herald

Monday 25 September 2017

Price points: Baked beans

Baked beans in tomato sauce were first sold in Britain by Heinz in the late 19th century and Heinz remains Britain's biggest brand. In Ireland we prefer Bachelors and, according to Bachelors' website, we have the highest consumption of baked beans per capita in the world (5.6kg per person per year) with Britain in second place at 4.4kg per person.

Baked beans on toast is the original fast food and a satisfying reminder of childhood.

Baked beans are one of the more nutritious staples in the Irish diet and as a slow energy release food they are generally praised by nutritionists. Most beans in our sample were about 90 calories per 100g but Heinz was 73, Lidl 65, and SuperValu just 62 per 100g.

All beans were purchased in 420g tins and heated in a warm oven in ramekins labelled on the bottom to ensure we were not influenced by classic brands.

While there were many similarities, and none of the beans were unpleasant, there were two clear winners with Bachelors just shading it -- a nice win for a home team.

Bachelors €0.75

Very solid tomato flavour, good bean taste and texture and nice acidity from the tomato sauce. Balanced and very tasty.

9.25/10

Heinz €0.80

Good blend of tomato and bean flavours. Most expensive but you do get what you pay for.

9/10

Superquinn €0.50

Sweet tomato flavour, rich sauce, solid tasty bean flavours, good balance. Good value.

7.5/10

Aldi (Corale) €0.29

A touch more barbecue flavour than tomato, but still quite tasty with good balance and pleasant, slightly meaty bean taste. The cheapest, and one of the best. Excellent value.

7/10

Lidl (Campo Largo) €0.32

Savoury flavours rather than tomato. The lack of tomato flavour lost this sample its marks. Servicable.

6.5/10

Tesco €0.49

A little too sweet, slightly lacking in bean and tomato flavours but not bad overall.

6/10

SuperValu €0.63

Slightly metallic taste, thinish sauce and a lot of broken beans gave a less than attractive look. Fair.

5/10

Dunnes €0.49

Thin sauce, lacking in flavour, too many broken beans. Fair.

5/10

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