Have You Noticed That Maine’s B&M Baked Beans Don’t Taste the Same?
A lot of you have noticed. In fact, a Reddit thread about just how watery and undercooked the beans are has inspired an article in the Portland Press Herald.
A common complaint is that the beans, now baked in several factories in the midwest, are watery and undercooked. One woman cooked the beans for a couple more hours just to get them softer - like they used to be.
Portland's B&M Baked Beans factory closed in 2021 and with it closed a rich history so much a part of Portland and all of Maine. Burnham & Morrill Co. started canning food at the factory that still stands (for now) back in 1867. They started selling their famous beans in 1927. What a lifesaver for New Englanders who love the comfort food of slow-cooked beans, but don't have that kind of time. It's an all-day process to make baked beans and B&M did that for ya.
Some Mainers have a few cans of the old recipe. These are the good beans with the original recipe and they are holding onto them for special occasions. People are taking to social media to complain about the new beans. Some think that it's because the new makers didn't take the giant iron bean pots with them. Others think the beans are steamed and not baked. According to the Press Herald, B&M employees could take the pots home with them, which some did, to use them as flower planters or fire pits.
There truly was something magical about that factory, those iron pots, and the care that went into making those beans. I don't think the midwest has a clue about the history of those beans. A lot of people are looking for a new baked bean to love...
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