Beans, beans, the versatile fruit




Putting meat in your beans

When Mr. Tidbit visited the supermarket’s bean department a month ago, he noted the large number of new and apparently-new offerings from Bush’s. And now it’s Campbell’s turn.

Three of the five varieties of Campbell’s Chunky baked beans (Original Baked Beans, Baked Beans with Bourbon & Brown Sugar, and Baked Beans with Maple Bacon & Brown Sugar) didn’t carry “new” badges, but Mr. Tidbit is pretty sure he’d never seen baked beans from Campbell’s — and certainly not from Campbell’s Chunky. Note: The labels say “Campbell’s Chunky,” but these are beans, not Chunky soups.

However, two of the Chunky baked beans are labeled “new,” and they are, at least to Mr. Tidbit, really new grocery products: BBQ Flavored Baked Beans + Chicken, and BBQ Flavored Baked Beans + Pulled Pork.

The nation’s chicken and pork farmers aren’t going to get rich off of these new items: Mr. Tidbit estimates, based on the amount of cholesterol listed on the labels, that a half-cup serving of the “+ chicken” version contains a little more than a tablespoon of chicken, and the “+ pork” version might have as much as two tablespoons of pork.

Again noting that these Chunky baked beans are not Chunky soups, Mr. Tidbit must point out that, perhaps for reasons of symmetry, Campbell’s has also introduced Chunky Spicy BBQ Seasoned Chicken with Beans Soup.


How easy is hummus?

And while Mr. Tidbit was once again visiting the Sweet Aisle of Beans, he noticed yet another new offering from Bush’s. And he believes that this, too, is a new idea: Hummus Made Easy, a pouch that you add to a drained can of (presumably Bush’s) garbanzo beans and whomp in a food processor.

How is that “easy?” one of Mr. Tidbit’s little friends wondered. Well, it’s easier than making hummus from scratch.

It is not easier than buying a tub of hummus.

But it is cheaper. At one store, the mix and garbanzos together cost $2.49, making about 15 ounces of hummus (17 cents an ounce). A 10-ounce tub of name-brand hummus at that store was $2.99 (30 cents an ounce).





Al Sicherman

Author: Al Sicherman

Al Sicherman and his used dog, Gus, live in Minneapolis. Al is on the left/

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