Why do some people not prefer egg cakes in India?

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  • Mon Oct 04, 2021
Why do some people not prefer egg cakes in India?

To most people, eggs appear to be a necessary component of baked foods. But not in my case.

I used to eat a lot of cakes, brownies, cookies, and other sweets as a kid. When I ate cake at a friend's birthday party, though, I always noticed something was amiss. It had a deeper flavour than I was used to. More dewy. It's not as light and airy. Then it dawned on me: none of my mother's chocolate torte, our waffle batter, or the Ghirardelli brownie mix we purchased at Costco included eggs. In my house, all of the desserts were eggless.

Hindus from the Brahmin caste—South Asia's hierarchical class structure—have traditionally been included in this category. Eggs, as potential living beings, are considered non-vegetarian by a large section of the people who are Hindu and vegetarian. Lower caste individuals must rely on meat and eggs as regular sources of protein, hence vegetarianism—and, by extension, an eggless diet—is regarded as an upper caste privilege in South Asia. In India, some people have an elite mindset of not eating eggs.

Pineapple cake is a popular delicacy at Indian pastry shops in general, however none of my Indian relatives or acquaintances could explain why. The one at Hot Breads is unimpressive, consisting of a typical eggless cake batter with diced pineapples folded in. It lacks numerous layers, luscious icing, and ornate decorations. It's basically a light, fluffy cake with a sweet, somewhat acidic tang. But it's refreshing in its lightness and simplicity; it's not the kind of dessert that'll make you feel heavy or make you go for a glass of milk. That's often exactly what I'm looking for.

Furthermore, Eggless pastries are lighter and softer than traditional egg-based pastries. The cakes do not rise as high and are not nearly as filled. On top, you won't find buttercream or cream cheese icing; instead, many of these pastry shops use whipped cream–based frosting.