Well, well, well, it appears the staple of most kitchen cupboards , the eponymous tin of baked beans are not as they seem. They are not baked at all, they are stewed ! Heinz and the rest of the baked bean mafia have been lying to us for years.
Most commercial canned baked beans are made from haricot beans, also known as navy beans – a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris in a sauce. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, a tomato and sugar sauce is most commonly used
Baked beans are believed to be based on a Native American dish in which beans were cooked with fat and maple syrup in earthenware pots with hot stones and taught this technique to the arriving Europeans. As the pilgrims were forbidden from cooking on the Sabbath, this was a perfect solution to their dilemma as a Saturday supper of baked beans could be kept warm to serve as a wholesome and god fearing breakfast for the next day.
It was these “baked” beans, stewed with pork and molasses, which were first tinned – or canned in American speak – around the US civil war in the 1860s. Tinned beans had the happy fortune of succeeding the first tin opener, patented in England in 1855: before that, opening tins involved a lot of swearing and blunt instruments. Heinz Baked Beans originally arrived in the prestigious Fortnum and Mason in 1886 as an exotic luxury no less! ; the American company only dropped the pork from the product during second- world war rationing.
Heinz “Baked Beans” in the U.K. has a market share of over 70% and every day, 2.3 million happy Brits eat its beans from around 1m cans. Also according to the internet (so it must be true) each Heinz baked bean passes through a laser beam to check that it is the right colour