I've made this recipe 3 times now and each time I marvel at how great it is. I grew up in Quebec where baked beans are a staple most often paired with Maple Syrup as the sweetner. So this is one substitution I always make. The other is salt pork for the bacon, another Qubecois thing. If you do the same, don't add any salt during cooking. And I cook mine on our woodstove, low simmer, 4-5 hours and leave overnight, which makes them a bit darker. I have always preferred 'blonde' beans over dark, not being a fan of molasses (the taste) or ketchup (during cooking, after's ok) near my beans, so this recipe comes closest to, if not beats, what I remember as being the most delicious beans of my childhood. Don't leave out the vinegar. I was skeptical at first, not being a tradition for me, but what a umami addition!