Saturday, July 7, 2012
268. The American Founders and Chinese Food
Among the American founders, Benjamin Franklin told us his personal experience with Chinese food. In a letter, dated January 11, 1770, to John Batram, a friend in Philadelphia, the founing father introduced Tau-Fu, one of the popular Chinese foods throughout the history of China. Franklin told Batram, "Father Navarrete's account of the universal use of a cheese made of them in China, which so excited my curiosity, that I caused enquiry to be made of Mr. [James] Flint, who lived many years there, in what manner the cheese was made, and I send you his answer. I have since learned that some runnings of salt (I suppose runnet) is put into water, when the meal is in it, to turn it to curds. [...] These ... are what the Tau-fu is made of." As for more information concerning Franklin's love of Chinese food, please read "Franklin’s Favorite Foods" by Dr. Page Talbott, Associate Director, and Chief Curator, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World.