July is not only National Hot Dog Month – it is also
National Baked Bean Month!
and July 23rd is
National Baked Bean Day
July 13 was Beans ‘N Franks Day, which seems to be more corporate then National as ‘holidays’ go.
Back to the beans…… Boston Baked Beans are not entirely uncommon for a Saturday night in these parts, cooked with hot dogs, although some people call the dogs Franks and I never knew anyone one who said ‘weenie’ without being sarcastic. But the question is:
What’s so Boston about them?
(That is 2 questions….that’s the problem with questions – one leads into another.)
First question – It’s hard to tell what beans are used in the cans of beans, and cans of beans are perfectly acceptable, but they must be the right can. Canned beans are fine if they are
- on sale (cheaper then cheap is honorable here)
- somewhat doctored to make them to taste the way you think beans should taste.
These ‘fixin’s might include (and are not limited to):
- Nowadays, one must add BACON, which could defeat the cheaper then cheap feed purpose.
- Maple syrup or brown sugar are often suggested, but are getting away from the Boston thing
- Ketchup is also a departure from Boston, but if it makes your mouth happy, then go there.
- A little mustard mixed into the mix – be it Frenches yellow or Guldens Spicy Brown or a little mustard powder
- A splash of apple cider vinegar. This is NO PLACE for wine vinegar, white distilled vinegar, balsamic vinegar, flavored vinegar….APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. It can be added to the pot (when no one appears to be looking) . A cruet of vinegar should be on the table whenever beans are served.
With canned beans it’s OK to have favorites…
As for the Boston part….
Boston Baked Beans are
- Baked – there’s that whole brick oven notion….hence the bean pot motif:
- Flavored with molasses.
- include salt pork.
- or candy coated peanutsThere is also a whole origins mythology; beanhole backstory, which is frankly – a hill of beans