Apocalypse Yum is a new review column from San Francisco artist and contributing author Bryson DeJong. Feel free to leave any questions or suggestions in the comments below!

Southgate Chili With Beans!

Smell: The smell here is overwhelmingly of the can. Maybe if I put it on a plate it would taste better, and the same could be said for heating it up. But in the vein of real fight or flight nutrition I’ve decided to leave this one as is; can smell and all. Also, maybe a hint of tomato paste.

Taste: Otto was right, I couldn’t enjoy this any more if I wanted to. Thankfully the can smell doesn’t carry over to the pallet. Beef lists prominently in the ingredients and the overall impression is a vague meaty melange. You get that umami mouth feel with every bite; quite satisfying for the price. What this is lacking is real beef chunks, there’s plenty of beans but no real showing in the steakie bits category. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “beef” is a codeword for “pink slime” and that the few chunky bits are actually textured soy protein. This feels like cheating, but what can I expect from the dollar bin?

Hanover Baked Beans: Brown Sugar & Bacon:

Smell: This one also smells like the can, but less so. The label reads “The Gold Line” and the can does indeed sport a golden hued interior, perhaps a feature keeping the smell to a minimum. Otherwise the aroma is sweet, almost overwhelmingly of toasted sugar. Think honey coated rice puffs in the Sugar Smacks variety. No hint of bacon, a slight letdown.

Taste: The first impression is of syrupy sweetness, followed by the blandness of the beans themselves and then the tin flavor of the can. I know that beans can taste good without being slathered in high fructose corn syrup, it seems the guys at Hanover missed the memo. I’m not impressed by this offering in the slightest. Nothing here says “Stockpile me for the coming apocalypse!” Halfway into the can I finally find one of the elusive bacon pieces and its a huge letdown. All the mouth feel of a piece of thick bacon and all the taste of wadded newsprint. I’m not going to bother finishing this one.

Overall Impression: When I think of stockpiling or scavenging for food, cans of beans always come to mind. Healthful, nutritious and good forever; tinned beans are a staple of bomb shelters around the globe. Both of today’s offerings were $1 USD and were good sources of calories and protein. In a pinch you could go days off a few cans of each. But who would want to? Both of these items were bland and flavorless. The chili pulled ahead slightly with its vague meat slurry, but failed to really grab my attention. And the baked beans were too heavy with sugar, in an effort to mask their flavorless bland bulk, to rank more then palatable.

In Closing: Some people don’t understand my bean obsession. They say its pointless or that it makes no sense. But, I see cans of beans as a viable option for hording and a worthwhile target while scavenging. To this end I plan of doing semi regular bean reviews here on Apocalypse Yum. If you have a favorite brand of beans you want me to try, leave a comment below.


  1. Nicolas Gschweng

    You know my go to brand of chili is and always has been Dennison’s. Nalley’s also has good flavor, a bit spicy from jalepeno flavor, but more soupy than Dennison’s. Compare the two and see what’s good!

    • Sounds like a great idea young nick. I will take this very seriously.

      • Is there any concern about the smell of farts attracting the horde? Can you comment on the amount of flatulence each tin of beans produced? Do you feel that fart volume or smell contributes more to giving away your position, and why so?

  2. To be clear, are these treats only available in $ bins or can I find them at the various $ stores? We like beans at our house too.

    • All of this beans came from my local dollar store. Its a crap shoot if they have them near you. Keep your eyes open.

  3. Have you tryed hinz beans

    • You know i have and they are very good. But every place ive seen them here in California, they are a specialty item.

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