REVIEW: Has Amersham couple's big invention helped to revolutionise how we prepare a vegan favourite?
After years of frustration with tasteless tofu and resorting to building precarious towers of tins, heavy books and kitchen roll to remove the water from their tofu Amersham-based inventors Adam and Susanna decided that enough was enough.
The couple invented Tofuture, an effective press which they hope will transform the kitchen habits of vegetarians, vegans and lovers of the high protein bean curd throughout Bucks and beyond.
Susanna said: “The Tofuture tofu press enables you to explore the full versatility of tofu and opens up a world of tastes and textures when cooking with it. Roast, grill, fry, bake in a pie, whiz into mousse, create amazing veggie burgers, egg-free quiches, a completely new pizza topping, the list is endless.”
Committed vegan (and previous user of all kind of heavy objects to press tofu) Peter Finch from Aylesbury gave the press a try.
As many newcomers to using tofu as an ingredient will know, it is very easy to get it very wrong.
Many honest amateur chefs will confess that their early experiments resulted in a culinary end result not dissimilar to a savoury blancmange.
As we all quickly learned through, the key to tofu success is a firm, pressed tofu - which is tricky because the majority of the packed ingredient is supplied unpressed in water.
This has led to the culinary equivalent of Heath-Robinson-style gadget making/ inventing in the quest for a device that can press a firm tofu.
Anecdotes abound regarding the redeployment of ratchet clamps, slate, and all manner of experimental accoutrement. What Adam and Susanna at Tofuture have achieved is to create a device that is both effective, and aesthetically pleasing.
This is a compact unit, no larger than a lunchbox that will comfortably stack among similar items.
The unit consists of a tub with an inner tub which is perforated like a colander. The tofu sits in the inner tub, the lid is then added and plastic bands are then pulled over hooks.
There are a series of hooks which enable a gradient of firmness to the tofu to suit the range of recipes that the ingredient is used in.
Personally I use tofu in recipes that predominantly require the firmest possible tofu, and this was the challenge that I presented the tofu press with.
The press is very easy to use and doesn’t have the dubious health and safety implications of my previous home-made gadgets.
Previously I was using a combination of plates, bowls and a pestle and mortar. This produced a reliably firm tofu, but was about as aesthetically pleasing as a trip to County Hall in Aylesbury for Prince Charles.