Where we live, a real market is not close by like a stone’s throw away like in our place in Singapore. Here, either you settle for SM supermarket where produce is much more expensive and the freshness is compromised or go to Imus Market (where price is reasonable but fresher produce) which is the town next to where we live and go through exhausting traffic. Oh and there are two small village stalls which is really expensive, so this last one is not an option for me as I feel I’m being ripped off. So I only have only two options where to shop, until today.
Two years ago, Mommy together with the helper went to a market on the other side of the town, side of the town I’m not familiar with. I only drove past it a few times only. Every time, after marketing in Imus, I complain of exhaustion. The last time, Mommy mentioned the other market she only went to once. That it’s nearer and more option of fresh produce. Then I remember something.
I’ve been wanting to try make taho or soya beancurd at home for ages; ok a few years now. But not knowing where to but the thing that solidifies the soya milk hinders me. I asked the vendor about it and at first he said he didn’t know. I did my research and turned out you can make taho or tau huay using calcium sulfate aka gypsum or with GDL (Gluco Delta Lactone) aka lactone. The street vendors use gypsum. I was able to find lactone in Phoon Huat. A few months ago, I went crazy over making taho at home. I successfully did it with the lactone/ GDL I bought in Singapore. Oh I haven’t posted it here I totally should post it asap. So next I want to try and see the difference of using gypsum myself. An online forum mentioned where I can buy it in Singapore but it’s available in bulk at 5 kilos and priced around $7 which I think is too much for an experiment that’s only needing 3 tsps the most. And buying it there would be hard as I need to explain to them that I need the gypsum that’s cooked or else my beancurd will fail. I don’t speak Mandarin so that’s a problem so I didn’t buy.
Then I asked again for the nth time our favorite beancurd vendor about where they buy their gypsum. He said it’s in Zapote market. I remembered this when Mommy told me that market is better so I decided to drop by and try finding it.
I totally loved this market! So many choices! Fresh veggies and lots of fruits available! It’s like I’m seeing diamonds in the fresh pineapples and bananas everywhere! It’s like almost everything is available. I even saw native/free ranged eggs which is not easy to find and even steel drums from the shop in the corner. I was like in market heaven and grinning to myself. Then I tried asking around where I could buy the ingredients for taho and as usual they didn’t know (it’s been years that I’ve been asking around in different markets wherever I go and no one knew). Then I bought coconut milk and asked again while they were pressing the coconut. They didn’t know. BUT the woman on the next stall overheard me asking and said, “Ah, calcium sulfate?” I was like, “Yes! It’s so nice that you know!, then she said, Oh I took beancurd making seminar.” She’s so nice! I loved her at that time hehe and she totally get me why I like making bean curd at home. It’s a different feeling, maybe contentment, knowing that you make one at home and it’s better quality than the one you buy from vendors. She said that I could buy it at the bakery supply store across the street. Thanked her many times and I almost hoped to that supplies store. I asked again for it which is a pain to explain, and they said, “ah calcium?” I was like, “I guess.. if that’s what you call it here..” So I asked if I could buy just half a kilo and they said it’s fine and I asked if I could see the “label” of the powder I bought and I almost shrieked when it said, GYPSUM. Oh yes! After what 2 or 3 years I finally found it! I can’t wait to try making bean curd using gypsum. And I saved a lot because I didn’t buy the 5 kilo gypsum available in Singapore. Whoot! Even though my fingers hurt like hell because of the heavy stuff I bought, I was still so happy with the discovery of the better and nearer market and of course, finding gypsum! Yeah baby!
P.S. Many people are scared of using gypsum aka calcium sulfate aka plaster of paris as they are scared to turning their insides into something solid. But they say it’s safe as long as you don’t eat way too much every day. Many tau huay/ taho stalls in Singapore prefer to use GDL aka lactone as this is a natural ingredient that is naturally existing in fruits I think. Let me try my hand at gypsum and let’s see which one gives better result.