Cast Iron Cooking Caldron


A large (16" high x 26") cast iron cooking caldron (pot or vat or tub) used by Steve Demos to make tofu in the early days of the White Wave company. The cauldron has two handles and 3 small feet. After soybeans were soaked and mashed, the milk was extracted and transferred to the caldron where a coagulating agent was mixed in to make the milk into curds. Then the tofu was pressed into blocks. This caldron was used in the late 1970s at the 17th & Pearl Street location of Demos’ business, then named “Cow of China.” 

How Does The Artifact Relate to Colorado History

During the 1960s and 1970s, rethinking the way food was produced, prepared and consumed was a key element of the counterculture movement. Boulder was at the forefront with cutting edge businesses that spawned natural foods giants including Celestial Seasonings, White Wave, Inc. and Horizon Organic Dairy as well as countless smaller companies.

Tofu and soy products are now commonplace in American grocery stores and restaurants. Boulder and Colorado have become notable for their commitment to healthy living and natural foods diets. Artifacts that represent the early days of this revolutionary alternative food movement are rare and important to preserve.

Why Is This Artifact Significant?

White Wave, Inc. is now one of the most successful natural foods companies in the country. This caldron represents the counterculture beginnings of White Wave. In 1976, Steve Demos, a self-proclaimed hippie, returned from his years studying meditation in India. His idea to produce soybean curd, a versatile and nutritious protein source, was radical for the time. Catering to health-conscious lifestyle consumers, White Wave contributed to Boulder’s reputation as a natural foods hub. The caldron is an original piece of equipment that dates from the time Demos was making tofu by hand on Pearl Street in Boulder.

Artifact Is
3 Dimensional
Artifact Significant To
Artifact Location

Boulder History Museum
1206 Euclid Ave
Boulder, CO 80302
United States

Cast Iron Cooking Caldron

Year(s) Nominated
2015 Top Ten