Tokyo - Japan offers an endless smorgasbord of the most bizarre food stuffs ever assembled in one country. Take this vending machine food fare option I spied while waiting for a train on the platform of Tokyo's Akihabara (aka "Electric Town) station: Canned bread!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. I laughed out loud for all to hear and even took a picture to share this epicurean oddity with all my friends.
Then I remembered.....
I think it may have been the only bread my mother ever made (no, that's not true, she made an out of this world delicious Irish Soda bread with just the right crumbly texture, but that was when she used to have flour). It was the perfect accompaniment to Boston style baked beans.
In his thoroughly fascinating tome, Why Does Popcorn Pop? And 201 Other Fascinating Facts About Food, best-selling author Don Vorhees explains that: "Baked beans and Boston have been together since the days of the Puritans. Work, including cooking, was forbidden on the Puritan Sabbath, which lasted from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday. Beans would be prepared on Saturday in a large pot and kept warm to feed the family over the Sabbath. Many local bakers would call on households on Saturday morning and pick up the family bean pot for baking. It would be returned by Saturday night, usually with some brown bread. The beans and bread were eaten with fish cakes for Sunday breakfast and lunch. This led to a huge baked bean business in Boston that still thrives today." I have it on some authority that Monday morning was traditionally known as the "Unholy Fart* Fest," but that's another story for a different audience.
Less urbane readers please disregard the following footnote.
*Read: "Flatulence" (forgive me dear loyal readership for the vulgarity).