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The Bush's Baked Beans Museum You Never Knew Existed

Mashed logo: MainLogoMashed 8/1/2022 Linda Brockman
Duke the dog in front of Bush's sign © Facebook Duke the dog in front of Bush's sign

The Louvre, the Smithsonian, the Guggenheim, the Met. They are priceless resources to teach present and future generations about art, history, and science.

Here's one we bet you haven't bean, er, been to -- or even knew existed. So, allow us to spill the beans.

Newly renovated and recently reopened, the bean-centric Bush's Visitor Center has the best of both worlds: digital, interactive exhibits in a cozy and quaint building, plus the original A.J. Bush and Company general store, founded in 1897 (per Johnson City Press). The museum, which opened originally in 2010, is part of the Bush Brothers and Company Visitor Center in Chestnut Hill, TN, which also features the Bush's Family Café.

Museum highlights include a bean scale, where visitors can stand on the scale and get their weight in beans and find out how much Bush's Best spokesdog Duke, canine protector of Bush's secret baked bean recipe, weighs in comparison. You can also take a virtual video tour of the bean plant, which details the company's manufacturing process. As Duke and Jay Bush say, "Roll that beautiful bean footage."

If you think you're well-versed in Bush's 114-year history? You may find you don't know beans. The little legumes had been cultivated for thousands of years when Jay Bush's great-grandfather, Andrew Jackson Bush, started his canning company in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in 1908.

Cool Beans

Inside Bush's Bean Museum © Facebook Inside Bush's Bean Museum

"Beans, beans, good for the heart" ... you probably know the rest of the jingle.

While there are more than 40,000 varieties of beans, the Bush's museum can tell you the health benefits of the 'beautiful beans' the company cans, including Navy, Pinto, Kidney, Black, Cannellini, and Great Northern.

Pinto beans, for example, are the most commonly dried beans grown and consumed in the United States, according to Healthline. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, nutritious Pinto beans provide iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. They are a favorite in chili, on toast (in the UK), in a burger, or at Bush's Family Café, where they're made into Pinto Bean Pie.

Just don't confuse the Visitor Center with the Bean Museum in Provo, Utah. While the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University may be a fascinating place to learn about natural history, what you find won't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to entertaining legume learning.

Bonus: Admission is free to Bush's Beans Visitor Center Museum, which claims to be "a one-stop destination for all things beans."

Read this next: 8 Vegetables You Should Be Eating And 8 You Shouldn't

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