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Wednesday Word: tempeh

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Tempeh [TEHM-pay]
As interest in vegetarian and vegan diets has grown significantly over the past decade or so, it’s interesting to note that a popular staple of the diet is tempeh — and that tempeh may be as old a food product as a thousand years.

Fermented and cooked whole soybeans that have been pressed into a shape similar to a bar of soap, tempeh is dense, chewy, nutty and yeasty. It’s high in protein, free of cholesterol and low in fat.

Tempeh is good for cooking with because it generally keeps its shape and absorbs the flavours that are being cooked with it.

As for it’s origin, it’s possible that tempeh was a by-product — a mistake, in some senses — of the tofu-making process and dates to being made in Indonesia in the 17th century.

You can purchase Henry’s Tempeh, a locally made product, at Full Circle Foods, or try it in sandwich form at Cafe Pyrus: the “Benwich” is organic panini with tempeh, avocado, aged organic Cheddar or Daiya and whole grain mustard.

I’ve had the Benwich: it’s good!

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