Beef might be what’s for dinner but plant-based alternatives are what all the cool kids are eating. While Beyond Sausages and Impossible Burgers hold a great deal of promise, the humbler proteins shine this Saturday at the Event Center at Saint Mary’s Cathedral as the Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival returns for the eighth year running.
A major fundraiser for the Nichi Bei Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Japanese-American culture, it includes a dessert competition, a tofu-eating contest, plenty of free samples from various purveyors, a scavenger hunt, jazz performances, and plenty of educational opportunities about the coagulated bean curd first produced in China under the Han dynasty two millennia ago.
Admission is only $5 — less than in years past — and kids under 10 enter free. Hop on the free shuttle from Japantown’s Peace Plaza to the festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and get some edamame hummus by Scott Davis (aka The Culinary Dude) and tofu mochi doughnuts from Kaori Kitchen’s Eri Combs, plus a soy-milk custard from Nichi Bei Weekly columnist Ryan Tatsumoto, the Gochiso Gourmet. Mascots Cutie Tofutti and the Tofu Panda will be roaming around, and they’re probably very hungry for soy products.
Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival, Saturday, June 30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Event Center at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough St. Free-$5, soyandtofufest.org