What Makes Great Vegetarian Baked Beans?

When having a Fourth of July BBQ, along with hot Dogs and hamburgers, baked beans are also a must! High quality vegetarian baked beans should have intact beans within a moderately thick sauce. The amount of sauce should not be greater than the amount of beans. Bean should be the leading intensity within both the aroma and flavor profiles. Tomato, brown sugar/molasses, warm spices, onion and garlic notes should accompany the bean notes. There may be smoky notes present, but should not include metallic or scorched notes. Sweet should be the leading taste intensity, but should be balanced by salt and sour. The beans should not be overly sweet or cloying. Thetexture of the beans should be tender. The skins should also be tender, not overly fibrous.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • metallic

    Having the flavor of a can or foil; typically an off note acquired from a product’s packaging. Example: Some canned foods, like ham, can acquire metallic flavors from their metal containers.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • cloying

    Disgust or sicken (someone) with an excess of sweetness, richness, or sentiment.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.