Food - Drink
The Subtle Difference between Maine and Boston Baked Beans
Boston has a well-deserved reputation for its legendary sweet and savory baked beans; at one point in time, the state's baseball team was even named the “Boston Beaneaters”. However, Maine may be able to contend with Boston’s title of the greatest spot in the U.S for baked beans; here's the history of these dishes and the difference between them.
In New England, baked beans are a dish with history. In Native American culture, beans, corn, and squash were an important staple in cooking; Algonquin-speaking tribes cooked beans by combining sweet maple syrup with savory bear fat in a ceramic pot. When molasses was introduced to the Americas, baked beans became more similar to how we know them today.
Since then, beans with molasses have become iconic in Boston and Maine, so what makes these regional styles different? It's the beans themselves. Bostonians use white navy beans or pea beans that turn into a thick paste when cooked, while Maine chefs opt for Marifax beans, soldier beans or the yellow eye bean, all of which give the dish a more earthy flavor.