There is a rumor that there was soy milk at the court of a Chinese emperor long before the tofu. Although he himself was said to be an enthusiastic cook, he once had a kitchen helper attached to the fresh, still steaming, white broth. Promptly it happened that some sea salt accidentally fell into the soy milk. So it came to the flocculation of the protein, it formed whey and the tofu flakes swam in it like white clouds. After the emperor calmed down, the flakes were then carefully scooped out and pressed.
That was the birth of tofu.
Everywhere in Asian countries, people started to make fresh tofu every day. To this day, the traditional tofu craft is a worldwide exemplary opportunity for decentralized, regional and resource-saving production methods to the benefit of the population.
Although there has been tofu in America since Chinatown was built. But the natural food movement that made it famous. Later the trend reached England, the Netherlands and also Germany. Since the mid-1970s, “The Book of Tofu” by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi has appeared, tofu is becoming more and more popular.
The tofu production is extremely efficient.
While seven to ten kilograms of soybeans are fed for the “production” of about one kilogram of meat, only about 1.3 kilograms of soybeans are needed for one kilogram of tofu.
There is also a considerable amount of by-products, namely the soy bran (okara), which remains as a press residue from the milk, and the whey, which accumulates during tofu pressing. The raw fiber and other components of the soybean, which cause flatulence, are separated or rendered harmless by tofu production. This is also the reason why sufficiently long cooked soybeans are only about 70% digestible, but tofu more than 90%.. On top of that, considerably less cooking energy is needed.