And it's come to this

The great egg race

vegan fried egg, looks okay Getty Images
Fool me once… It looks good enough, but looks can be deceiving. What does it taste like though?

Zaria Gorvett explores The race to make a multipurpose vegan egg, for the benefit of those of us who weren't even aware that such a thing existed. The race, that is.

Today those who renounce animal products can still eat lardons, camembert, charcuterie, sausage rolls, mayonnaise, and even sashimi – or at least, plausible substitutes for them. And thanks to a number of fortunate discoveries, from the transcendent creaminess of oat products to the uncanny texture of jackfruit – the latter can be transformed into realistic pulled pork or crab…

Zaria Gorvett, The race to make a multipurpose vegan egg, BBC Future

Gorvett later explains the lengths that some have gone to to fake the look of an egg yolk: a tomato-based paste formed into a sphere; or addition of mineral sulphides to give a pungent aroma. But does it taste like egg yolk? And if not, what's the damned point?

This is something that puzzles me. If you want to renounce animal-based foods, why worry so much about replicating them? And if you cannot make do without them, perhaps that's telling you something. Bloody weirdos. (oldman)

Much of the article focuses on the use of eggs in baking and general cooking, and I understand the desire for partial egg replacement. For me, though, where eggs really stand out is when the yolk is a prominent part of the taste profile: fried; poached; or boiled. And none of the vegan options can fake that. Looks, possibly. Smell, who cares? Taste and texture, well if they can, Gorvett doesn't mention it.

So, the search for an ideal artificial egg continues. But if after just over half a decade of intensive research, vegans can already eat their own versions of every conceivable kind [as long as the taste of the yolk isn't important], who knows what new developments are on the horizon. Might people one day listen in wonder, as they're told that the ingredient they call "egg" used to have something to do with chickens?

Zaria Gorvett, The race to make a multipurpose vegan egg, BBC Future

Clucky will be relieved.

The original The Great Egg Race was far more interesting, back in the day.