Tofu or bean curd, as it is also called, is being used by many vegetarians to replace meat, chicken, fish or even dairy products. Some other people might regard it as bland and boring though.

Tofu probably has it origins in the Far East and is made of soy beans. It has been used in China for more than 2.000 years and is an important constituent of Chinese and Japanese diets. Throughout Europe and North America it is easily available in health food stores and larger supermarkets.

Tofu is quite healthy as it is a complete source of protein and providing eight essential amino acids. It also is an excellent source of Vitamin B, iron, potassium and magnesium and contains no animal fats or cholesterol.

There are two main kinds of tofu, soft tofu and firm tofu, which is the more common kind. The smoother silken version can be used for dips spreads and desserts. The firm version is a good choice for frying or roasting. Or you can use the smoked version of the firm tofu in a salad.

Even though tofu is still an unfamiliar food to many people, it is worth trying it, as it can be used for many things.

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