Tofu is believed to have originated in China, introduced to Japn most likely by Buddhist monks sometime before the eight century before common era. Its creation is believed to have been accidental, where soymilk was left and consequently curdled on its own to become tofu. It may have also been on purpose. Some historians believe that the Chinese created tofu by the same process as how cheese is produced. This knowledge was borrowed from the Mongolians or the Indians. Therefore, tofu is essentially a type of cheese from the legume, the soybean. It was created over two thousand years ago; the exact date of creation is unknown.
Did you know that Japanese tofu has no cholestrol? This makes it an excellent calcium alternative to products derived from animals, such as milk and meats.
Because vegetarianism is practiced by Buddhists, dishes featuring tofu are often prepared. It is also commonly served in Kaiseki Ryori (traditional gourmet Japanese food).