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Baked beans is a dish containing beans, baked (or, despite the name, usually stewed) in a sauce. Most commercial canned baked beans are made from haricot bean, also known as navy beans - a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris - and sold in a sauce.

A similar dish is pork and beans and bean recipes which include pork are often referred to as baked beans.

In the United Kingdom, tomato sauce is most commonly used. In the U.S., Bostonmarker baked beans use pork and a sauce of molasses and are so popular the city has become known as Beantown. Maine and Quebec-style beans often use maple syrup.

History

New and old versions of the Heinz brand


The beans used in the dish are all native to North America and the USA and were introduced to Italy in 1528 and France by 1547. Beans, squash and maize were grown together by Native Americans using the Three Sisters method of farming. According to alternative traditions, sailors brought cassoulet from the south of Francemarker, or the regional bean stew recipes from northern France and the Channel Islands.

Most probably, a number of regional bean recipes coalesced and cross-fertilised in North America and ultimately gave rise to the baked bean culinary tradition familiar today.

While many recipes today are stewed, traditionally beans were baked in a ceramic or cast-iron bean pot. Bean hole cooking as practiced in Maine's logging camps used stone-lined fire pits where the bean pots would be buried to cook overnight or longer.

Canned beans (often with pork) were among the first convenience foods. Canned salt pork and beans with stewed tomatoes was supplied to the US Army during the American Civil War in the 1860s. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated in 1996 that It has for years been recognized by consumers generally that the designation 'beans with pork,' or 'pork and beans' is the common or usual name for an article of commerce that contains very little pork. This is typically a piece of salt pork to add fat to the dish.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the term baked beans refers almost exclusively to canned beans in a tomato sauce. Some people regard baked beans as integral part of the modern Full English Breakfast. As the top selling brand of baked beans, historically the H. J. Heinz Company has become synonymous with them, although the growing popularity of other brands has reduced this. Heinz Beans were first sold in the UK in the upmarket Fortnum & Masonmarker store in London as an exotic import at a high price. Although they are now a staple food, and arguably a downmarket one, the store continues the tradition of selling Heinz Beans among its more expensive wares.

British supermarkets may sell store brand baked beans for less than thirty pence a tinned can although some premium organic brands may be as expensive as £1.50. Baked beans are a classic example of a "loss leader", a product sold by supermarkets for an abnormally low price, often less than cost. Baked beans have recently begun appearing in conjunction with other foods, such as a filler inside sausages, as a sidedish with bacon, or as a pizza topping. An estimated 95% of baked beans are consumed in the UK

Heinz Beanz

The Heinz company markets their product in the UK under the name "Heinz Beanz" (before July 2008 as "Heinz Baked Beans"), in reference to a 1960s advertisement campaign which used the slogan "Beanz Meanz Heinz". The strapline for this campaign is likely to have emerged from an earlier market research report authored by Professor Gerald Goodhardt. The principal finding of that market research report was that consumers associated the Heinz brand with baked beans, and little else. This finding was subsequently adopted by Heinz's advertising agency.

Globally

In the United States, Bush's is the top producer of baked beans, and the company produces several flavors. Most of these products are in a very sweet sauce with little tang. By comparison, home-made baked beans are considerably tangier.

There are substantial differences between the Heinz baked beans sold in the UK and the nearest equivalent USmarker product (Heinz Premium Vegetarian Beans). The US beans contain brown sugar where the British beans do not, and the US product contains 14g of sugar per tin compared to 7g for the British version (equating to 140 vs 90 calories). The US beans have a mushier texture and are darker in colour than their UK counterpart. For several years, the UK Heinz Baked Beans have been available in the US, either in different sized cans than those sold in the UK or in a 385 gram can (the same can as the 415 gram can in the UK) with an "export" label with American English spelling and the word "baked" dropped from the title on the label. These are sold in many US specialty stores.

In New Englandmarker baked beans usually are sweetened with maple syrup, and are traditionally cooked with salt pork in a beanpot in a brick oven for a full day.

In southern states along the eastern seaboard of the US, the beans become tangier usually due to the addition of yellow mustard. Ground beef also becomes common alongside bacon in these beans. They take on a flavor similar to Cowboy Beans, a similar popular dish.

In Polandmarker, with addition of bacon these are known as Breton Beans (fasolka po bretońsku).

Many unusual dishes are made with baked beans including the baked bean sandwich. These are slices of bread topped with beans and other additions, such as melted cheese.

Traditional cuisines of many regions claim such recipes as typical specialities, for example:



Health

In 2002 the British Dietetic Association allowed manufacturers of canned baked beans to advertise the product as contributing to the recommended daily consumption of five-six vegetables per person. This concession was criticised by heart specialists who pointed to the high levels of sugar and salt in the product. Some manufacturers produce a "healthy option" version of the product with lower levels of sugar and salt.

Baked beans are known on occasion to cause a considerable increase in flatulence following consumption.

References

External links




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