Dear valued customers,
My name is Jay Bush. Most of you probably know me as the guy on the baked beans commercial with my talking dog, Duke, telling you about Bush’s Baked Beans and our secret family recipe. I’ve recently been made aware of a rumor circulating on the twitters that Bush’s Baked Beans relied on unpleasant additives like carmine as well as copious amounts of monosodium glutamate to deliver its signature savory taste. I want to start by saying that this is patently false. I must also acknowledge, however, that Bush’s traditional policy of recipe secrecy will always encourage speculation like this, so I have decided to finally reveal part of our secret recipe.
The secret deals with more than just ratios of molasses to brown sugar, of maple flavor quantities, or of cooking times. My whole spiel about how “Bush’s Baked Beans are slow roasted in thick, maply barbecue sauce for a rich smoky flavor” is all true, but that could be said about Kraft baked beans, or Hunt’s baked beans, or any company. The real difference maker is the Bush family secret ingredient: dog. Other companies have tried for years to match us, but none of them ever thought to try dog.
In 1892, my great-great-grandfather was working for a local restaurant and saloon in Carson City and found he was low on pork when he started to make baked beans for the day. There was a stray dog that liked to hang outside the shop and beg scraps off the customers, frequently angering the restaurant employees. My great-great-grandfather, not wanting to keep the hungry customers waiting or to serve meatless baked beans, invited the old mutt out back, then experimented with this alternative ingredient to ham. The Bush family has never looked back. We’ve tried numerous breeds over the years, eventually discovering the unmistakably rich taste of Golden Retriever. Our subsequent years of experimental crossbreeding not only led to a talking dog, but to consistently and irresistibly tender, flavorful taste.
The recipe Duke always claims to be protecting in the commercials is a fake I gave him when he was 3 years old. I didn’t completely trust him to keep a secret, and I thought it might bother him that we’ve been serving him baked beans laced with chunks of his family members for years. Eventually, he may become suspicious of the story that his siblings all ran away one-by-one in 3-month intervals, but so far he has accepted it just fine. As long as he’s happy, we can continue to put a smile on your face on daytime TV and a yum in your tummy on the dinner table.
So please continue to enjoy Bush’s Baked Beans — available in your local grocer — with peace of mind, knowing that our recipe has gone completely unchanged for 97 years, using all-natural, free-range dog with no artificial additives. Roll that beautiful bean footage!
– MFG ’14. Illustrated by RRF ’17.