Mr. Bean? No, beans. One of the most influential foodstuffs in the world typically resides in a tin with a tomato-based sauce.
Students live off them, beleaguered mothers turn to the stuff in moments of desperation, and it’s a status symbol for disgusting, lazy poor people.
But there’s much more to humble baked beans than meets the bean. Thusly, let’s take a look at this foodstuff in greater detail.
The Making of Baked Beans
If you’re British, this meal was likely a staple of your life at one time or another.
As students in Nottingham circa 2005 we survived off beans on toast (Fun fact: one of our housemates, a Yorkshire lad, didn’t realise they’re vegetables).
Indeed, without baked beans you wouldn’t be reading Professional Moron. We would have succumbed to starvation during our formative years.
In England, Heinz Baked Beans (called Heinz Beanz these days) has been around for 150 years. That’s a lot of beans!
But what is the baked bean and how do Heinz go about making the stuff? Business Insider used its vastly superior budget over ours to find out!
How you make the things is get the white beans and parboil them. Then they’re baked for an enormous amount of time in a sauce. That’s usually tomato-based.
In England we tend to stew them in a sauce. But the canned ones aren’t really baked at all, they’re sort of steamed. False advertising, eh?
Anyway, the dish is usually sneered at by foodies but a proper rustic dinner of beans of toast is hearty stuff.
Get some toasted rye bread, houmous, and you’re all set to go to Tasty Land.
Brilliant Bean Facts
Think you now know everything there is to know about baked beans!? Well, you’re wrong. So we’re throwing together these facts about beans to wow you some more.
- Baked beans “arrived” in England from 1901 and were seen as a luxury item. Yeah? Not for working class scumbags, but for posh people.
- Canned beans only came about almost three decades later, with the first use in 1928. Great news for the environment!
- England is the baked bean capital of the world. No other nation eats as much beans as us Brits, with over 1.5 million cans shifting every day.
- The Royal Family love baked beans! The Queen Mother visited the Heinz factory in 1959, with the current Queen and her man bloke visiting in 2009. It’s a bloody British institution!
- The white beans used in the tins are a type of haricot (no, that’s not Haribo you sugar addicted freak).
- Heinz uses a secret mix of spices with its tomato-based sauce. Sly of them, eh?
- During WWII, baked beans were thought of as an “essential” food for rationing purposes.
- For The Who Sell Out (1967), singer Roger Daltrey drew the short straw for the album cover. He had to clamber into a bath of baked beans. Nice!
- When we worked at a Wetherspoons pub in 2009 we regularly had customers asking us to remove the fried tomato from their full English breakfast. The typical excuse was, “Oh, it’s because I’m allergic to them.” Not a fussy eater, just allergic. At which point we’d tell them the baked beans would also need removing due to the tomato-based sauce. The look of horror on their faces. Got you! Hah! Bloody fussy eaters.