My Van Camp’s Pork and Beans Experience


Not Me.

I have been in a nostalgic mood.  Seeing Van Camp’s Pork and Beans while getting groceries the other day seemed to call to me from the past so I relented and bought a small can.  Seventy-nine cents.

Disastrous decisions and failed investments are nothing new to me.  I’m quite familiar with the experience, I even feel out of sorts without it.  It may very well be my raison d’etre.  (I am the black background upon which the bright specks of success shine.)  This decision, however…well, that 79 cents would have been better spent on a ball of used aluminum foil to chew on.

No, really…Any regular reader of this blog knows I am not likely to exaggerate or express irrational opinions.  I am a very fair, objective, and even an accommodating critic.  Absolutely.

So when I say that can of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans might have been the worst thing to come from a can, you can take my word for it.  Anyone who has actually eaten a can of this stuff and survived will certainly agree.  This mix of “pork” and “beans” is horrible!

I recall people doctoring canned baked beans with things like mustard, ketchup, and barbecue sauce when I was a boy.  (I understand why.)  So as soon as I stopped gagging when I tried my beans, I got a jar of my best barbecue sauce and added it to whatever it is I was eating.  Guess what…that didn’t work.  All I did was waste a few tablespoonfuls of good barbecue sauce.

This stuff was bad.

How bad?  So bad that I dumped it down the toilet so the squirrels wouldn’t get at it in the trash.  Poor devils have it bad enough.  And — I’m not lying — I tore the label off the can and burned it in the sink.  I don’t want anyone seeing Van Camp’s in my trash!  It’s bad enough that I live alone and sing with sock puppets.  Let’s not add pathetic to my resume.

Why do people pick on fruit cake when there’s Van Camp’s?

If I want nostalgia, I am getting Captain Ken‘s!  Captain Ken’s was — maybe still is — made in St. Paul and was supposed to be quite good.  My brothers and I complained because it didn’t come from a can, but I understand with digestible certainty now that mom protected both our health and appetite from dangerous risk.

I’ll stop right now and say I wish I had a kid or two.  I am interested in an experiment.  Perhaps Van Camp’s Pork and Beans is like Mountain Dew and engineered to be enjoyed only by kids and kids alone.  I have no idea.  Or did I just get a spoiled can?  I don’t know…I just know it isn’t for me.  That’s certain.

I am currently boiling in a large tub the pan that I used to heat the Van Camp’s.  Trying to save it so I can use it again.  I better go and add more water so the tub doesn’t boil out.

Do you think I am exaggerating?  Being unfair?  Try a can.  I dare you.


2 thoughts on “My Van Camp’s Pork and Beans Experience

  1. JustAGuy

    Van Camps use to be good until they changed to a “mush” receipe. It’s just not the same anymore. Now the beans are basically a puree instead of whole beans. Hopefully they realize the mistake and go back to traditional methods.


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