Aside from the beautiful label design, Grandma Brown makes some delicious no-nonsense bean products. Just peruse the comment section of my post and you will sense the intense loyalty felt towards these beans by my fellow Upstate New York countrymen.
Something that caught my eye while reading through those comments were the repeated reminiscences concerning Grandma Brown's baked bean sandwiches. Here is such a comment from "Jim" --
"I was born in Fulton NY not far from Mexico NY.
Grandma Browns was an "institution" for any baked bean fan in our area. In the early 50's the company had a booth at the NYS Fair, and sold bean sandwiches for .15 (fifteen cents !).
There was a one block line of people waiting for them. The next year ? No GB sandwiches. Rumor had it that the "hot dog and burger" guys threatened not to come back if GB was allowed ! I believe it was true.Jim Mahern - "still a fan"!"
Baked bean sandwiches, eh? This is not a tradition that I am familiar with. Some cursory google research informed me that the baked bean sandwich seems to be a tradition out of New England. This makes sense to me. I have long said that Upstate New York (at least the eastern part) shares a common food culture with inland New England.
My initial thought was that the baked bean sandwich would have been served warm. However, it appears that the baked bean sandwich is a dish traditionally served cold. I am not averse to consuming Grandma Brown's products cold. One of my guilty pleasures is tortilla chips with ersatz bean dip made from GB's bean soup straight out o' the can. So I decided to make a traditional baked bean sandwich.
I cracked open a can of GB's baked beans and spooned some right onto a slice of Freihofer's.
Tucking in I found the bean sandwich to be thoroughly pleasant. It's one of those starch on starch concepts that scratches a very particular itch. I imagine that a bean sandwich made out of leftovers from a batch of doctored (I always add bacon and mustard) Grandma Brown's beans would be sublime.
You know what this sandwich was missing? I'll tell you my idear for the perfect GB's bean sandwich. Butter the heck out of that bread with some softened butter, squirt a little mustard onto that bread, and ensure there was some good smokey bacon involved in your bean preparation.
This is the first food project I've done in years that really made me swell with Upstate New York pride... After nearly a decade of writing this hack weblog I am still discovering new traditions from my beloved homeland!
Perhaps you should prepare some GB beans at your memorial day BBQ. Then perhaps you should make a sandwich out of the leavings. This is my advice to you.