"Soy" is "shu" in Chinese, which literally means "big bean". The origin of soybeans is the Far East, from where this plant spread to China, Japan, Vietnam, India, etc. Soy arrived in Europe in the form of a sauce 200 years later than all Far Eastern exotic delicacies - tea, cinnamon, star anise and oranges. It was only in 1873 that soybeans were first presented in Europe during an international exhibition in Austria - as one of the crops. But in Russia, soybeans were first tasted only during the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905, when the tsarist command faced the difficulties of providing soldiers with traditional food in the Far East region and introduced a soy diet.
Soy is an ancient plant like rice. It is curious that in the ancient treatise of Shen-Nun - the Second Chinese Emperor and the Divine Farmer - the discoverer of green tea and ginseng, the principles of preparation and consumption of several dozen products and dishes from soy, including soy flour and butter, soy milk and cottage cheese, soy cheeses and sauces, and other hot and cold dishes based on soy. These principles are also guided today.
Interestingly, soy is the only plant that people are ambivalent about: some scientific studies confirm the beneficial properties of soy - after all, it contains 2.5 times more protein than meat, and this protein is almost completely balanced in essential amino acids; however, other scientists state the fact that soy can cause irreversible changes in the structure of the brain and lead to reproductive disorders in both men and women, due to the presence of genistein in soy, which is similar in its biological effect on the human body the female sex hormone estrogen.
It is interesting that they could not find a Russian name for soybeans for a long time. Names such as oilseed peas, oilseed bean, Haberlandt beans, and even a charming Latin name - wisteria, were proposed, but nevertheless they decided on the English translation from Japanese, which we now use - soy. This name "soy" has stuck and is used to refer to the plant itself, as well as grain, flour, oil and sauce.
The most interesting thing about soy is that everything is used in it - there is no waste. The composition of soy is 37-40% proteins, 19-22% oils, 20-30% extractive substances (pectins, dextrins, enzymes, sucrose, organic acids).
Despite the abundance of soy products in stores, you need to remember that a soy product made by natural fermentation methods is useful and safe for health - the technology of which was developed in the Ancient East, for example, a high-quality sauce is sold exclusively in glass bottles and only natural ones should be present in it. ingredients, no dyes or flavors, and up to 8% protein, and the inscription on the label: "made on the basis of natural fermentation"
Interestingly, the well-known and always available on the market - "Salad with asparagus" does not contain asparagus at all, and the long white pieces outside are actually "foam" formed by boiling soy milk, or fuju. But the cheese called Tofu (in Japanese - to-fu, in Chinese dau-fu, in Korean - tu-bu) is just cottage cheese from soybeans, which is produced by adding condensed milk to fresh hot soy milk substance - nigari (it consists of calcium sulfate - a natural mineral).