Tofu is made from soya. Unfortunately, many still associate the term "genetic engineering" with "deforestation of tropical forests". It is true that most soybeans come from Brazil and the United States and are even genetically modified. However, these soybeans are used for the production of animal feed. Soya products made in Germany for direct consumption do not come exactly from these regions. Typical countries of origin are China, Canada, Austria, France and sometimes even Germany. So forget prejudices and see how tofu is made.
From soya to tofu
After harvesting the soybeans, they are carefully washed in the first stage and soaked for twelve hours. The size of the bean double by absorbing water. After having been mashed, they are boiled with water. To obtain a pure soya juice, soymilk, shells and fibers must first be separated by sieving.
Then, the soya juice is mixed with a coagulant. This causes the agglomeration of soya milk. This separates whey from soya protein which is the raw material of natural tofu that you can buy.
It is then pressed into large boxes, cut into blocks and cooled in a bain-marie to give it the familiar shape of a block.
Natural tofu is the basis of all other tofu products, for example, it can be made into smoked tofu or other tofu variants with different mixtures of spices and herbs.
Natural tofu is now a widely used product. The choice is therefore very big - and maybe too big for some. For your convenience, we compared seven products in terms of appearance, consistency, taste and price. All products were lightly sautéed in a neutral oil.
KoRo's tofu has a soft texture and is filled with small holes, which is due to the low soya content from only 20%. This makes the tofu juicier and not too dry, even after cooking. The taste brings a subtle taste of soya which is not too intrusive. AT KoRo, you get the natural tofu in six-packs for € 0.92 per 100g.
This tofu is really different from the previous product. The tofu block is very dense and firm. Its strength is also to have the highest soya content in this comparison, from 55%. However, it also decomposes very easily during cutting. Stirred, the tofu stays dry and crumbles quickly in the mouth.For a tofu with a neutral taste, it has been described as slightly spicy, with a subtle bitter touch. It is available in two-packs and costs only € 0.45 per 100g in store.
The natural tofu of dmBio is soft and airy. He too - like KoRo's tofu - has small ventilation holes. By grabbing it, it is crispy on the outside, but stays soft on the inside. However he did not convinced us in terms of taste. Although tofu is generally a tasteless product that can be spiced and refined at will, the other tofu blocks were even more tasty in comparison. This one unfortunately has only a watery and bland taste. It is available at a price of € 0.63 per 100g.
At Alnatura, we also have a softer and moister tofu. In cutting it, it crumbles a little. During the taste test, he convinced many of us by its juicy but crisp consistency. This tofu has actually an interesting flavor that slighlty reminds of egg. It is one of the most expensive products at a price of € 0.82 per 100g.
This tofu block is optically distinguished from other products by its light gray shade. It is relatively hard and dry and can hardly be cut without crumbling. Even sauteed in a frying-pan, it stays dry and firm. In terms of taste, it does not stand out positively or negatively from other products. It is a classic tofu with no particular taste. But that should not bother us at the moment, as good seasoning can turn almost any tofu into a tasty ingredient. Its price is quite average with € 0.62 per 100g.
The consistency of Rewe-Bio tofu is similar to that of EnerBio tofu: firm, dry and friable. Even popped, it stays dry and melts in the mouth. However, it brings an individual note reminiscent of some chicken meat to the taste ; perhaps the ideal substitute for this ? It is the second cheapest product at a price of € 0.50 per 100g.
Taifun's natural tofu is clearly distinguished by its pure whitish color. Despite its high soya content from 55%, it is tender and juicy. It also gives a slightly crunchy skin. In the mouth, it does not melt but keeps a good consistency. We also feel a slight egg flavour that has been considered very positive by our testers. At a price of € 0.80 per 100g, it is a bit more expensive but you get what you pay for.
The taste test has shown that a comparison is less based on the real taste, because tofu is by nature relatively tasteless, but rather to its consistency. Two varieties can be roughly distinguished : soft tofu and firm tofu. Solid tofu such as GutBio, ReweBio and EnerBio are suitable for dishes requiring more consistency or an alternative to meat. EnerBio's friable tofu, for example, is ideal for a vegetarian or vegan chili, for which you have to grind tofu. The softer variants, on the other hand, are perfect for Asian dishes. Taifun's tofu has been the most convincing during our test. But everything also depends on how you want to use your tofu.