There is a small village with a population of less than 2,000 located in Dounan town, Chenggong district, Kunming city. Over the past hundreds of years, people in the village had manufactured countless delicious stinky tofu for Kunming people which enriched their everyday life. The village is well known afar for the snake made with clean underground water, local soybeans and special workmanship.
If Jianshui manufactures the best tofu in Yunnan, Qibuchang produces the best tofu in Kunming. This unremarkable small village also has ancient wells like those in the residential buildings of Jianshui, as well as hundreds of years of old skills.
Now, after hundreds of years, villagers here still use the most traditional workmanship and authentic processes to make tofu. This is what makes this humble village famous.
In ancient times, Qibuchang was known as Qubuchanan which sounds like Qibuchang, and it means a griddle (a tool to make rice) in the language of Yi. With two pools, one large one small, the village was once named Fengle Village which means harvest. The village has thousands of acres of mountains and hundreds of acres of water, which have nourished tofu makers generation after generation.
Standing in a humble tofu workshop in Qibuchang village, the strong bean fragrance will blow on your face. The walls have turned yellowed by years of steam, and pieces of tofu are laid on shelves in neat order waiting for its final sublimation. When the bean curd grows fine hairs on the surface, they will be sent to various vegetable farms. The processes of screening, hulling, soaking, grinding, boiling, dotting, molding, cutting, fermentation, soybean milk solidification and growing hair are so natural, beautiful and precise. Like a precision carving knife, the bamboo pieces in the hands of craftsmen have remolded life into the most delicious miracle. These are the daily tasks of the tofu craftsman, as natural as breathing. Their peaceful eyes witness the delicate shaping of these artworks.
Qibuchang is a village of tofu with many restaurants specialized in tofu dishes there. The tofu made manually can be fried, baked, cooked and stewed into dozen of delicious dishes: tofu fish, tofu pudding with beef, potted stinky tofu, dried bean cured sheets, white tofu, bean residue cake, etc.