Breakfast is often called „the most important meal of the day“– Although it’s unclear, if there’s a healthy effect or not – especially the English breakfast has quite a long tradition. For me, who only enjoys breakfast on weekends, one of the best things is a good „full English“– to start the day. It’s often called a „fry-up“– cause quite everything in this meal is fried – or a „full Monty“. This one is named after the famous British General Bernard Montgomery, who started every day in combat with a full English breakfast, at least that’s what they say. It includes eggs, a grilled tomato, hash browns, bacon, sausages, black pudding and of course the famous baked beans.

Around 1528, beans came from South America to Europe. After that, influenced through well-known recipes like the French cassoulet, baked beans were born – still in very different varieties. The one, which is most popular, is a canned version. I think everybody has seen a can of Heinz Baked Beans in his life yet.

It’s somehow ironic that most of us know a traditional English dish, because of an American brand. But interestingly the beans from Heinz were first sold in 1901 in London, and still are the most-selling ones in the UK. Among the first convenience foods, the canned beans were used by the U.S. Military during World War II and became popular all over the world. It was at this time, when the ministry of Food (UK) classified them as an essential part of the rationing programme. For me, having a masters degree in history, it’s always fun to get the story behind a product. Especially when it’s part of culture.

But baked beans aren’t just a breakfast dish with a long tradition and history. In my kitchen for example, they’re an important part of chili con carne. And there are other tasty recipes you’ll need a can of beans for. Here are some of my favourites:

Baked Beans Jambalaya

Stuffed Peppers New-England Style

Baked Bean Soup

Jamie Olivers Beans on Toast

Macaroni Hot Pot

What’s your favourite dish with baked beans? Leave me a comment!

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