Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

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Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by BLAKEVINE on Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:03 pm

I mean the stuff you eat and not the little boy (with the unfortunate name) in Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street series.  We used to buy "Cauldron" tofu in England and it was OK once my husband had got his hands on it and marinated it in chili sherry, soya sauce and the like.  However, we have discovered that Super U sell BJORG tofu nature BIO in a box and it still needs marinating but is much better than the other stuff.  Just thought this might be interesting to someone ie "Tofu Lover" on the forum if you are, indeed, a tofu lover..........or may be you aren't and that's the reason you call yourself such?????  K.
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tofu_Lover on Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:28 pm

or may be you aren't and that's the reason you call yourself such?????  K.
Comment?? Quoi??

Tofu is my life, I'll have you know. Well, not quite, perhaps, but I do rather like good tofu.

If you'd like to try the decent stuff, you'll have to find a good wholefood shop, where you will hopefully find the Tossolia brand on sale. Something like Euro 4.30 for 500 grams, which is usually more like 600 grams, and feeds the two of us twice. (Erm... what I mean is, you can get four good meals out of one pack...)

Anyway, it's much, much, much superior to the cardboard Bjorg stuff (which is almost as bad as that Cauldron muck sold in the UK). Failing that, you can always make your own from scratch, which I occasionally do, just for the sheer delight of doing so. It's a step up again.

For the record, I nip over the border to St Céré, in the Lot, and go to the newly relocated wholefood shop - Coloquinte - for my supplies. They also do some fab tempeh, and much other wondrous stuff, with lovely staff who know their business inside out.

Enjoy!

Tofu Wunderkind xxx
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by simmo on Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:32 am

Hey up! Simmo here
Sounds to me like it has the same effect as these toxic mushrooms i eat and shouldn't, by the way Tofu Lover is singing it's praise.What i want to know is what do you do with the lump of stuff in a box, it looks like putty to me or something for filling holes in walls.
Simmo in the Tofu and mushroom crazed Correze.

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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tofu_Lover on Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:34 am

Heh! You leave them funny mushrooms alone, Simmo. Stick to the wine...

what do you do with the lump of stuff in a box, it looks like putty to me or something for filling holes in walls
I think plenty of people end up doing just that with it! Much (and unfairly) maligned, is tofu, the reason being exactly that people don't know what to do with it. It's always touted as some sort of meat substitute, which to my way of looking at things is wrong. Sure, it's a great source of protein, and for vegetarians like me it's perfect for that, but I think a mistake is made when treating it purely as a Linda McCartney sausage, or somesuch. The whole point about tofu is that it is a foodstuff in itself - it doesn't have to be a substitute for anything at all.

So what do you do with it? Pretty much what Blakevine says - cut it into slices or chunks, marinade it in oriental goodies, and cook it. It's simply made for oriental food, and if you served any of your time in the Far East Simmo, I suspect you've eaten it, whether you knew it at the time or not. The Chinese, Japanese, and many other Asian countries have been using it for a couple of thousand years, and have it all worked out by now. So stir fries, teriyakis, (chinese style) curries are its natural home. We also use it in more western style cooking (chillis, fajitas, 'jerk', BBQ, etc.).

You'll be getting the idea that it's the spices which make it work - and you'd be right! On its own, tofu is a bit bland, and the texture doesn't appeal to everyone. But it's perfect for taking on the flavour of any style of cooking, with the possible exception on Indian, which for some reason I find doesn't work too well.

And it really is important to get decent tofu. The Bjorg stuff simply isn't good, as far as the authentic experience goes - the texture is 'mealy', 'cardboardy'. The Tossolia stuff mentioned above is far better (although our Japanese friend who visited this year wasn't exactly ecstatic about that, either, but she did some amazing things with it nonetheless).

Anyway, if you like (genuine) Asian food, tofu should be on your 'to try' list. Get the good stuff, find a recipe on t'internet, that you like the look of, and give it a go!

T_L, now hungry.
(And tonight, we're having Bean Curd (ie tofu) with Watercress, a Singapore Chinese dish - lots of chillis, ginger, garlic...)
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tradzoner on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:10 pm

How does it work out cost-wise compared to meat then? Working on the basis of the better quality one.

I see how it works best now after that explanation. When I tried it I just chopped it in to meat size pieces and put it in a sauce with vegs but it was a few years back.

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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tofu_Lover on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:43 pm

Tradzoner wrote:How does it work out cost-wise compared to meat then? Working on the basis of the better quality one.
Well, we buy 500g boxes (Tossolia brand) for €4.30, although there's often more like 600g in the box. That is easily sufficient for four main meals, so works out at €1.08 per person per meal. No idea what meat costs, but I suspect it's a bit more than that, if it's any good! (Incidentally, the Tossolia stuff is bio - organic - and made in France, from soya beans grown in France. Support your local bio bean!)

Bear in mind that tofu is also zero fat, zero cholesterol, zero sugar. But also bear in mind that cooking with it is more involved than just slabbing a bit on the BBQ and setting fire to it. I happen to love cooking - it's how I relax; so messing about with spices and marinades is fun for me. Others might not like the general faff. But like anything worth doing, once you get into the swing of it it's all worth the effort. I think we're lucky to have a source of quality tofu reasonably nearby, however. Some people may find it harder to come by in France. (The BioCoop chain of wholefood shops often seem to stock it, if there's one of those nearby - it's the Tossolia make, but rebranded for BioCoop.)

And for the really adventurous, there's tempeh, which is a foodstuff made from fermented soya beans. Largely Indonesian, it's just become available in my local goodies shop, so that's added to our range of possibilities!

T_L, (got to cut down some more bushes before I can think about food any more.)
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by BLAKEVINE on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:46 pm

Hi Monsieur Tofu! A wholefood shop indeed; that's just what we've been looking for. Will certainly be checking out Coloquinte in St Cere (can somebody tell me how to put accents on letters.........) as we also live south Correze (there goes that accent again) and would be worth a trip me thinks! I'm guessing as you say it's grams/packets then it's dry and it can be stored in a jar or something (ie we could buy a quantity and it wouldn't go off???? like the chilled Caudron stuff.) Thanks for the explanation about using tofu - my husband does some great things with it as he doesn't eat meat. When we used to go out for a "chinese" in England, he always used to judge the quality of the menu if they had a selection of "bean curd" dishes!
Now may be I should start a thread about Sausmix.................
happy days.
K
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tofu_Lover on Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:07 pm

Hi Blakevine - no, I should have been more clear - the Tossolia tofu is fresh, immersed in water in a (plastic) tub, and sealed with a heat-sealed film on top of the tub. As such, kept in the fridge, a box should last a couple of weeks (although check the 'use by' date when you buy it, obviously). Once opened, if you only use half the contents (as is usual for us), then the remaining piece should be kept submerged in fresh water in the fridge, and the water changed every day or so (we usually do this in a sandwich box) until you do use it.

It is perfectly possible to freeze tofu (after draining), but the texture undergoes a remarkable change. Upon defrosting, it resembles a coarse sponge (!). This is great if you want to soak up loads of marinade in a hurry, but I have grown to dislike the coarser texture, so we always use it fresh, and don't freeze.

Your husband is, of course, quite right about Chinese bean curd recipes. Heaven, if done right!

I should also mention that tofu tends to come in two types - 'firm', and 'silken'. It is the firm type I have been enthusing about here, and use all the time. 'Silken' tofu is just as lovely, but has other uses (puds, for one!). So 'firm' is good for everyday use.

Ah! Sosmix! I wonder if you can still get it? **whoosh - checks t'internet'** - good grief, you can! I can remember making Sosmix 'sausage' rolls when I first became vegetarian (some mumble mumble years ago). They were great, if a little, erm... socially inconvenient. Likewise a range of products called Beanfeast (which were even more 'socially inconvenient'). Another **whoosh** - and yes, it's still available too! Fortunately, my kitchen adventures no longer rely on pre-mixes!

Anyway, I hope you manage to get to Coloquinte in St Céré - be aware that it closes at 12:00 midday, and re-opens at 3:00. (I think it opens at 10:00 in the morning.) It's closed all day Mondays. It's fairly central to St Céré, right by the church. If you haven't been to St Céré before, it's well worth it for a visit - very pretty, not big at all, but open and friendly.

T_L
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tradzoner on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:46 am

I could not find a local stockist but I found I could order online here, just in case anyone is interested

http://www.unmondevegan.com/index.cfmd


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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tofu_Lover on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:15 pm

Tradzoner wrote:I could not find a local stockist but I found I could order online here, just in case anyone is interested

http://www.unmondevegan.com/index.cfmd

Ooh - well done! Not seen these people before - loads of goodies to be had there! Very Happy 

T_L

PS - your link has gained a spurious 'd', and reports as broken: this works ok:

http://www.unmondevegan.com/index.cfm
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by er indoors on Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:01 pm

Tofu_Lover wrote: Likewise a range of products called Beanfeast (which were even more 'socially inconvenient'). Another **whoosh** - and yes, it's still available too!
Can you please tell me where, as I tried to get some recently.... I used to love them, not a good effect on my husband's windy regions however I could give him something else & keep it all to myself!!!! Laughing 
from a Beanfeast fan..... counting the hours Smile Wink 

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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tofu_Lover on Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:44 pm

Ah, well... that would be telling, wouldn't it??

Only joking. Here's the low down and dirty on Beanfeast.

Batchelors (for it is they, owned by the terrible Unilever - not sure if we should be supporting them, but that's another - entirely political - point) still manufacture 2 flavours of Beanfeast - 'Chilli', and 'Bolognese'. The 'Savoury' flavour was dropped some while ago, due to lack of demand. (Wasn't there a curry flavour as well, or am I getting confused with Pot Noodles??)

Stockists certainly include some branches of Sainsburys, Tesco, Holland & Barrett (remember them?) and I suspect other supermarkets too. There is even a seller on Amazon who sells both varieties (not sure if they post abroad). And that's the problem. I can't find anywhere in France which sells them. Spain, yes. (Here, http://overseas.es/category/201 if you're going that way. Or Portugal.) These people http://www.geoffreysoflondon.com who are in France, despite the name, are supposed to do them but appear to be out of stock. Might be worth contacting them? Bl***y outrageous prices, though.

There were a couple of firms I found that seemed to be in the business of supplying British foods worldwide, but their prices were high, and their postage prices awful. And - the clincher for me - I'd never actually heard of them. Unless someone has a specific recommendation, I think I'd give them all a miss, and stick with the obvious routes.

Personally, if I felt the urge, I would get someone back in the UK to find half a dozen packets (Sainsburys etc), parcel them up and send them over. It would be cheapest, I think!
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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by er indoors on Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:41 pm

Thanks for that although I have asked a couple of friends in different areas to look out for them but no joy as of yet!! i also use one of the companies ( not sure on the forum's advertisig rules) that deliver English food here, & no joy at that branch of supermarket either last time I looked...
ah well, will keep trying & ask a few more friends.... might even ask my mum, as, if I ask for her to look for something I can't source, she turns into super sleuth... I suppose it will keep her out of mischief!!! lol Thanks again x

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Re: Tofu - to eat - not the boy........

Post by Tofu_Lover on Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:02 pm

I bring Good News!

http://www.britishcornershop.co.uk

Do a search for 'beanfeast' in the little 'search for products' box on their homepage, and lo!

Didn't get as far as the postage costs, but I do know that these people are reputable. Hope that helps!
(Am determined that a Beanfeast lover should get their beans...)

T_L xx
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