Faux egg, anyone?

From jackfruit biryani and Soya 65 to bean sliders and beetroot kebabs, the world of plant-based, vegan dishes is often the butt of ridicule at sumptuous dinner tables. Mention BBQ pulled jackfruit tacos and the eye-rolls and face-palms start pouring in. And plant-based eggs? The joke will be the most predictable of the lot: Vegans can lay their own eggs for breakfast.

Now the Mumbai-based startup Evo has launched ‘The world’s first boiled egg, made entirely from plants.’ I am not a big believer in “world’s firsts”, and honestly, egg-free eggs have been around for a while. Vegans and carnivores alike have been comparing notes on which brand comes closest to the fluffy, chewy texture of a real scrambled egg on Amazon customer reviews. The question is, how much do we need faux eggs?

Yes, there is always the argument of cholesterol. Chicken eggs are known to be naturally high in dietary cholesterol. But that is now being disputed. “Recent research shows that you no longer need to restrict dietary cholesterol from eggs, since there wasn’t a strong connection made between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels,” writes Bonnie Taub-Dix in Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You From Label to Table. But then, who can overlook the sure-footed points on animal cruelty, or hens contributing to climate change?

Evo, the alternate protein startup based in India and the US, has boiled eggs which can be grilled, fried or pickled just like a chicken egg. Made of pea, rice proteins and seaweed extract, with no cholesterol, it promises to function and taste like a non-processed egg. Many well-wishers plead vegans not to remove eggs from their diets. I guess they now have expensive, processed choices.