Although I have been a vegetarian for a number of years, I never really liked tofu that much, until I had my Asian foods epiphany. Although in the West, it's seen as a weirdo vegetarian meat substitute, in Asian cultures it doesn't have this stigma. Tofu in Asian cooking is usually presented without apology. It isn't disguised as meat, or used in recipes as a filler, or laced with complex ingredients to hide what it is. Dishes like agedashi tofu or hiyayakko present tofu as the focus, without elaborate preparation. I think this is as big a hurdle for Americans as is the idea that rice is usually eaten plain, without any sauce or dressing.

That being said, it's also important to realize that all tofu isn't created equal. The bland, flavorless clouds that we get in the supermarket are a far cry from the nutty, texturized tofu of Asia. I used to buy Nasoya at the supermarket, but when I discovered other brands at the local health-food store, I was surprised to find that tofu can be less watery, and more flavorful. And don't even get me started on koyadofu.