Being a Californian, when I think of New England’s Finest, I think of clam chowder, or maybe Tom Brady… Not once do I think of canned Brown Bread.
Brown Bread however is a popular regional staple of New England going back to the days of the Pilgrims. As practicing puritans the Pilgrims would cook the bread, along with baked beans for Saturday night dinner. After dinner, they would leave the left overs in the oven to keep warm for eating after church as cooking was prohibited on the Sabbath.
Brown Bread is a slightly sweet steamed bread, typically cooked by steam in a can or pan. Using a variety of grain flours that give the bread it’s brown color, it is typically sweetened with molasses and maple syrup to give it a sweet flavor. Raisins are also often added for additional flavor.
Burnham & Morrill, has been selling baked beans to the New England region and beyond since 1867. As the company grew they included more product lines, including brown bread.
When opening the can, I heard a “POOF” sound. I was unsure if this was releasing air, or taking it in. Based on the steam cooking process that the bread goes through, my assumption is this is air being released from the evaporated steam or remaining CO2 from the yeast rising.
To get the bread out, you need to open both sides of the can. The top side of the bread is rounded, while the bottom is flat due to the batter being poured into the can prior to cooking.
Due to the expansion in cooking, the bread had taken on the shape of the can.
The outside of the bread felt waxy, and the whole thing felt pretty dense.
I sliced the bread into multiple slices, toasting once slice. The bread cut pretty easy and didn’t fall apart in the process.
Flavor wise, the bread tastes like a really concentrated raisin bran – heavy on the bran. The toasted slice didn’t taste much different, just toastier. I wouldn’t say this was horrible, but I’m not the biggest fan of bran flavor. It does have another good thing going for it – and that is that the can doesn’t expire until well into 2019. So, while I wouldn’t eat this on a regular basis, it would absolutely make sense to put into your zombie apocalypse/doomsday prepper survival kit.