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My kids are in baseball camp.  I am actively choosing to write a blog post about baked beans.  Yep, that’s how pointless I’ve become.  But this is happening.  Honest! There is some deep double meaning to all this, the bean thing, well that’s a metaphor for the sheer depth of my writing here.  Stay with me campers!

So, when I arrived in America I was aware of some intercontinental baked bean discrepancies thus:

  1. I couldn’t find the Heinz ones
  2. The main brand was Bush’s.  They looked “beany” in principle.  I bought a can of “ORIGINAL” and didn’t read the small print.  It had bacon in it! (I don’t eat bacon).
  3. To get Bush’s beans without bacon, I had to buy SPECIFICALLY, vegetarian beans.  They had VEGETARIAN written clearly on them*
  4. Bush’s baked beans were very, very sweet

*OK this seems very logical, but not when you think baked beans ARE vegetarian and that the ones with BACON in are the line extension.

*there's bacon in the bush

*there’s bacon in the bush

Anyway, 2 years in and a bit of intense research (*see methodology below), I understand the American/British cultural bean differences.  Here’s a helpful guide:

(*Research methodology:  I asked my American running friends how they ate beans on a group text)

For Americans wishing to understand Brit Beaning:

  • In England, baked beans are mainly by Heinz.  Branston do some – they make Branston Pickle and their bean sauce is .. you guessed it, Branston Pickly.  This is like a Pepsi/Coke battle.


  • Baked beans on Toast is a very common and staple light meal.  Some people put cheese on (cheddar cheese).  These are called Cheesy beans.  Really fancy Brits put marmite on the toast first, but that’s a whole other barn dance.
  • Baked beans are regularly used as a vegetable side dish.  Common applications:
    • Fish fingers, oven chips and beans
    • Sausage, mashed potato and beans
    • Fried breakfast:  Sausage, bacon, egg, mushrooms, toast… BEANS
  • In England you will NEVER find baked beans at a BARBEQUE (that which you would call a COOKOUT).  If, as an American, you were to take beans to a “Cookout-beque”, the British people would think you were doing Blazing Saddles satire and challenging them to a fart contest. (It’s worth doing though)
  • There are sub variants of Heinz beans.  One with pork sausages – like your hot dogs and a kind with curry sauce.  These aren’t really serious things.

For Brits who might go to America:

  • You can really only find Heinz beans in the tiny international section of supermarkets.  They will cost you the equivalent of about 3 quid a can and will not always be in stock.  (See ’em, buy ’em).
*none left in Kroger on Tylersville **evil laugh

*none left in Kroger on Tylersville **evil laugh

  • As mentioned, Bush’s are the main brand, (beware the bacon … and even if you do like the bacon, prepare to adjust your definition of bacon – I only ever spat it out, but I’m pretty sure it’s not bacon as you know and love it)
  • Bush’s beans are actually quite tasty.  The bean element is the same (haricot/navy).  The sauce is really sweet -s’got brown sugar in – and that’s a major selling point, not a pesky hidden ingredient like the sugar in Heinz.  Heinz beans are sweet. but If you try these, you will never detect sweetness in Heinz ever again.
  • American’s DO take beans (with bacon and brown sugar – often homemade) to cook outs WITHOUT any reference to Blazing saddles. Cookouts, as an accompaniment to hot dogs appear to be the main use!

And that’s all I have to say about it.

And the hidden metaphor?  THERE ISN’T ONE.  Ain’t no meaning to this beaning.  I’m this pointless!  Party Hearty…