You may have heard that this year marks the 55th anniversary of the green bean casserole, invented by the Campbell Soup Company to promote its cream of mushroom soup. It has been called a “Thanksgiving icon.”
Not in our house. I only encountered green bean casserole if we ate Thanksgiving dinner at the homes of friends or family. My mother disdained the idea of pouring canned soup over vegetables. Americans have made green bean casserole an “icon” because all the salt, sugar, and fat make those otherwise hearty greens taste really, really good. If Hershey’s had dreamed up cocoa covered green beans they may have been the ones celebrating the anniversary.
Remember: even though green bean casserole has clocked 55 years, the Pilgrims knew nothing of it. We strove for historical purity in our house. (more…)