Home HistoryBoston History The ‘bean’ behind Beantown

The ‘bean’ behind Beantown

by The 100 Companies
Beantown

You’ve heard this nickname a thousand times. But where is it from?

No, there’s no massive bean sculpture in the center of the city (looking at you Chicago). In fact, the nickname was coined in the colonial days. It’s a nod to the Boston Baked Bean, a local staple from the 1600s.

The dish – featuring baked beans soaked in molasses – was so popular that sailors and traders traveling to Boston started calling the city “Beantown.” Originally a Native American recipe, the introduction of rum distilleries in the 1800s led to the addition of molasses, and thus the signature dish was born.

– Margot Calmar, The 100 Companies

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