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Retro Candy Flashback: Boston Baked Beans

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy

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Ferrara Pan Boston Baked Beans

I was promenading the candy aisle at Ralph’s. You know, the one with those bulk candy tubs proclaiming No Sampling!, but it’s un-American not to try some. Having “sampled” this or that from about every tub, the one candy I hadn’t tried was Boston Baked Beans.

All I remember about them as a kid was that I didn’t like them, but I hadn’t tried them in maybe a decade. I hesitantly reached in to satisfy my curiosity and was surprised by what I tasted. These beans were… pleasant. I quickly grabbed a small box of the beans packed in the convenient snack-size most Ferrara-Pan candy is sold in for 25 cents.

Boston Baked Beans were released in the 1930s, and the name derives from a generic term for any sugarcoated peanut candy. Its recipe is simple. Essentially, this candy is comprised of sucrose, peanuts, and corn syrup, with various waxes and food colors thrown in for fun, which yields a rather simple flavor indicative of most candies from that era. You can even check out the virtual tour of how they are made.

Boston Baked Beans should be eaten in one of two ways. First, you can just bite right into them. They are a little smaller than a M&M, and they all are some shade of red (the ones in the tubs were brighter red than the ones in the box). Encasing each peanut is a shell of sugar, resembling the coating thickness of a chocolate-covered peanut, like Goobers. The shell’s flavor is almost neutral. Yes, you can taste the sugar, but it isn’t strong. The peanuts themselves are also unadorned; they aren’t honey-roasted or salted, just plain. When biting into them, the shell and peanut provide a nice flavor contrast inherent to natural taste of sugar and peanuts.

Another way to eat Boston Baked Beans is to suck on the shell, which dissolves in about ten seconds, leaving you with a peanut lightly covered in sugary syrup.

The reason I never went for Boston Baked Beans as a kid was that I was addicted to the bold taste of tons of sugar and artificial flavors. Now, a bit more grown up, I have come to appreciate their subtle flavor. I am not saying it’s my favorite, but Boston Baked Beans make an excellent snack candy for those moments when you don’t want the sprinting, bold taste of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and instead opt for an uncomplicated, flavorful walk.

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