What is tempeh?
In short, tempeh refers to a slab of soybeans bound together by a white fungus known as rhizopus oligosporus. It’s a fermented product that increases the bioavailability of the nutrients found in soybeans. It has been consumed for centuries as a rich source of protein.
Where is it from?
Tempeh originates from Central Java in Indonesia. It is the only soybean product that didn’t emerge out of East Asia. Its earliest record in writing is found in the Serat Centhini, a tome written in 1814 which describes the Javanese way of life. According to this classic, tempeh was eaten from as far back as the 1600s.
Is it highly processed?
Not at all. This is an ancient whole food eaten before the advent of mechanisation and preservatives. Think of it as eating cooked soybeans and a form of mushrooms.
What should I do when I first get my purchase?
Hold it and smell it! Fresh tempeh should feel warm in your hands and it smells like mushrooms. Tempeh is a living product and our processes make sure it continues living when it reaches you. For storage, keep it in the fridge where it should last for five days, which slows down its growth. Don’t worry if the white parts take on a yellow tinge and there are edges that turn grey. It’s all part of the tempeh’s lifecycle and is still edible.