Thursday, May 10, 2012

Soybeans: It Wasn't Franklin After All

Earlier I linked to a blog post at Boston 1775 describing how Ben Franklin, the great bureaucrat, was the first with soybeans in the colonies, specifically tofu. 

Turns out that was wrong.  The soybean types have got to Boston 1775 and he has corrected the account.  It was really Samuel Bowen of Georgia, who was first actually to grow soybeans here and describe their uses.  But Bowen didn't get to tofu, so Franklin can still be the patron of the foodies.

Aside: it surprises me to find the China trade existing back in 1758, but apparently it was well established.  Although my rapidly fading memory of the book 1493 says countries other than England were trading with the Chinese maybe by the end of the 16th century.

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