10 Regional Foods You've Never Heard Of

Boston Baked Beans

Boston, Mass., is known by many as "Beantown" because of the city's long association with baked bean dishes. This all came about because of Boston's rum trade, which was part of what was known as the triangular trade. Sugar cane shipped to Boston from the Caribbean became molasses, which became rum that was traded for slaves that were sent to the Caribbean to grow more sugar. The key ingredient to Boston baked beans is the molasses, and at one point the city was literally awash in it. A molasses tank exploded in Boston in 1919, killing 21 people and flooding the neighborhood with hot molasses. The popular dish is still served in many restaurants and in the homes of Red Sox fans everywhere.

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