Baked beans and the British Empire

We’ve just had brunch – baked beans (Watties’ from NZ), toast, bacon and the last of our home grown tomatoes.

And it struck me that everywhere we’ve been that was governed by Britain in colonial times has a local brand of baked beans, as in English style baked beans in tomato sauce out of a can.

There’s Ayam in Malaysia/Singapore, Cargill’s in Sri Lanka, Wattie’s in NZ and of course SPC and Heinz here at home in Australia, even if we disloyally prefer Watties’.

Even in Abu Dhabi airport, they served English style baked beans (no bacon of course) with toast.

Now, baked beans only really became popular in England at the end of the 1800’s, with Heinz opening their first factory in the UK in 1905.

So why the rapid spread?

Perhaps it was the army – baked beans, troops for the use of – certainly that’s how Watties got into the baked beans business

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About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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