This sweet and crunchy candy was created by Salvatore Ferrara in 1924 as a new variety for his Ferrara Pan Candy Company. Ferrara immigrated from Italy to America in 1900 and operated a bakery in Chicago. In addition to baked goods he also offered sugar-coated almond candies that were served at Italian weddings.
In 1908, he partnered with his two brothers-in-law to concentrate on just making candies, using the pan method of rotating kettles to apply numerous coats of sugar and flavorings. By changing the nut center from almonds to peanuts, along with the color and flavor, Ferrara came up with candy pieces that very closely resembled baked beans.
During colonial times, dried beans simmered or baked with salt pork was a typical meal, especially among the Puritans. The beans would cook all day on Saturday, then be served for dinner with brown bread. The remainder would be served on Sunday, which was observed as a day of rest with no chores like cooking allowed. When molasses became a common ingredient in New England, it was used to flavor and sweeten various dishes. Once the recipe began being printed in cookbooks, it took on the name Boston Baked Beans.
Candy ingredients are sugar, peanuts, corn syrup, modified corn starch, gum arabic, confectioner’s glaze, artificial flavor, carnauba wax, white mineral oil, red #40, yellow #5 and #6 and blue #2. There are 70 calories in one serving of 13 bean-shaped pieces.
The company rebranded as the Ferrara Candy Company in 2012 and is the number one producer of non-chocolate candies. The Original Boston Baked Beans candies are now made in Mexico.