Sunday, August 03, 2008
God save British baked beans!
[Editor's note: The pot you see in the picture above belonged to my grandmother. It is perhaps my very favorite thing in which to cook things ... and I wouldn't take $1,000 for it.]
One of the things I most like about shopping at Publix Supermarkets is the fact that I can find things there that are not available in any other grocery store in town.
Publix recently added an entire section of British foodstuffs, mainly candy, condiments, and mixes for making things like shepherd's pie and chip shop curry sauce. The first time I happened upon Publix's Brit-food section, I couldn't help but be drawn to the can of Heinz Baked Beans. I couldn't help but immediately think about The Who's The Who Sell Out album -- you know, the one on which Roger Daltry is pictured sitting in a tub of baked beans holding an enormous blue Heinz can. That can hasn't changed at all in the last 41 years. I had to get me some!
The first thing I noticed when I tried imported Heinz baked beans was the fact that it wasn't nearly as sweet as the baked beans produced by American companies. I was quite impressed. I was so impressed, in fact, that I went back to Publix the next day and purchased three more cans!
For the past few weeks, I've been telling anyone who'll listen that Heinz Baked Beans are my very favorite baked beans. After my experience last night, I've had to change my tune.
I went to Publix to get some things to serve alongside the hamburgers I planned to grill. Publix had a new brand of British baked beans, Branston, and it was a little bit cheaper than Heinz. "What the heck," says I, "I'll try 'em." Try 'em I did, and they quickly supplanted Heinz as my new favorite.
Branston's beans come in a rich tomato sauce, which is slightly thicker than the one you get with Heinz Baked Beans. In addition, the sauce is a bit tangier than Heinz's, as well as a bit less salty. All in all, Heinz beans are great ... but Branston-brand is a little more great.
Next time I got to Publix, I'm gonna buy me a case of Branston Baked Beans. You think I'm exaggerating, but I ain't. So there.