top 10 ways to eat baked beans

top 10 ways to eat baked beans_title

When I started working at an ‘All-American’ bakery two months ago, I expected my English accent to stand out. Customers regularly ask me to repeat prices like ‘fourty’ and one even corrected my pronunciation of ninety from ‘nine-tee’ to ‘nine-dee’.

A favourite topic of conversation at work is my education in American food. I’ve had suggestions of what to eat all over California, from the best pastrami sandwich to split pea soup and Danish pancake balls.

When the question is reversed and they ask me what people eat in England, I draw a blank. Fish and chips? Delicious, but too cliche. Meat pies? Does anyone really still eat those? Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam? Not really a staple household meal. But when someone asked me last week I suddenly remembered what I ate regularly when I lived in England and haven’t found anywhere else in the world. Something that can probably be found in every kitchen or pantry in England and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Heinz baked beans.

Not the cans of beans soaked in barbecue sauce that you can find here, with chunks of questionable meat floating around suspiciously. Heinz baked beans are bathed in a light, slightly sweet, tomatoey sauce and are easily recognizable in their turquoise can.

The week after this conversation, one of the girls at work brought me a can of Heinz baked beans. She found them in the international section of a grocery store on her side of town and of course, she’s now my favourite.

What should I do with a can of baked beans? They are so versatile that my options seemed endless and I spent a few days making the important decision. In case you can find Heinz baked beans near you, here are the options I considered:

 

beans on toast
Beans on Toast
This is a very quick breakfast or dinner and it's perfect when your kitchen cupboards are looking a little bare. Lightly toast a piece of bread while warming baked beans in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. Serve beans on top of the toast, not beside, so that the toast gets soft as it absorbs the juice from the beans.
jacket potato with beans
Jacket Potato with Beans
Bake a potato in the oven at 425F for one hour. You can microwave it for 5 minutes instead, but the 'jacket' (skin) won't be as crispy. Cut the potato in half and half again but only cut about an inch deep, not all the way through. Heat baked beans in a pot on the stove or in the microwave and pour them over the quartered potato. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese for the ultimate comfort food.
full English breakfast
Full English Breakfast
Exactly what is included in a full cooked breakfast depends on where you are in the UK, but it will definitely include fried eggs and baked beans. There will also be bacon or sausages or both, toast or fried bread, and usually fried mushrooms and a grilled tomato. In Scotland you'll get black pudding but I won't go into that...
au natural baked beans
Au Natural
If the fridge is completely empty or you're having a lazy day, use the easy ring pull to open a can of baked beans and grab a spoon. If you're feeling fancy you can heat the beans up (not in the can! Use a bowl) but baked beans are even delicious cold.

 

In case you were wondering, I divided the tin of beans into 4 slightly stingy servings and used them for all four meals. How do you like to eat your baked beans? I’ll add any suggestions to the list to complete it!

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