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TENPEH is a ten-bean tempeh that celebrates the bean as a hearty and nutritious dietary staple. Resting on a ceremonial pedestal shrouded in banana leaves, the TENPEH commands the attention of any feast that is graced with its presence.


This centerpiece mirrors the over-the-top meat spectacles common in celebratory feasts, like whole roast pigs and turducken. It follows in the steps of luxury foods that gain value through fermentation like wine, aged meats, and caviar.  TENPEH demonstrates the potential of vegan dishes to be nourishing, delicious, and just as ~extra~ as its meat counterparts.  


The original dish of tempeh is a fermented soybean cake from Indonesia.  Fermentation from the rhizopus oryzae culture allows mold to bind the beans together, creating a versatile protein high in vitamins and minerals.


TENPEH was crafted using a basic tempeh recipe in which cooked beans are mixed with culture and wrapped in banana leaves and left in a warm environment to ferment.  Banana leaves allow the mycelium around the tempeh to breathe and grow.  Beans included in TENPEH: soybean, sweet adzuki, pinto, cannellini, flageolet, mung bean, black-eyed pea, black bean, kidney bean, and garbanzo bean.

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Some batches did not successfully grow into a solid cake, but rather a gentle fuzz of mold (below).  I found that batches with a higher ration of soybeans were more likely to fully grow.

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Thank you for viewing my moldy beans!

- Leah

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