Bean Town

Yes, I am packing, but catching up with emails and weblog visits first.

Rogi asked why Boston is called Bean Town. Well, sit down dears, I have a story to tell.

In the golden old days of New England when they would burn you as a witch for working on the sabbath (or was it the dunking wheel?), anyway, all the women in the community would make these pots of beans to be left at the Bakers. During services, which lasted all day, the beans would bake. At night they would have these beans with the traditional brown bread that still accompanies these tasty legumes.

The beans, mixed with molasses, became a favorite primarily because Boston was awash, as they say, in this dark, syrup (treacle to you from other continents) — a main trade commodity, unfortunately associated with slavery. These beans were such a favorite with Bostonians (probably because they’re cheap, and Bostonians are nothing if not frugal), they were called Boston Baked Beans. Hence, Bean Town.

More at About New England.

To make this an even stickier story, there was the molasses flood in 1919 that killed 21 people, a dozen horses, and one cat.

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