An image depicting Boston Baked Beans

Boston Baked Beans for a Traditional Independence Day

Bostonians were eating slow-baked beans in molasses since Colonial days, but the city didn’t earn its nickname as Beantown until the early 20th century. To encourage attendance at a city-wide reunion known as Old Home Week in 1907, promoters distributed one million stickers (which were a new invention), with an image of two hands clasped above a Boston bean pot. Shortly after that, the slogan “you don’t know beans until you come to Boston” started appearing on postcards.

Today, baked beans show up on most July 4th picnic menus. For a touch of all-American tradition, try this recipe for authentic Boston Baked Beans from The Spruce. For a meatless version, slice vegetarian sausage into the beans in place of bacon.