Have you ever wondered why Boston Baked Beans are called Boston Baked Beans? It’s because of the molasses.
Families have been eating slow cooked beans since colonial times. Did you know that the pilgrims earned how to slow cook beans with maple syrup from the Native Americans? Eventually people started making their beans with molasses instead of maple syrup because it was a little bit thicker & sweeter. Add in some salt pork and voila – you’ve got yourself baked beans. In fact, in the 1700’s, baked beans were prepared on Saturday nights and left in brick ovens overnight. Because Sabbath rules forbid cooking, on Sunday, people could eat the warm beans, served with brown bread.
By the early 1900’s, Boston was a center of production of molasses and in case you didn’t know, Molasses is used as an ingredient in the distillation of rum – and baked beans. As a matter of fact, Boston was where The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 took place. A huge tank filled with 2.5 million gallons of molasses exploded and sea of of it flooded the streets of the North End. The disaster ended up killing 21 and injured 150. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Boston Baked Beans continue to be one of New England’s most-loved traditional dishes, and today I am going to share my take on Boston Baked Beans, which I make every week for game day! They’re easy to make, delicious and by grabbing my ingredients at Save-A-Lot, I save money on the stuff I need.