Matthew Schmit
Tofu Shop Specialty Foods
Arcata, Calif.

Californians may bristle at tofu being representative of their state. To which we say: Get over it! Besides, tofu made its American debut in the Golden State: The first tofu processor in the United States was Wo Sing & Co., which was founded in 1878 in San Francisco. Tofu Shop opened in Arcata in 1980, and continues to make organic tofu for the northern California and Oregon region.

ca_postWhy we chose this tofu:

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Tofu Shop has used organic soybeans to make its tofu since the very beginning, and all of its additional ingredients — aside from a curdling agent — are organic as well. The company recently launched a line of locally sourced sauerkraut and pickles so that it could work with farmers in Humboldt County in addition to its soy suppliers in the Midwest.

Making the white stuff by the book:

Schmit was turned onto tofu by The Book of Tofu, a seminal tofu text published in the 1970s.William Shurtliffe, the author, “talked all about the history of tofu in Japan and Asia, with lots of recipes and instructions on how to make tofu in a small shop,” says Schmit. “After that came out, there were dozens of little tofu shops, inspired by his book, that sprang up all over the country.”

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