While most vegan egg substitutes aim to emulate scrambled eggs – which have a texture and appearance that can be easily replicated by a wide variety of foods – designer Annie Larkins has crafted An Egg Without A Chicken, a plant-based egg that not only provides protein, but also mimics the classic colors and textures of the egg white around the yolk. Emphasizing the contrast between her work and other vegan eggs, Larkins notes that, “Whilst egg alternatives already exist – either plant-based or grown synthetically in a laboratory – they neglect the essence of what an egg is.”
Although Larkins’ egg has a thin, hard outer layer, allowing it to be cracked like a real egg, its form is molded into non-traditional shapes, like cubes or overly-elongated ovals. In addition to its yolk, white and shell, the vegan egg also has a nutritional value and taste similar to that of a real egg.
Larkins’ product is able to replicate the high protein content of an egg by using pea protein isolate, the central ingredient in her plant-based egg. The ingredient list also includes Kala Namak salt, a kiln-fired rock salt that gives the egg it’s “sulphury” taste. The addition of algae-derived alginate acid also allows the “yolk” to break like a chicken egg yolk.
Through developing An Egg Without A Chicken, Larkins sought to explore how an egg could be replicated without a chicken, but also how it could be improved. This desire to balance taste and texture with something new led the designer to mold the “eggs” into new shapes. Through cubes, cylinders and other playful shapes, Larkins created a product that is unmistakably an egg, capturing the “essence” of what an egg is, while also taking a form that is biologically impossible for a hen to produce.