Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Glad Notes: The musical fruit

Have Americans really never heard of beans on toast? 

Recently a good friend of mine asked me if this Reddit thread was based in truth. It kind of is, and kind of isn't. America has beans, and America has toast, but beans on toast? Not so much. But that's because there are some subtle differences between the US and UK concept of beans.

I'm not a UK baked beans fan. I don't like the orange sweet tomato sauce - so much so that the sight of beans irks me out. In the UK beans on toast is 1. A breakfast item and/or 2. A significant part of  most UK university students' diets. Except me. It was really hard being a student in residences and having to live with other students whose diets consisted almost entirely of beans on toast.

I am a US baked beans fan though - especially BBQ maple bacon beans. The other day I heated a can and poured them over a slice of toast for what I thought would be an acceptable brunch. I may never have eaten beans on toast before, but that's the way I thought it was done. I almost caused a UK-US diplomatic-domestic incident going by my husband's reaction. In the USA beans are part of a dinner meal - a side for corn dogs perhaps.

Here are 17 random facts about beans, beans on toast, and Heinz, which is probably the most well-known bean brand in the UK. I tried to get to 57, but ran out of, er, beans.

1. According to Heinz, the company invented beans on toast in 1927. 

2. Heinz Foods was founded in Pennsylvania in 1869.

3. Pennsylvania is known as 'The Keystone State'.

4. The Pennsylvania Keystone symbol is seen on many Heinz products, including Heinz Beanz and Tomato Ketchup.

5. The first can of Heinz Beanz was sold in the prestigious London department store Fortnum and Mason.

6. Classic Heinz Baked Beanz in tomato sauce is number three of the Heinz 57 Varieties

7. I've been told I have a Heinz 57 accent because it's influenced by so many regions and is very difficult to place.

8. There were more than 60 Heinz Varieties when the marketing phrase Heinz 57 was invented.

9. Beans on toast counts towards your daily vegetable intake. 

10. During WWII the UK Ministry of Food classified baked beans as 'essential'.

11. Baked beans aren't baked, they're stewed.

12. "Old Bean" is a slightly old fashioned term of affection still used in the UK.

13. The French equivalent of "Old Bean" is "Mon Pote" but pote does not mean bean.

14. "Haricot" means "bean" - does that mean a can of haricot beans literally means bean beans?

15. "There is no physiological harm from the flatulence caused by eating beans" - The British Dietetic Association.

16. Sitting in a bath of baked beans is a common fundraising strategy in the UK.

17. The Guinness record for most baked beans eating in five minutes using a cocktail stick is 258.

No comments:

Post a Comment