It’s Saturday, and that means baked beans throughout Northern Maine. Most grocery stores sell fresh-baked beans (no canned stuff) and bread hot from the oven. It’s longstanding tradition with roots going back to the Pilgrims/Puritans. The tradition mingles with another: Bean-hole Beans.
Early Massachusetts settlers adopted the Native American tradition of baking beans in pots buried in the ground. For the religious folk, beans baked overnight would feed people on the Sabbath, the day of rest, which started on Saturday evening. The Puritans adapted Native bean recipes, also replacing—or rather changing—corn bread for brown bread. Nearly 400 hundred years later, throughout much of Maine, the tradition of Saturday night baked beans is steadfastly observed, with family replacing religion.