Beans for Breakfast

by | Dec 12, 2010 | Food and Drink | 5 comments

In the United States, baked beans are for barbecues — to be eaten in the back yard with hot dogs and hamburgers and potato salad. In South Africa, baked beans are for breakfast.

Joe loves baked beans on toast in the morning, but I have to say I wasn’t super excited about the idea. First off, I’m kind of a health nut and I figured that baked beans can’t possibly be healthy. Plus…beans in the morning?

But I decided to give it a go. According to Joe, All Gold baked beans are the only beans worth eating.

(Note: All Gold is also the major ketchup brand here. It’s not called ketchup though, it’s called tomato sauce. So All Gold baked beans are basically baked beans in ketchup. Confusing, I know.)

We found All Gold baked beans at Spar, the South African version of Safeway. I peaked fearfully at the ingredients list: ‘Small white beans in tomato sauce (water, tomato paste, cane sugar, salt, modified maize starch (E1401), spices)’.

I don’t think I want to know what E1401 is, but other than that, not too bad. The nutrition information was promising as well. High in protein, low in fat. Too much sodium, but it is a canned good after all.

I emptied the can into a pot, heated it for five minutes, then poured the beans over two slices of toast (one for me and one for Joe). We sprinkled emmenthaler cheese (another food I’ve discovered in South Africa — like Swiss cheese but more flavorful) and black pepper on top. I felt there was still something missing so I added a side of sliced fuerte avocado (so much better than Hass!) with a sprinkle of sea salt.

I took a bite. Yum. The key is the flavor of the sauce (er, the ketchup) — it’s much milder and more tomato-y than the sugary-tangy barbeque flavor of American baked beans.

Five minutes later, this was my plate.

Baked beans for breakfast. Who knew?


  1. clouded marble

    Yum! This reminds me, I still have a can of baked beans in the cupboard. I add a little to it though – sometimes sauteed onions and fried bacon (which makes it a bit salty), or stir-fried veggies. Egg on the side isn’t bad either.

  2. Tilly Bud

    Baked beans are a staple in the British larder – I have at least eight cans in my cupboard right now. They count as one of your five a day. When times are hard, or just when you feel like a quick and healthy meal, baked beans are a favourite. Some people love them with a baked potato.

    All Gold’s weren’t bad but I’m a Heinz baby myself.

    We don’t eat them for breakfast unless as part of a full English: eggs, bacon, sausages, etc.

  3. Evan

    I enjoy a good can of baked beans every now and again, however, I must argue with the comment that “All Gold are the only beans worth eating.” Bushes Baked Beans are phenomenal and come in countless flavors. Heinz Ketchup is also the World’s greatest, take that to be bank.

    • 2summers

      From Joe: ‘Heinz sucks compared to All Gold.’ I’m staying out of this.

  4. jrivera4

    Funny !…You can make a post out of BAKED BEANS. It would have been funnier if I’d been “baked”, when I read it…just saying.


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