Middle-class woes…

I have a dilemma so middle-class it almost beats the discussion I had last year about the relative merits of Waitrose smoked salmon paté and smoked mackerel paté.

I’m looking for a new brand of tofu. Cauldron was always my tofu brand of choice, mainly because it’s the only one most supermarkets stock. And that was fine, because it was perfectly acceptable tofu. And they did those gorgeous marinated tofu pieces. But they recently had a revamp, and now their tofu products are ‘new and improved’ and in different packaging. Except I don’t think they’re improved at all, I think they’re horrible! The marinated pieces aren’t the same at all, and the tofu is now a big (they made the pack size slightly bigger, and guess what, it now costs more) soggy mess. The old tofu was firm and easy to work with, but the new stuff is slimy and spongy and it’s impossible to get enough water out of it to cook it properly. I tried my usual trick of pressing it between two plates, and I just ended up with a disintegrated mass under a nasty, rubbery skin. Yuck. It’s annoying because tofu is one of my staple ingredients – I eat it at least twice a week.

I was in Waitrose last night and I picked up a pack of smoked tofu with almonds and sesame seeds – and it was absolutely gorgeous. Quite possibly the best tofu I’ve ever tasted! But the pack is tiny (only enough for one serving) and it was over £2, whereas Cauldron’s two-serving pack is generally around £1.99.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for good, cheapish, readily available tofu? I have an organic supermarket nearby, but my local Tesco only stocks Cauldron. Or maybe my best bet would be to try the oriental shop near work?

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3 thoughts on “Middle-class woes…

  1. Yes, try your nearest Chinese supermarket. You may have to experiment a bit with the different brands, but for me this is the only real stuff that reminds me of my time in Korea and China. The Cauldron stuff is (was?) edible, but not toufu in my books!

  2. I was wondering whether I'd done something wrong when I tried to make your crispy tofu – I just couldn't get the tofu dry enough and when I marinated it it disintegrated. We got there in the end but it was a bit faffy. Have you tried Holland and Barrat? They do a nice line in veggie/vegan stuff – if you have a store near you they might have something in there. I don't think they stock Cauldren products, and I'm sure they had tofu blocks in there the other day.

  3. tine – I don't really have a Chinese supermarket near me. The closest one is about a 10-minute walk from the office (although it's currently closed for refurbishment) which isn't exactly convenient, but I'll definitely check it out.m4d – Holland and Barratt is a good idea, there's one next to the station so I'll have a look in there as well! I've always got the impression that their fresh/frozen veggie stuff is quite expensive, but I'll definitely see what they've got.

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