History of Uncommon Fermented Soyfoods (379 AD to 2012)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-49-5

Publication Date: 2012 Oct. 21

Number of References in Bibliography: 157

Earliest Reference: 379 AD

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Brief chronology / timeline of uncommon fermented soyfoods.

346-379 A.D. – In Shijiu [Record of Fermented Black Soybean Wine], the author, Wang Hsi-chih says: When I was young I drank fermented black soybean wine (shijiu). It was very good.
530 A.D. – In Shijing [Food Canon (#1)], the section titled “How to make soybean (dadou) thousand year bitter wine” (kujiu) (preserved in Chapter 71, titled “Vinegar” in Qimin Yaoshu) describes the process.
544 A.D. – In Qimin Yaoshu, by Jia Sixie, Chapter 71 preserves the text of the Shijing (cited above), which had been lost by this time.
1596Bencao Gangmu [The great pharmacopoeia], by Li Shizen refers to a type of soy wine named (tou-lin chiu)(“bean soak wine”).
1878 Feb. – In the Bulletin de la Societe d’Acclimatation (France), an article titled Sur les vins et eaux-de-vie fabriqués en Chine [On the wines and brandies made in China], P. Dabry de Thiersant mentions Cantonese wine starter (kiu-tsee or kiu-tsu) which may well be the French transcription of jiuzi. Rice and soybeans are the two main ingredients used in Canton to make the wine.
      In 1888 Ch. Lecerf in France is the first to write Kiu-tsée with an acute accent to refer to this solid Cantonese wine ferment.
1911 – In the book Chinese Materia Medica: Vegetable Kingdom, by George A. Stuart (published in Shanghai, China) is a section titled “Bean ferment.” The Chinese characters tou-huang [dou-huang] (which are given) mean “bean + yellow.” This “Bean ferment” “is the fermentation pellicle (Mycoderma) which forms on the top of fermenting beans, as the mother-of-vinegar forms on the top of vinegar in its process of preparation.”
      In 1918 Shih Chi Yen mentions this same product, written with the same Chinese characters.
1966 – I.A. Akinrele of Nigeria writes his PhD thesis at the University of Ibadan on “A biochemical study of the traditional method of preparation of ogi and its effects on the nutritive value of corn.” Ogi is the Yoruba (western Nigerian) name for a sour, fermented maize / corn product widely consumed in southern Nigeria and West Africa. He found that when he fortified traditional ogi with 30% heat-treated whole soy flour, the protein quality (as measured by the protein efficiency ratio or PER) increased threefold. His innovation opened up a new world of research on  using soy to fortify traditional fermented foods in developing countries.
1967 June – Keith H. Steinkraus of Cornell University publishes the first research on the use of soybeans to fortify the traditional Indian fermented food named idli in order to increase its protein quality and quantity.
1970 – Akinrele coins the term “soy-ogi” and in 1975 Edem shortens it to “soyogi.”
1973 Nov. – In Ceylon (today’s Sri Lanka), the Ceylon Meals for Millions Foundation publishes a booklet titled All About the Soy Bean. The section on “Soya bean recipes” notes: “A new trend in the preparation of ‘Thosai.’ Soya bean as a substitute for black gram in preparing delicious ‘Thosai’” [Dosai].
1975 July – In a publication by USDA’s Northern Regional Research Center (Peoria, Illinois), the term “soy idli” is first used, and in 1976 Ramakrishnan et al. in India shorten this to “soyidli.”
1979 – In a research project in India funded by the U.S. P.L. 480 (Food for Peace) Program, C.V. Ramakrishnan of Baroda publishes the first research on the use of soybeans to fortify the traditional Indian fermented food named dosa in order to increase its protein quality and quantity.
1979 – In an article in the Baroda Journal of Nutrition titled “Studies in Indian fermented foods,” C.V. Ramakrishnan discusses dhokla, a traditional Indian fermented food, fortified with soybeans in order to increase its protein quality and quantity.
1986 Nov. 22-23 – National seminar on Soybean Processing and Utilization in India is held in Bhopal. India, sponsored by the Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE). Many of the papers are about fortification of tradition Indian fermented breakfast foods (such as dosa / dosai, idli and dhokla) with soybeans or soy flour.
      The proceedings (436 p.) are published in July 1988, edited by Nawab Ali, A.P. Gandhi, and T.P. Ojha.
2001 – Patil et al. in India coin the terms “soy-dosa,” “soy-dosa mix, and “instant soy-dosa mix.”
Note on geography and origins in India: Idli and dosa have been used as basic foods in South India since at least A.D. 1100 but they are now popular throughout the country. The dominant organisms in idli are Leuconostoc mesenteroides and a number of Lactobacillus species. Dhokla is from west India, especially Gujarat; its origin is unknown.
Note on traditional ingredients and processes in India. Soybeans can be used to replace part of the traditional legume:
Dhokla: Main ingredients: Soak 4 parts rice and 1 part Bengal gram dal (chickpeas, garbanzo beans, Cicer arietinum) overnight. Grind the mixture to a coarse paste. Allow this batter to ferment overnight at room temperature. Steam in a pie dish, then cut into diamond shapes and garnish the top – as with chili peppers, grated ginger or thinly sliced coconut. Usually served at breakfast, hot, cold, or at room temperature. Note: Khaman is a similar gram flour-based food that is sometimes confused with dhokla.
Dosa / Dosai: Main ingredients: Rice and black gram (Vigna mungo) (other ingredients are also used). Method of preparation. Prepare water soaked rice and black gram dal. Mix them then wet grind to yield a smooth batter; allow it to ferment. Pan-fry the batter to make crepes or thin pancakes.
Idli: Main ingredients: Rice and black gram (Vigna mungo). Method of preparation: Water soaked rice (2 parts) and black gram dal (1 part). Wet grind separately in a stone mortar, the rice to a coarse texture and the black gram dal to a smooth gelatinous paste. Mix the two together with salt and allow the batter to ferment overnight at room temperature. Using a specially-devised idli steamer, steam in the shape of round, lens-shaped white buns.
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Click here to download the full text to open and read book History of Uncommon Fermented Soyfoods (379 AD to 2012)