If you ask someone on the street what they think tofu tastes like you can expect a wild variety of answers. This is because by itself, tofu is fairly tasteless. The magic of tofu however is that it has the uncanny ability to absorb flavors from the foods around it acting like a sponge and making great meals even more enjoyable.
The very nature of this highly absorptive food makes the term “Flavored Tofu” confusing. Most people would say that tofu is automatically flavored based on what its mixed with and assume that’s all that Flavored Tofu is… but alas, there’s much more to it than this.
While its true that tofu does a very good job at absorbing flavors, true flavored tofu is made differently. Tofu is made with soy milk and during the curdling phase flavors can be mixed into the milk resulting in a true flavor infusion. Gone are the days of needing to mix tofu with your favorite flavors, now you can build those flavors right in!
There have been some wild attempts at flavored varieties over the year but most commonly fruits or fruit juices are combined with the soy milk to create flavored tofu. Infusions can be found for just about every fruit on there, however the most common fruit infusions are mango, orange and coconut. Don’t be surprised to even see holiday flavors popping up over the next several years! Peppermint tofu for Christmas anyone?
Flavored tofu is generally served cold and created with a soft texture similar to that of silken tofu. This results in some delicious fruit flavored spreads that can be used in a number of recipes or simply spread onto your favorite crackers or vegetables. While tofu recipes rarely, if ever, call for flavored tofu you are generally free to substitute your favorite flavor freely anytime a silken tofu is called for in your favorite tofu recipe.
In addition to fruit infused tofu, egg is another common additive. The addition of egg results in a very unique flavor with added health benefits such as increased protein. While fruit infused tofu is most common and most people love the sweetness it brings, egg tofu remains very popular in some parts of the world.
Flavored tofu is increasing in popularity and its starting to pop up in average supermarkets across the country. Next time your shopping, see if you can find a flavor you’d like and rediscover tofu for the first time!