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Mar. 7, 2007
Steamers of Gainesville
The famous Steamers of Gainesville, FLRecently, I took a trip to Gainesville, Florida in hopes of visiting my favorite college restaurant, Steamers. In true Florida style, this restaurant is located next to a convenient store and a Laundromat.

Despite, the small kitchen and location, they have the best tempeh I've ever had! If you're not familiar with tempeh, it's created through the fermentation of whole soybeans using a Rhizopus mold as a starter. A dark brownish-to-black colored tempeh equals good flavor and that's exactly what they have at Steamers. Their flavor can also be attributed to the fact that their tempeh is homemade and not packaged and processed. The tempeh marinate (soy sauce based, I think) also adds to the flavor. It's truly amazing!

 With that said, I was all geared up to have a Steamers' Tempeh-Burger sandwich. I was even thinking about getting one for the road (they're only $3.50). As I made my way into the parking lot, I noticed there was no one around and much to my dismay, they were closed. I didn't get the tempeh sandwich I was craving and I returned to Berkeley a little disappointed and on a mission.  

Prior to this trip, I had searched the Bay Area and have yet to find good tempeh. They do sell tempeh at Rainbow and Berkeley Bowl, but none of it compares to Steamers' homemade tempeh. Most of the packaged tempeh is an off-white color and I believe they stop the fermentation process a little early (hence the light color).

In an attempt to try to match Steamers' tempeh, I have ordered my own starter culture from Belgium via the internet. It's arrived and I have dehulled soybeans; so now, all I have to do is soak, cook and get the tempeh starter going. It should only take about five days; I'll track it for all of you to see. Let me know if you have any tempeh making tips.

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From the Kitchen

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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