Do They Eat Eggs and Beans on Toast in America?

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Beans on toast.

It’s a British classic, usually part of an English breakfast, and a staple for when you can’t think of anything else to eat or are just too lazy to try. But do they eat beans on toast in America? And why don’t the baked beans in the UK tasted the same as the baked beans in America?

Fear not, as the resident American expat in London is on scene, and I am here to help.

Beans and eggs on toast

Image by David Martyn Hunt, Flickr, Licence

Hey, sidenote! If you’re traveling to the UK or live in the UK, whether for a short period of time or as an expat, why don’t you join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get advice or just look at pretty pictures of this part of the world! Just click here to request to join and I’ll add you!

Beans on toast in America is decidedly NOT a thing. And I don’t mean “not a thing,” like “some people eat it, but most of us don’t.” I mean “not a thing,” like “WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD EAT BEANS ON A PIECE OF TOAST?”

See, the baked beans in America taste different from the baked beans in the UK because baked beans in America are usually barbecue flavored. We eat them as a side dish, and they’re often filled with bacon or BBQ sauce during a summer cookout.

Baked beans in the UK, however, are just “beans in tomato sauce,” but not tomato sauce like a thing of ketchup, but just like a mild…bean sauce.

 

If you’re in America and want to try baked beans on toast, I would highly advise going to a grocery store and looking in the International Section for a can of UK baked beans, as you won’t get the same effect.

Similar to how we have American food stores in London, there are dedicated British stores in America if you know where to look.

Now, imagine that, like me, you’re an American expat in the UK or you’ve gotten your hands on some UK baked beans and you want to see what all the fuss regarding beans on toast is about.

It’s a simple recipe (if you can even call it a recipe), and while I didn’t used to like it, I think the rest of the world is really missing out on this culinary gem.

Lucky for you, I’ve braved the kitchen to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to make eggs and beans on toast with me. Apologies in advance to the British empire.

Beans and eggs on toast with tomatoes in the background

Image by English Wikipedia user rebroad, Wikipedia, Licence

Tools You’ll Need for Eggs and Beans on Toast

This eggs and beans on toast recipe isn’t going to just make itself! You’re going to need some tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need and why.

Egg timer

If you want to fry your eggs, like I do below, then you won’t need an egg timer. However, if you would like boiled eggs on toast, then be my guest! Just make sure to use an adorable egg timer like this one so you can have fun while boiling.

Toaster

This is self-explanatory, but you can’t make eggs and beans on toast without a toaster. I recommend this awesome 4-toast one with tons of cool function because I feel like 2-toast toasters are are not cool anymore.

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Pan

If you want to fry your eggs like I do below, then you’re going to need a pan. I recommend this non-stick pan so you don’t need to worry about burnt egg like I do (spoiler alert: I am not a good cook).

Can opener

To open the beans for the beans on toast, you’re going to need a can opener. You can go for an electric one or a manual one like this one.

Bread knife

I would suggest a bread knife if you want to enjoy your eggs and beans on toast with homemade bread. I used homemade bread because it tastes better and also is very calorie dense and who doesn’t love more calories in their beans on toast?

Bread board

Make sure to have a bread board handy for cutting your bread because only people with a death wish chop their bread on their counter.

Bread machine

If you’re going to mess up beans on toast by burning the egg like I’m about to, you might as well use a bread machine to make homemade bread so at least part of this British dish tastes good.

I recommend this one, as we use ours basically 24/7. The smell of fresh bread in the kitchen is a smell I never want to have to go without again.

Spatula for flipping egg

If you’re making fried or scrambled eggs, you’re going to need a spatula to flip them! Try a fun colored one like this one.

Plate

When you’re ready to eat, do it off of a plate so you look somewhat civilized.

Fork

Also you should use a fork. Here’s an amazing one.

Knife

It’s going to get kind of messy, so have a knife handy to cut your eggs and beans on toast up into multiple pieces.

Poaching dishes

You could throw a curveball to this recipe and poach your eggs, in which case try a poaching dish.

Frying pans with fried eggs shaped in them

If you’re feeling really fancy, get some awesome egg shapes to really kick the whole thing up a notch.

Coconut Oil

You can cook this dish in regular oil, but coconut oil is also an option if you want to be a bit healthier. My husband says it won’t make everything taste like coconut, but I’m not sure I believe him.

Beans and fried eggs on toast

Photo by Bob Peters, Flickr, Licence

Recipe for Eggs and Beans on Toast

Before you start making your eggs and beans on toast, check that you have 2 slices of bread, 2 eggs, and baked beans (store brand because, cheap).

Some bread with a can of beans and two eggs
The first thing to do is put one tablespoon of oil in a pan and wait for it to get hot. Check if it’s hot by sprinkling water in it. Cry when the hot oil hits your face.

A frying pan with oil in it
Next, crack one egg into the pan if you’re frying or scrambling. I don’t really know a good technique for cracking it without getting shell in it, and I watch the shell fall in about 50% of the time while I stand there looking confused and wondering why people like to cook.

Then, try to fish out the shell. Realize that it’s stuck in there forever. Quickly Google if eating egg shell will kill you or put you in the hospital.

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A frying pan with two eggs in it being fried
Google says you’ll survive, so continue on and crack the second egg into the pan following the same process as above. Vow to not let the shell get in this time.

Fish the shell out.

While the eggs are cooking and sizzling and oil is flying everywhere, put your slices of bread in the toaster and start them.

At this point, you won’t have thought about how you’re going to get your crumbly, homemade bread out of the toaster when it’s done, so live in ignorance at the moment.

Two slices of bread in a toaster
Next, pour a half a can of beans into a bowl. Debate whether or not to put ‘cling film’ on it so it doesn’t explode in the microwave.

Baked beans in a bowl with some bread and a can opener

Note:Cling film’ is what Brits call ‘saran wrap.’ I was always told not to microwave saran wrap, and when googling  “can you microwave saran wrap?” this comes up from an American source:

“The issue of greatest concern, however, is whether plastic wrap will leach chemicals into foods when it is used to cover dishes being heated in microwave ovens. It is possible for DEHA to get into foods, particularly fatty foods such as meats and cheeses.”

My boyfriend strongly believes you can microwave it. When googling “can you microwave cling film?, this comes up from a British source,

“You can use cling film and plastics in the microwave, but make sure you use them properly and in line with the instructions on the packet”

Conclusion: Americans are pretty sure microwaving cling film/saran wrap will kill you slowly, while Brits feel like you should just go for it because life’s too short.

The next step is to  not put saran wrap over your beans because even though you live in England, you will always be American and over-cautious.

Microwave your beans for 1 minute. Watch as the beans fly all over the microwave and wish you had put on saran wrap.

Baked beans in a bowl

As this is all going on, check on your eggs. Once the whites stick together, turn it over and cook it until oblivion because, again, you are American and are afraid your uncooked eggs will kill you slowly.

When they ask, “Do they eat eggs and beans on toast in America?” the answer is “NO, FAR TOO DANGEROUS.” This is slowly becoming a major health hazard and the eggs aren’t even done yet.

Realize that you have burnt the eggs a bit more than you wanted to and turn the heat off the pan.

Burnt eggs in a frying pan
Wait, what is that smell?

Oh, that’s your toast.

Pop the toast out of the toaster and onto a plate while waving your hands frantically at the fire alarm. Run around like crazy and flap the towel in the general direction so that you don’t alert all the neighbors that you’re miserably failing at putting some egg and beans on toast.

Two pieces of bread on a plate
Once you’re satisfied that you’ve narrowly missed the alarm going off,  dump the oblivion eggs onto the toast.

Take the beans out of the microwave and pour generously over eggs and toast until you can’t actually taste the burnt eggs or bread and can only taste beans.

Baked beans on toast

…enjoy!

 

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theepowerofgood

4 years ago

So what is the American equivalent of beans on toast?

girlgonelondon

4 years ago

That’s a really good question that made me think! I suppose if we’re going for the easy ‘comfort’ food category, it would be macaroni and cheese, but the closest equivalent breakfast-wise might be scrambled egg on toast (no beans). But even that isn’t as popular as beans on toast is here.

On that note, I found this (relatively) interesting article on Brits versus Americans and the use of toast!

http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2013/06/06/the-cultural-divide-brits-vs-americans-on-toast/

theepowerofgood

4 years ago

I’m not a Brit, but my Irish/Australian background has given me similar beans on toast sensibilities. I live in Viet Nam and for my last birthday I asked for Baked Beans as gifts. My friends scoured the land and came up with a couple of cans. I’m not saying I wept, but I was a little emotional. The next day I rode for 40 minutes to the only German Bakery in Sai Gon to get the right bread for the toast (all the other bread in the markets here is white and sweet.)
That was a good day.

girlgonelondon

4 years ago

Ha! I can 100% relate to taking matters into your own hands to get the food you’re craving…you do what you have to do! 🙂

hampshirehog

4 years ago

Wth is ‘Saran wrap’? I’ve never heard of it. As for eggs AND beans…sorry, but that’s just gross!

hampshirehog

4 years ago

Oh sorry. You meant: Saran wrap’ is what Brits call ‘cling film’, I think…

girlgonelondon

4 years ago

Saran wrap is what Americans call plastic wrap, and cling film is what Brits tend to call plastic wrap. 🙂 I used to think eggs and beans were gross too but it’s actually pretty good once you get used to it!

thomas

4 years ago

Uh, store brand baked beans, that just horrendous, I’m sorry but if you can’t afford Heinz you just go without

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