The thought of canned bread probably sounds really, really weird, unless you’re from New England! Bread should be something from the baker’s oven, which is new, right? And if it’s at all packed, it’s usually wrapped in plastic, not in a can. Is canned bread real?
You are unlikely to see canned goods in your local grocery store’s bread aisle, so why does someone put bread in cans? This unique food product is indeed bread, but when you imagine a loaf of bread, it isn’t quite what you might think of. Who invented canned bread and what does it taste like? Let’s find out!
What is the point of canned bread?
Canned bread can be safely stored for quite a long time, and still good to eat. This means you can hide some for emergencies, or you may be and run short of food in areas, and don’t want to go shopping at grocery stores, like a holiday cabin. You could go to your booth without having to stop for food, realizing you’ve got enough canned goods on hand to last your holidays. Otherwise, canned bread sounds like a joke.
Where did canned bread come from?
What exactly had the bright idea, anyway, to put bread in a can? We should look for that reaction to the colonial New Englanders, it turns out. It is believed to have been made by early Americans with rye and cornmeal, commonly known as Boston brown bread, and it was steamed, rather than baked in an oven, simply because ovens were not always available (via The Chicago Tribune). Others added molasses to give it a better taste, and indeed, actually, it was cooked in a can.
Canned meats and vegetables were popular items with the public by the mid-1800s, according to New England Today, and Burnham & Morrill (a.k.a. B&M) was doing good business in New England. B&M eventually started distributing packaged brown bread, and today the company is still stockpiling it on shelves in the grocery store.
What does canned bread taste like?
So the big question all you non-Yankees are unquestionably asking is, “What does canned bread taste like?” Although it may not look particularly appetizing with its circles around the rim, similar to a cylinder of canned cranberry sauce, it has a slightly sweet taste because of the molasses and has a crumbly texture similar to a bran muffin. It could sometimes include raisins for extra sweetness.
Canned bread really looks like it’s one of those foods where if you’ve grown up eating it, it’s probably your heart’s special place. If not, then it may taste as good as it sounds. “It’s not very good at all,” one comment on YouTube said. “There is something odd about that. I don’t like it,” another reviewer said.