The Taste Of Canned Bread Might Surprise You

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

New Englanders have some cuisines that might be "wicked hahd" for the rest of the states to readily embrace. One of these is a staple of their communities: canned bread, also known commonly referred to as Boston brown bread. A product of B&M, the people who make baked beans, canned bread has a history that dates back to Colonial times. Per the Clabber Girl Corporation, canned bread dates back to the 1800s when settlers realized growing wheat up North was not an easy prospect. Corn and rye, on the other hand, were plentiful and cheap, making them the perfect substitute for baking bread for the money poor. These two flours, along with wheat flour when it was available, became the foundation for this bread, while molasses was used to sweeten and give it the dark brown color that has become synonymous with canned bread.

But what sets this bread apart from other kinds of bread is that it is steamed – in a can no less – not baked. This was an invention of necessity. The hoi polloi had access to open fires but not necessarily wood-burning stoves. This made bread in a can very practical food. In fact, this evolved into the classic bread in a coffee can method that you may have cooked up with your grandmother. But, what does canned bread taste like?

Brown bread in a can tastes surprisingly good

Canned bread or brown bread is still steamed to perfection and tastes surprisingly good. According to a community member of Quora, "It is quite sweet," thanks in large part to the molasses. He notes that the texture is "granular" due to the cornmeal. Still, another member on Quora called it "delicious" and likened its texture to "soft gingerbread." And Martha Stewart calls it a "wholesome" bread. Per Atlas Obscura, to get it out of the can, remove both the top lid and the bottom, and shake it out. Once out of the can, this cylinder-shaped bread is generally sliced into hearty round discs and served with butter, cream cheese, and jam. But if it's Saturday night, many New Englanders will be serving their Boston brown bread with franks and beans piled on top.  

B&M sells their brown bread with raisins, too, and it apparently has a long shelf life of three to four years, according to Outdoor Life. So if you are prepping for a zombie apocalypse, you might want to stock up on this New England treasure, which is actually highlighted as a viable survival item by Happy Preppers. And if you like the idea of canned bread, but not the typical brown bread, you can always try these Japanese canned bread that comes in cute little panda cans and has a variety of flavors, including Coffee, Chocolate, Caramel, and Strawberry.