The following message is brought to you by the Tofu Anti-Defamation League.
Tofu fights cancer. Tofu causes cancer. Tofu gives you the gift of flight. Tofu forces you to grow a second head. Tofu is the only food that can drive back the skeletal armies of the undead should the devastating curse of Demon Grrbstzittooofolo ever haunt us. Tofu is the devastating curse of the Demon Grrbstzittooofolo and is haunting us as we speak. Here’s my personal favorite: Tofu makes you gay. I’m not linking to the site on that one because I refuse to bear any responsibility for increasing its Google ranking.
[Making Music: Soft tofu with chili oil, roasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and scallion. Snapped for Lara’s January “White” challenge over at Still Life With….]
I have friends who would never offend me by telling me that kimchi stinks (it does), but these same friends won’t hesitate to tell me that tofu is evil (it’s not). The science on soy is complicated, contradictory, and confusing. But really, what it comes down is whether you like tofu at all. If you don’t, it’s likely that a well-meaning non-Asian health nut tried to foist it on you in a sandwich or a salad. Well I don’t like tofu in my sandwiches and salads either. That’s what bacon is for.
I love tofu piping hot, drowned in a scarlet sauce full of fiery chilies and strips of tender beef. I love tofu soaked in beaten egg and fried until brown and crisp then dipped in sweet soy sauce and sesame seeds. I love tofu soft and gelatinous, swirling in soon tubu broth bubbling up its pungent fragrance of pork and kimchi. I even love tofu plain with aromatic Asian oils and the piercing bite of slivered scallions.
Tofu is as woven into my existence as pasta in the Italians, butter in the French, chilies in the Mexicans. My parents ate it, my grandparents ate it, my great grandparents made it. In a nation where meat has long been a luxury, tofu provided vital and delicious protein. There’s not one single documented case of tofu sucking the blood out of babies as they sleep in their cribs and creating armies of vampire infants flapping through the night in search of more babies to drain. Isn’t calling tofu evil just a bit much? Please, tofu-haters, you’re hurting my feelings. Leave the poor white goop alone. It can’t rape you, rob you, or even appreciate Barry Manilow. It’s just bean curd.
As for the newly formed two-headed gay men out there now plagued by the curse of the unholy Grrbstzittooofolo, admit it: things are much more interesting than they used to be. So what if it takes twice as long to floss? Thank tofu for infusing some much-needed excitement into your lives.