With the possible exceptions of rice and dumplings, few foods seem as intrinsically tied to Chinese culture as tofu. But despite its widespread popularity throughout China and vegetarians everywhere, the origins of this food remain shrouded in mysteries of Chinese kings obsessed with finding an elixir for immortality.

Huainan isn’t much of a secondtier city; whilst it has pleasant central avenues lined with trees, there isn’t much that couldn’t be found in any other central Chinese city of similar size. Located in the northeast of Anhui Province, it can be reached via fast train and isn’t too far from Nanjing.

Huainan itself, however, isn’t the destination; it is the geography park of Bagongshan (八公山 Eight Gentlemen Mountain) that holds the keys to the history of tofu.

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