Food - Drink
The Ingredient That Makes Boston Baked Beans Special
By TALIN VARTANIAN
Slowly simmered in water, sweetener, spices, and salted pork, Boston baked beans have the perfect balance of sweet and salty, but what is it that makes Boston baked beans so special? The answer lies in the specific kind of sweetener they use, and it’s not honey, granulated sugar, or maple syrup.
Molasses — a type of sugar similar to honey and agave syrup in texture, but much thicker and nutrient-dense — is what enhances the flavor and texture of Boston baked beans. The calcium in molasses maintains the firmness of the beans, making them less prone to breaking down or becoming mushy.
Molasses also gives a beautifully rich hue to baked beans, as well as a less pronounced taste of sweetness, since molasses isn’t as sweet as regular sugar. To make Boston baked beans at home, stick to a traditional recipe that calls for molasses for rich, tasty, and subtly sweet flavor notes.