This article is from the Vegetarianism FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Traub) with numerous contributions by others.
Tofu, or Soy Bean Curd, is a whitish substance made from soybeans.
It has a variety of uses in vegetarian cooking because of its
bland taste that soaks up other flavours. It comes in a couple of
varieties, basically amounting to soft and firm style. Soft tofu is
often used to make frostings for cakes, dips for chips and
vegetables, while the firmer style is generally used in stir-fries
and soups where it will hold its shape.