They kind of smell and taste like Vienna Sausage. Otherwise, they were bland and several shades lighter than refried beans are supposed to be.
Why is it so hard to find pre-made refried beans that taste good and have good ingredients? Bad ingredients include lard, canola oil, other bad oils, GMOs, chemicals and MSG in any form. Whole Foods store brand has secret MSG, as do quite a few others.
I found dried refried beans in the bulk bins at a large health food store. They were tasty and reconstituted pretty well, but had hidden MSG. While we’re at it, I only need one serving of refried beans at a time. A whole can is a waste. The dried beans I tried were not ideal but could allow someone to use only what they need. Individual portions of canned beans would seem to be even better.
I haven’t tried them, but some people online like Mexicali Rose Instant Dried Refried Beans. Here’s the ingredients listings for these products:
Mexicali Rose Regular Refried Beans: pinto beans, soybean oil (with TBHQ to preserve freshness), and salt.
Mexicali Rose Fat-free Variety: pinto beans and salt.
Mexicali Rose Green Chile Flavor: pinto beans, soybean oil, salt, and powdered Hatch green chile.
Mexicali Rose Black Beans: black beans and salt.
Mexicali Rose Chorizo Blend: pinto beans, soybean oil (with TBHQ to preserve freshness), chili pepper, salt, paprika, spices, dehydrated vegetables (onion, garlic, tomato, bell pepper), sugar, jalapeno pepper, citric acid, and natural smoke flavor.
The company says they don’t use MSG. I haven’t checked that. None of the listed ingredients seem to be euphemisms for MSG. Their ingredients lists are pretty specific, which I like.
You could order these products online below, but the minimum quantities are large:
It appears you could also find these products at some Walmarts and possibly at certain places where Mexican groceries are sold.