Kitchen & Pantry

Pork and beans face off: Hunt’s versus Ram

Because I grew up with Hunt’s and Speedy grew up with Libby’s, we wanted to do a Hunt’s versus Libby’s pork and beans face off. But we were unable to find Libby’s in the groceries that we visited so we decided to pit Hunt’s against the brand that was just as widely available as Hunt’s.

Ram (Ramfoods, Inc.) is a domestic company established in 1962 and is based in Cabuyao, Laguna.

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Hunt’s is the name of a brand of preserved tomato products owned by ConAgra Foods, Inc. The company was founded in 1888, in Sebastopol, California, as the Hunt Bros. Fruit Packing Co. by Joseph and William Hunt. [Source]

Canned pork and beans come in many sizes but for purposes of this face off, we used the 165-gram size.

Pay attention to the photos in the labels because actual contents of the cans are a far cry from the amount of beans shown in them.

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Both brands exploit the craze for Lycopene which is touted as an anti-oxidant, an alleged cancer-fighting agent. Considering that the cause of cancer remains unknown to this day, I don’t know how anyone can claim that lycopene, or any other thing, can fight it. But, anyway…

So, I already mentioned that both cans weighed 165 grams. Hunt’s cost PHP18.25; Ram cost PHP16.00.

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Those are the entire contents of the cans. Obviously, the ratio between sauce and beans is nowhere near as the labels represented. Ram has even less beans than Hunt’s.

As to the pork…

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The two pieces of fat constitute the pork in Ram’s pork and beans.

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For Hunt’s, it’s one large and two smaller pieces of pork fat with rind.

Now, let’s talk about the quality.

Hunt’s beans are creamier. Ram’s beans retain a certain amount of crispiness in the skin so that there is a small pop when you bite into one. I like Hunt’s creamier beans; Speedy prefers the small pop in the beans of Ram.

As to the taste, Speedy and I both agreed that Ram’s tomato sauce has a better balance of saltiness and sweetness. Hunt’s sauce was way too sweet. In Speedy’s words, he could eat the contents of Ram’s pork and beans with nothing else but, with Hunt’s, after a few spoonfuls, he found it cloying already.

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Personally, I can’t eat canned pork and beans by itself. I pan fried bacon and ham, threw in chopped onions, poured in the pork and beans from both bowls, seasoned everything with salt and pepper, and… well, that looked more like real food than canned mush.

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