Saturday, June 6, 2015

393. Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Food

It might be difficult to identify who was the first American that had experiences with Chinese food. However, the current record shows that Benjamin Franklin mentioned Chinese food. Franklin was the first American introduced Tofu to North America,  the well-known Chinese food. Tofu originated in China of the Han dynasty  over 2,000 years ago. It was introduced to North America about 245 years ago.

In a letter to John Bartram, dated January 11, 1770, Franklin said, "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.".

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