Who doesn’t love a good helping of baked beans? The dish has been so popular over the years that canned beans, usually with pork, were among the first convenience foods sold in the United States and United Kingdom. Originally imported from American companies, they were first sold in the UK in 1886 as an expensive foreign delicacy.
The beans used to make baked beans, usually navy beans, are native to North America and weren’t introduced to Europe until they were brought to Italy in 1528 and France by 1547. Nowadays, baked beans are usually stewed, not baked, but the traditional recipe calls for them to be slow baked in a ceramic or cast-iron beanpot.
Boston baked beans use a sauce prepared with molasses and salt pork. They were so popular that the city came to be known as “Beantown.” In other locales, the dish is prepared with brown sugar, sugar, or corn syrup instead, and states bordering Canada’s Eastern provinces (as well as the Canadian province of Québec) sweeten the beans with maple syrup.
As you move further south, you’ll find folks adding yellow mustard to baked beans, giving them a tangier taste. If you happen to buy a can of Bush’s baked beans, you’ll usually find yellow mustard in the ingredients.
Baked beans are so easy to handle they’ve been a staple for different types of barbecue. You can serve baked beans hot or cold, so they’re really handy for those outdoor picnics and other parties you might have going on. Let’s dive into my favorite recipe. Southern BBQ Bacon Baked beans, which I think will be your favorite too!