So I happened upon some Chinese-style baked beans in tomato sauce whilst perusing the shelves of my local supermarket.
Normally I can purchase these in foreign import stores for a ludicrous price, so imagine my glee at finding these beans, which are produced on Chinese soil, for a meager 4 RMB (£0.39/$0.6). I ran back home with beans in hand and paired them beautifully with some fried eggs and bacon waiting at home, in order to make an English breakfast. Some say that English cuisine evolved from the primordial soup of Heinz Baked Beans. I don’t believe them, but I do believe that many people feel that Heinz Baked Beans are more of an English icon than say, Hugh Grant. Baked Beans are to England what instant noodles
are to China; they both provide cheap and tasty (but not wholly healthy) nourishment and are staunchly favoured by students. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Chinese food, but occasionally it’s nice to have those simple foods from back home and not have to empty out your wallet for them at a local jinkou 进口(import) store. Therefore, my discovery made my weekend.
My excitement was short lived.
Arghf! Nooo! I made a mistake. They weren’t beans. Well they were, but *sigh* they were the wrong beans. This company had taken a look at some baked beans and thought, ‘We can make those … all we need are some yellow soybeans and tomato sauce.’ Yes, alas, they used yellow soya beans, 黄豆 (huang dou). It was immediately noticeable about a nanosecond after tasting. Yellow soybeans? I enjoy eating soybeans in their various guises, but not when they are masquerading as haricot beans stewed in tomato sauce.
I’m all for the Chinese snack version of The Pizza
and milk tea,
but soybeans in tomato sauce may have to join the ranks of other Chinese ‘east meets west taste bud crossover delights‘ such as green bean ice creams and green tea tooth paste. So, it’s back to viewing baked beans as a fancy, pricey commodity only to be eaten on special occasions.