Nov 25, 2009

A short history of the dreaded green bean casserole

(Slate) ... My guess is that we've got the Campbell Soup Company to thank for the limp bean's promotion from occasional guest to bona fide Thanksgiving mainstay. As is fairly well-known, the Campbell test kitchen (under the leadership of Dorcas Reilly) invented the green bean casserole in 1955. This near-instant meal consists of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, fried onions, and—of course—canned green beans. Although Campbell did not initially market the recipe as a holiday special per se, it became one by the 1960s. Now we can't get rid of it. This Thanksgiving, the soup giant estimates that 20 percent to 30 percent of American families will prepare the green bean casserole. Continued

Photo: Rick Kimpel