What is Taho?
Taho is a sweet snack made primarily of silken tofu, tapioca or sago pearls, and brown sugar syrup. Tofu is the food made from the curdling of soy milk. Its mild taste makes it perfect for soaking up flavors in this dish.
The top 8 most common flavored taho variants include:
- Coffee Jelly
Origin of taho
Taho is a popular local meal in the Philippines. However, the general belief is that this food originated in China. The food came into the limelight during the era before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines. It is said that a Chinese cook was making soy milk soup when he mixed boiled and ground soybeans with “impure” sea salt. The result of this mixture got combined with beans and almond syrup.
The Malays inherited this dish from the Chinese. When the Malays moved to the Philippines, they carried this sweet soybean mixture into the region. The Filipinos adjusted the recipe for this food and improved its taste. Nowadays, people in the Phillippines consume this as a dessert. Street vendors also sell this snack early in the morning to serve as breakfast.
One cup of taho contains:
The presence of tofu in this food can provide health benefits for the body, such as:
- This food contains isoflavones, which are linked to several physical benefits.
- The isoflavones might be able to reduce bone loss that results from early menopause.
- It may be capable of reducing blood vessel inflammation and also decreasing the risk of heart disease.
- This food can reduce your chances of developing prostate or breast cancer.
- This meal may be capable of cutting down your risk of diabetes and boosting your blood sugar level.
- It can provide several nutrients and minerals for proper body functioning.
This food has no significant side effects. However, it is best to eat tofu and tofu related products that have undergone the minimum amount of processing. Generally, it is crucial to review a processed food’s nutrition label before buying it.
Street vendors are the main producers of this snack. The commercial production of this food involves pouring melted brown sugar syrup over silky tofu. Then, sago pearls are poured over the dessert.
Brazil is the largest soybean producer with a production value of about 124 million metric tons in 2019-2020. The global market for soybeans had a value of $148 to $150 billion during 2018. This value is expected to grow with a growth rate of 4-5% between 2019 and 2025.
Here are a few tips that can help you while preparing this food at home:
- Bear in mind that small tapioca balls are easier to cook than large ones.
- When you prepare the tapioca pearls in boiling water, stir the mixture to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- When you are making the tofu, less coagulant produces softer tofu. Also, the quantity of coagulant influences the texture of the tofu.
This dessert can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some recipes worth trying:
- Filipino Silken Tofu with Sago Pearls and Syrup
- Strawberry Taho
- Mint Sago’t Gulaman
- No-Bake Tofu Cheesecake
- Homemade Taho From Instant Soy Milk
The Food and Drug Administration does not mention taho in any of its regulations. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has standards for producing and harvesting soybeans. Soybeans are used in producing tofu, which is a principal ingredient in making taho. According to the USDA, soybeans refer to a grain that consists of 50% of whole or broken soybeans that will not pass through an 8/64 round-hole sieve and not more than 10% of other grains recognized by the United States Grain Standards Act.
“Homemade Taho.” Panlasang Pinoy, Panlasang Pinoy, 14 Mar. 2019, panlasangpinoy.com/filipino-street-food-homemade-taho-recipe/.
Shahbandeh, M. “Production of Soybeans in Leading Countries Worldwide, 2012-2020.” www.statista.com, Statista blog, 14 May 2020, www.statista.com/statistics/263926/soybean-production-in-selected-countries-since-1980/.