I've never made baked beans, and I've only eaten them in cafeterias. I know this is a very american thing, so I'd like to try make them myself, given the weather and my gorgeous new le Creuset french oven (thanks to everyone who encouraged the purchase - got it at Broadway Panhandler Fall Sale, 2 3/4 qu. oval oven in cherry red).
Firstly, are there as many versions of baked beans as there are, well, americans? Does anyone feel like sharing their particular, amazing version with the newbie? I think I'd enjoy something savoury, rather than something spicy or terribly sweet.
I also wanted to gauge chowhound opinions on pork vs no pork. Whilst I'd like to try a version using a pork rind (or whatever pork thing it is that is supposed to add flavour to beans), I'm also interested in pork-free versions, as two of my four housemates don't eat pork products.
I think there might have been a link to beans a while ago, but I can't find it. It's one of the problems of the increasing popularity of the board - topics get rolled onto older boards very quickly!
Thanks in advance.