Since the coronavirus outbreak truly exploded in March, canned foods have been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. While the usual culprits – tuna, soups, and sauces – have been flying off the shelves, there are some products that pre-pandemic were nearly extinct from the shelves and have since made a comeback. One of the most prominent of these is New England’s canned bread.
Canned Bread Has Made a Comeback in New England
As someone who is not from New England, my stomach nearly revolted just upon reading the words “canned bread”. Who could possibly eat that stuff?
As it turns out, a whole lot of people from New England. Not only did they eat it, but they liked it.
A Product of Nostalgia
While not everyone was a fan, certainly most adults from New England have tried B&M’s Brown Bread in a can. It comes in both plain flavor and raisin. (1)
B&M has been making canned bread since the 1920s. Like many canned goods, this was a product out of war time and the industrial revolution. It was easy, fast, and inexpensive. It came especially in handy when the men went off to war and mothers had to both work in the factories and still raise and feed their children. Baked beans and brown bread (from a can) was a staple dinner in many households well into the 1970s. (1)
Nostalgia aside, what does bread in a can actually taste like? According to Terri Peters who purchased and tasted the bread for her article on Today.com, it’s not so much bread as it is a muffin or a sweet loaf. She, herself was quite surprised by how much she and her family actually enjoyed it. The flavor, texture, and freshness of the bread were unexpected. (1)
Is Canned Bread Healthy?
In short – no, it’s not (though you probably knew that). You shouldn’t consider making this product a regular staple to your dinner table. As I said, it’s more of a sweet bread than a proper, whole-grain loaf.
Instead of buying canned bread, you are far better off making bread at home. This way you can control the ingredients and preservatives that you are feeding yourself and your family. Check out some of these bread and loaf recipes for you to try:
- Quick Strawberry bread (vegan and gluten-free options)
- Coconut Lime Bread (dairy and gluten-free)
- Cast-iron Skillet Bread
As always, the more you can choose whole nourishing ingredients, the better. If you choose to try canned bread out of curiosity, I don’t blame you. That being said, maybe keep it to a one-time thing and stick to making bread loaves yourself. If you’d like to try making your own authentic loaf of New England Brown Bread, you can check this recipe out.