Pork and beans

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For other uses, see Pork and beans (disambiguation).
A bowl of pork and beans

Pork and beans is a culinary dish that uses beans and pork as its main ingredients. Numerous variations exist, usually with a more specific name, from Fabada Asturiana[1] to Olla podrida, to American canned pork and beans.[2]

American canned pork and beans[edit]

Although the time and place of the dish's invention is unclear, it was well established in the American diet by the mid-19th century. The 1832 cookbook The American Frugal Housewife lists only three ingredients for this dish: a quart of beans, a pound of salt pork, and pepper.[3] According to the 1975 Better Homes and Garden Heritage Cookbook, canned pork and beans was the first convenience food.

Commercially canned pork and beans were introduced in the United States during the 1880s. The dish is "an American canned classic, [and] is recognized by American consumers generally as an article of commerce that contains very little pork."[4]

The recipe for American commercially canned pork and beans varies slightly from company to company, but generally consists of rehydrated navy beans packed in tomato sauce (usually made from concentrate and which may incorporate starch, sugar, salt and seasoning) with small chunks of salted pork or rendered pork fat.[5] The ingredients are cooked and packed into hermetically sealed containers and processed by heat to assure preservation.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Food and wine Asturian Pork and Beans Recipe
  2. ^ Caterersearch article Full of beans
  3. ^ The American Frugal Housewife pg 51 - Project Gutenberg free ebook
  4. ^ New York Times article That's What and Beans? Pork Defends Its Image published April 1, 1998
  5. ^ Siddiq, Muhammad, Masood S. Butt, and M. Taurus Sultan. "Dry beans: Production, Processing, and Nutrition" in Handbook of Vegetables and Vegetable Processing, Sinha, Nirmal K., et al, eds. (2010) Wiley & Sons, pp. 545-64; p. 556. ISBN 978-0-8138-1541-1.
  6. ^ "United States Standards for Grades of Canned Pork and Beans" in United States Standards for Grades of Canned Dried Beans (2006) Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, p. 12.