Soy beans originate from China and have been a key food ingredient in North-East Asia for over 1000 years.
As fresh green beans, they are lightly boiled and eaten as the snack “eda-mame”. Dried soy beans are the key ingredient in tofu and fermented foods such as miso, soy sauce and natto. It was a major source of protein in Japan for many centuries when eating meat was forbidden by Buddhism.
Today soy is a key ingredient of a wide range of foods – including modern meat and dairy alternatives.