When meeting strangers ask me about my hometown, few people know name of village. However, when you hear that this is a tofu village within a radius of several miles, you often understand, as if waking up from a dream: Oh! This is your hometown!
Tofu is cooked in my hometown. This craft is passed down from generation to generation and it is difficult to trace its past. I just heard that distant ancestors cooked tofu. Everyone in village knows this. A real "tofu village".
Tofu is a great invention of Chinese cuisine. This is a delicacy in languages of all living beings, as well as human fireworks in bowls of ordinary people. The coexistence of elegance and vulgarity. Upstairs, you can go to royal court feast, in middle class, you can enter elegant assembly hall of scholars, and downstairs, you can satisfy hunger of ordinary people. The shape of tofu can be incorporated into poems and paintings, and name of tofu can be written in slang idioms and folk rhymes in village songs.
Tofu is considered a delicacy all over world. Sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty, with mixed flavors. Vegetables, meat, various seasonings, seafood and mountain delicacies can be combined with each other. It can be a banquet: a whole feast of tofu. Szechuan love: mapo tofu. Northern delicacies: tofu mixed with shallots, tofu mixed with tender Chinese toon sprouts that stimulate taste buds. The flavor is tangy, fresh and fragrant. Boil it in a ladle of clean water with a little refined salt, and it's also delicious in world. During cold winters of past in north, fresh seasonal vegetables were scarce, and kale tofu could last a whole cold winter day.
Tofu is a light and refreshing food served by wealthy families. The poor consider it a delicacy. The same thing in mouth can taste thousands of different flavors!
The most glorious time for making tofu in my hometown was in 1980s, when county television made a special trip to village to film a news clip in name of getting rich in village. In morning twilight, in morning light, a long file of villagers on bicycles with shelves full of tofu came out of village entrance, moving slowly, at great speed. As soon as it was televised, old and young women and children in streets and alleys rushed to tell each other, talking happily for many days. Ten miles and eight cities are considered great news.
Tofu, made in my hometown, is made from next year's local soybeans (the new soy protein hasn't precipitated yet). At that time, wheat and corn were planted in field of my hometown for two seasons, and soybeans were planted among corn in autumn. The day before, it was sieved by hand to remove impurities, ground by hand with a large round stone, and soaked overnight in old well water. Rising early next day, when stars and moon are still twinkling, villagers switch to pushing (or shaking) a small round mill with small stones and finely grinding it into snow-white raw soy milk, "grinding jade milk." ". At noon, wrap it in a very thin straw cloth, filter twice to remove remaining beans, and then pour into a special large iron pot. In afternoon, a fire was made, and fire should not be too fast, and in evening cauldron boiled, covered bean foam, and "boiled and boiled to form a pure spring" Remove from heat and cool slightly, wait for a layer of oil film to slowly form on surface, lift it with a thin bamboo pole, this oil film is oil skin, this is essence of beans , most delicious food, can be served with vegetables or fried separately.“The color is purer than earth, and aroma is stronger than brain of stone.”That way, when you get up early tomorrow, you can go to village and enter house and sell on street. The bean flavor is often spicy and can be kept warm.
Tofu in my hometown is made exclusively by hand, from natural materials, with a refreshing and delicate taste. The most auspicious thing is to sell down street, just in time for owner to get up early to marry new daughter-in-law, and before joyful event, a melodious and bright "tofu, tofu" was heard, which means "Du Fu, Doo Fu." It's very nice, owner's family is very happy and often let person in charge buy all tofu and everyone is happy.
In early days of selling tofu, voice was tiresome and was often supplemented with a wooden clapper. When tapped, sound was melodic and clear, long and long. Each person's wooden clapperboard has a different style and different percussion techniques, and sound of clapperboard is completely different. Regular customers and mainstream customers can distinguish between each other, buy or use a scoop to store soybeans, corn and wheat for exchange and so on. It has a strong nostalgia that makes people deeply bored and long to remember...
Neighbors gather around and look around at everyone. There are only a handful of people who have never been in tofu business. All villagers are proud.
Tofu is alive. From ancient times to present day, time flies, time is long, and tofu has raised relatives in its hometown. Whether it is a past of material scarcity or a present of abundance, she and people are in harmony with each other, interpenetrating and reflecting each other.
Tofu has character. Fragrance and true color, pure body like jade, innocence and directness, this is incorruptible panache of an official. Including all things, tasteless, but full of aromas, gentle and honest, unpretentious, soft and strong, this is what ordinary people want in their lives.
The image of my hometown is gradually disappearing. Only aroma of tofu's hometown often remains in nostrils.
Tofu has a mild flavor and is best taste in world.
My heart is warm, and place where I rest is my favorite hometown!