The mouth sharp as a knife but the heart soft as tofu...
𝘈 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘩 𝘵𝘰𝘧𝘶 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘯𝘦𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨
𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘰𝘧𝘶 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵...
豆腐 (dòufu), 𝘁𝗼𝗳𝘂 𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗼𝘆𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗻 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗱 is prepared by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into solid white blocks to the desired softness; from silken to super firm. Aside the different fresh tofu textures, there are lots of local preparations ranging from cured, smoked, dried preserved or fermented tofu in different parts of China. Tofu skins (豆腐皮) from skimming the soy milk also come in many varieties. Boiled in hotpot or crispy deep fried in morning pancakes.
Tofu originated in China and has been consumed for over 2,000 years dating back to the Han dynasty. Tofu has spread into the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia since ancient times as well with own variations. Tofu is rich in protein and low in calories.
Tofu is also coming back in 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘂𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲. Two well-known sayings are 刀子嘴，豆腐心 "𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘱 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘬𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘧𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘧𝘶" or a more spicy one 吃豆腐 "𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘧𝘶", resembling "to flirt" or "to tease with sexual implication". Usually these days used in a jokingly manner "are you eating tofu ?" although it might also be used in more negative connotation. It is said that this saying originates in the old days from women selling tofu flirting with male customers. So their wives would say "are you going to eat tofu again" when visiting the market 😊. But Tofu's true reputation comes back in the various Chinese cuisines as a unique, marking ingredient.
𝗦𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗸𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝗳𝘂 (fermented tofu) is a very distinctive variety with people either loving or hating it. Changsha (Hunan province capital) stinky tofu is well-known all over China but there are lots of local varieties all around. I tasted my favourite stinky tofu in the south of Anhui province years ago, remarkably resembling to a young edition of my hometown's smelly cheese, 'rommedoe' (or 'herve cheese') from Maastricht 😄. Also known in the US as Limburger cheese.
小葱拌豆腐，一清二白 "𝘛𝘰𝘧𝘶 𝘮𝘪𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘴, 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘴", 𝘧𝘪𝘨. 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦