Did you know that tofu has its own distinctive taste?
Alongside the trend of vegetarianism and healthy eating, tofu is secretly intruding the supermarket shelves in the West. While widely consumed as a replacement for meat and diary products, tofu, a food category with rich traditions, has become neutral and invisible. It's mainly industrially produced, preserved with additives - and you can taste it!
In its new habitat, tofu is often belittled for its tastelessness, it has a completely different image back at home. In East-Asia, tofu is frequently produced by artisans in small-scale manufactories or in restaurants and it appears in various forms and textures. The subtle scent of soybeans in fresh tofu is very much appreciated and it's common to eat it plain or lightly seasoned.
SLOW TOFU is a project that reconnects people to the stories behind the food. It was initiated by Chinese designer Weiwei Wang as a part of her bachelor thesis, while studying at Bauhaus-University in Weimar, Germany in 2015.
In a workshop, the participants are introduced to the world of tofu production. They are invited to make their own portions of tofu, garnish them individually and eat fresh on spot.
The tools are designed for this unique crafting experience. With a ceramic bowl and a bamboo basket, tofu curds can be compressed and enjoyed directly in the bowl. The hand woven bamboo baskets for molding tofu are the result of collaboration with traditional bamboo weavers in China.
awards and exhibitions
In collaboration with tofu manufactures, design stores, vegan chefs and restaurants, SLOW TOFU Workshops have been taking place in Berlin and Hamburg in Germany as well as Hangzhou and Dalian in China. Based on the valuable feedback from the workshop hosts and participants, SLOW TOFU has developed it into a DIY tofu kit for home use.
This project was first shown at Milan Design Week in April 2015 and gained publicity from diverse renowned publishers e.g. Dezeen und Spiegel-Online. It was selected for the exhibition at "Talent" part of Tendence fair in Frankfurt in September 2015. It was nominated for German Design Award 2016 and was aknowleged by further design awards.