Soy has been a staple in many Asian countries thanks to its nutritional value and high-quality vegetable protein content. Consumed in Asia since thousands of years, soy finally found its way into the Western diet some decades ago.
Soy has been grown in the West since the early 20th century. The European Union produces more than 600.000 tons of soy per year.
A large variety of tasty soy foods are now available including soy drinks, desserts, alternatives to yoghurt, variations on cream and meat substitutes.
The soy plant is a pulse (leguminous) plant (similar to peas and beans) which produces a pod containing seeds or beans. These beans are called “soy beans.” There are more than 100 different varieties, which can be distinguished by their size, colour, and nutritional composition. The yellow-bean variety is the most commonly used for food.
Interesting: Do not confuse soy beans with sprouts from mung beans. The latter are mistakenly called “soy sprouts” and are mainly eaten in salads.