THE HISTORY OF MEAT ALTERNATIVES
23 May 2022
Meat alternatives have ancient origins:
- Tofu originated in China around 2000 years ago, under the Han dynasty. Soy milk was curdled with salt or acid to form curds, which were then pressed into white blocks.
- As the recipe spread to other Asian countries, different variations of this product began to emerge, with different production techniques, textures and flavours.
- In the following centuries, tempeh (Indonesia) and Seitan (China)* were also developed.
- The first evidence of vegetarianism dates back to around the 6th century B.C. and is associated with the birth of the first major religious movements such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism.
- In the 1960s, the increase in vegetarian and vegan consumers led to the development of textured vegetable proteins, which were then used as the basis for plant-based alternatives similar to meats like burgers or bacon.
- In recent years, thanks to innovative companies such as Beyond Meat, a new generation of plant-based, meat-like products has emerged.