goteborg Musubi Project“, where I took a variety of Japanese picked vegetables and other side dish specialties called “Tsukemono” (which I LOVE) and topped them on Goteborg Musubi for the ULTIMATE sampler plate. Ch-ch-check ’em out…


Goteborg Musubi – a specialty from Kauai – with 7 varieties of toppings

From front to back, that’s Beni Shoga (the red stuff), Kim Chee, Goma Konbu (the black stuff, second row on the far left), Kyuri Zuke, Iriko/Beni Shoga, while on the back row is Ume/Nori Wrap and finally the classic Kauai classic Furikake-topped Goteborg Sausage.

In that same post, I also provided a bunch of photos of what a Goteborg Sausage looks like unwrapped…

All jokes and innuendo comments you may want to make aside, rest assured (or lest you have sleepless nights), this is indeed one HUGE honkin’ log ‘o meat!

Here it is all chopped up and ready to hit da’ frying pan (or ehem, excuse ’em wah, “Saute Pan)…


Here’s a closer look at each slice

Where there’s salty meat, gotta’ get rice!…

Fry ’em up…

A key thing to note here is how the Goteborg sausage slices naturally become concave in shape, forming a “cup” that conveniently holds the soon-to-be-added rice!

While you let the piping hot Goteborg sausage slices drain on a paper-towel-lined plate, now’s the time to make some Musubi to add to it. Do that by taking freshly cooked rice that’s been cooled to room temperature and pack it into tightly into ball-shaped form about the size (or a little larger) than the diameter of the Goteborg slices, “creatively” using your hand that’s been wet with lightly salted water (for seasoning and so the rice doesn’t stick). Then flatten the small ball of rice into a thick wafer-like shape, as a fully-spherical rice ball shape symbolizes death in Japanese custom. Just squash it and you’re good, where you’ll live a long and prosperous life. Then top your thick wafer-shaped ball of musubi rice on the inner-cup of each fried (sauteed) Goteborg Sausage slice, which should then look like this…

There’s nothing that “glues” the musubi rice to the Goteborg Sausage “cup”. It just kinda’ sits on it, yet it works, no worries.

At this point,  you can either eat da’ buggah plain laddat (eat that sucker plain, just like that). Or top each Goteborg Musubi with your favorite ‘kine stuffs (types of garnishments), which as previously mentioned, may look somethin’ like this…


The Tasty Island’s Goteborg Musubi Project

Mmm, mmm, MMM! Crazy Tasty!

Alexis Jordan – Happiness
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26jKtELitQE

David Gilmour – Then I Close My Eyes (live)
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD7NXzmXMqk

David Gilmour – Where We Start (Live)
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGcJgdIfAX8

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22 thoughts on “Hormel GÖTEBORG Kauai Label Design

  1. They are the cutest musubi. I credit the snack counters at the old Big Save markets for inventing the Goteberg musubi. That is where I first saw it and that was many,many years ago. Now all over. Most prominently at Ishihara’s Store in Waimea. and a famous addition to the Bento plate at Tip Top Motel.

  2. Pat, I believe to this day, nobody can truly PROVE who “invented” the SPAM MUSUBI. With all due respect, I have to doubt Big Save “invented” or first introduced Goteborg Musubi to Kauai. Anyone else care to claim who or where Goteborg Musubi was first created and introduced?

    Gotta’ say though, I LOVE when folks drop names of mom ‘n pop stores that I never heard of before. Therefore, on my next visit to Kauai, I’ll most definitely head out to Ishihara’s Store in Waimea (which is convenient, because da’ GF’s Lola lives in Kekaha), so big mahalo for da’ tip!

    Supposedly Cafe 100 in Hilo “invented” and named the Loco Moco, which even THEN I beg someone to challenge them on that claim!

    Speaking of unique Kauai inventions, I found this photo of a “Flying Saucer”, bought at a Bon Dance!…

    Koloa, Kauai: Koloa Hongwanji Obon - "Flying Saucer"

  3. The Hukilau Honolulu occasionally serves their take on the Goteborg with a crisped slice of Portuguese sausage on the bottom with sticky fried rice on top… you know I’m a wine guy but this is winnahs with an ice cold Stella Artois…

  4. yumm… thanks for the memories. my grandpa helped make flying saucers at koloa hongwanji bon dances, so my cousins and i ate lots and lots of them. also ate alot of goteberg sausages from Kukuiula store

  5. We always had Flying Saucers at carnivals growing up. But I do not remember the cheese so much. Was more like sloppy joes, perhaps with a bit of cheddar or American.

  6. lvgirl and pat, if either of you could explain an exact recipe or method on how to make an authentic “Flying Saucer” that’s sold at the local Kauai Bon Dance, how would you say it’s done?

    Is there a need for special equipment to get that disc-like shape? When you say it’s like a “Sloppy Joe”, do you mean it’s drenched in a tomato-based sauce? As for cheese, is it placed in the middle, or is the cheese combined in the ground beef mixture? I’m totally in the dark on this, yet very interested about it!

    I’d also appreciate any explanation on what Kauai folks refer to as a “UFO”. Between that and “Flying Saucer”, I’m totally confused!

    Sheesh, Anahola Tita was right, you Garden Isle folks really are “spacey”. lol! j/k

  7. Pomai, different places have different recipes. What I taste is hamburger, salt, and something like a very light mixing with Del Monte sloppy joe mix. But I have had others that taste distinctly different. They were much more common when I was a kid and the county fairs and carnivals had them. In fact they are being sold in Waimea today for the Waimea town celebration. A huge event with rodeos, races, competitions of all sorts etc.
    http://advault.kauaiworld.com/SS/Page.aspx?secid=97695&pagenum=3&sstarg=&facing=false&

    As for the cooking, yes. There is a 2 candled apparatus with a sort of clam shell at the end one slice bread, add mixture, second slice, squeeze and put on fire. They all look very old and are clearly well maintained. Since I remember then all the way back from the early 50’s, I am going to guess it was a far more common thing back in the days.

  8. Pomai, after reading your other bloggers comments and recipe ideals on spam I went crazy with spam meat jue and goteborg sausage meat jue serve with rice. I did try other type of spam and turkey one still taste like spam not really turkey. The bacon one not bad with egg grill for breakfast and in a egg and bacon spam sandwich or grill with in BLT type sandwich serve with potato salad.

  9. Nate, actually both of my Hormel label designs were done almost entirely in Adobe Illustrator, with most of the artwork (line art, outlined fonts and gradients) ideally vectorized (mathematically-pathed) versus being rasterized (pixelated).

    Pat, whew, glad you clarified that you meant to say “handled” and not “candled”. When you first said “candled” I thought, “Oh brother, this is sure gonna’ be one tough cooking device to find or design myself”!

    But WOW, I notice in that article you linked covering the 34th Annual Waimea Town Celebration going on this weekend, that they will also feature “Pronto Pops”. Hey, that’s a MAUI thing! My girlfriend remembers them quite well, and in fact I have an awesome new cookbook titled “What Maui Likes to Eat”, that includes a recipe for “Pronto Pops”! Evidently they’re kinda’ like a corn dog (hot dog on a stick), except the Pronto Pup batter is made with an egg, water, cream, sugar, flour and drum roll please…. BISQUICK. Aha! Das’ da secret!

    If there’s one place I will make DEFINITELY make sure to visit on my next hop to Kauai, it will be Ishihara Market in Waimea, fo’ sho’!

    Pat (or anyone else on Kauai), if you go to the Waimea Town fair today, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take a photo of a Pronto Pup and/or Flying Saucer and email it or post it online me, and also explain EXACTLY what you taste about it. Mahaloz!

    Kelike, what is a “SPAM meat jue”? Or do you mean JUS, as in Au Jus? When I think “SPAM meat jus”, I’m thinking that slime-like “mystery goo” stuff it’s coated with in the can, which as of lately seems Hormel has done away with. As for a Goteborg Sausage “Jus”, there’s absolutely NONE right outta’ the package, and I don’t even wanna’ THINK how you would make such a thing. Just nasty. lol

  10. Pomai, It like Korean Meat Jun not Jue my wrong in spelling it. Dip into batter and fry it serve it sauce and rice. I contact the Hormel if if they could sponcer me in a lunch truck to promote their products and using it in many dishes to sell. Who know maybe other companies might do the same for young food vendors trying to start out.

    In the lunch trucks rally not too long ago there was indeed too many truck selling taco this taca that but no truck selling Asian noodle dishes. My friends are looking into noodle lunch truck business.

  11. Kelike, ah, SPAM Meat Jun. Speaking of which, I’m looking forward to trying the Chive Jun at Ah Lang, a highly raved about Korean restaurant on Yelp that’s apparently run by just 1 lady, whom I hear is quite the character.

    As for starting a noodle-based lunch truck business, I think that’s a great idea, and certainly different than all these taco trucks popping up. I’m trying to think of some clever names for such a lunch truck business. How’s about “Chow Fun Mobile”. Or “Da’ Rolling Noodle”. Or how about simply “Nudoz” (deliberately misspelled). You could even play off that one and hire lingerie-clad servers like the ones at Wild Bean Espresso. Cha-ching! $$$$$

  12. Göteborg Musubi… another thing to try out when I go back thru Honolulu on the way back to Kwaj… now how am I gonna smuggle me a log of Göteborg back on the plane with me? I can try getting it ordered from our island’s supermarket, Surfway.

  13. Pomai, as one of the public who buy from food business I do agreed on too many taco trucks businesses out there. What is wrong with these food vendors no originality at all. Kelike’s friends ideal sound so good that way to make money something so different and fresh. I hope they make it and sell Singapore Rice Noodle one of my fav.

  14. So this is a sausage originally comes from Germany, has a danish flag on it, swedish colors on the label and is named like a swedish city(close to where i live). I dont get it..?? 😛

  15. Pomai, thanks for linking to my photo (of the flying saucer). In the same set of photos you can see a not-so-close photo of it where you get a sense of its thickness. I also have a photo of the booth at the bon dance where my wife and I bought it. It was a while ago but I agree it was kind of like a ground beef sloppy joe. Don’t remember any cheese though. Hope to make it back someday and try it again!

    Koloa, Kauai: Koloa Hongwanji Obon - Nikki
    Koloa, Kauai: Koloa Hongwanji Obon - Food Stands

  16. Jshyun, mahalo for the links (and the photos). Some of the best I’ve found on the web yet.

    Come to find out, the tool they use to make “Flying Saucers” is called a “Toas-Tite” Sandwich Maker, which looks like a pair of long-handled tongs with a “saucer-shaped” die-cast molded metal sandwich press on the end. While no longer being manufactured, there’s a few vintage models up for auction on eBay if you do a search on that name.

    Elin, I thought the exact same thing. Yet what I think it probably was, is a misunderstanding or interpretation on where this “German” Stone Wall Builder was actually from. For all we know he could have indeed been Danish or Swedish, and whoever originated that story mistook the language of his native homeland. That’s my take on it, anyhow, and whether fact or not, it makes for an interesting little “story” on the label. Of course Hormel would have to check all legal concerns before sending that to press for the label design.

    Kimo, well, I wouldn’t say the Taco Truck trend lacks originality, as the “Kogi” Korean Taco Trucks on the mainland are very, very successful. Thanks in part to Twitter of course, which is BRILLIANT. If any business owner was smart, they’d be “Gorilla Marketing” using online networking tools whenever and wherever possible, which have proven VERY EFFECTIVE.

    Pat, “Fun Chow” is a good play-off name, yet I to me it sounds a little too “Chinese-ee”, although I do get the generalized point of its “ring”.

    Chuck, I seriously think Hormel should be slicing the Goteborg Sausage and selling them in smaller, more convenient deli-style packs, like many other sausages (such as salami and pepperoni) are sold. I mean, who really is going to eat (even as a bunch of people) an entire LOG of Goteborg in one sitting? They’d get a stroke doing that! lol

    Kelike, “Just Noodling Around” is perfect. Literally ROLL with it! The http://www.JustNoodlingAround.com domain name is currently available, so hurry up and register it!

  17. I am in my 40’s and have co-workers here in their 50’s and we all were raised eating Goteborg sausage as long as we can remember. The only one here that hasn’t eaten it is a guy from Oahu. KTA stores here sells them in smaller portions. It has always been a staple in local fishermen and hunters bentos.

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