Sunday, July 27, 2008


I'm going to take one for the team. While my childhood brainwashing in the harsh lands of Australia has resulted in me finding there to be nothing odd about the consumption of Vegemite, the whole idea behind eating vegetable yeast extracts can be quite strange to the inhabitants of the rest of the world.

vegemite jar

Vegemite is effectively an offshoot of beer making and, for those who don't know, beer is a very popular beverage in Australia. Made from leftover brewer's yeast extract with vegetable and spices, Vegemite is a savory spread rich in B vitamins and certain amino acids (and deliciousness).

vegemite on toast

When confronted with questions concerning the nature of my favorite spreadable foodstuff, a common mistake is to compare it to peanut butter.

"You see... uhhh... Vegemite to Australians is like peanut butter to Americans... you know, one of those staple commodities that you're supposed to spread on bread... yeah, something like that."

This doesn't work. The questions get stranger and more off target as they try to gauge the flavor. So my current approach to the question goes something like this:

"Ummmm... yeah... uhhhh... oh, you've tried Guinness, right?"

Blank stare implying an affirmative quickly followed by a "duh".

"Well, imagine a very thick Guinness, like peanut butter thick [again, the peanut butter comparisons], but with lots of salt... lots and lots of salt."

This is followed by an unsubstantiated assertion that Vegemite is gross. But the facts are on my side. Observe a snapshot of the Wikipedia article on Vegemite correctly stating that Vegemite is both delicious and far superior to its competitor Marmite.

vegemite vikipedia

I rest my case.

If there are any curious individuals out there who would like to give Vegemite a try, it can be found in stores like World Market that carry international foods. I recommend making a Vegemite sandwich for your first experiment. Get two pieces of bread, toast if you wish, spread a layer of butter/margarine (unless you can't stand either) and a then a thin layer of Vegemite. Do not, I repeat, do not go overboard with the Vegemite; it's strong and incredibly salty. You can gradually increase the amount used if you find yourself actually enjoying the stuff but take it easy the first few times. If you give it a try and find you don't like it at all, please get in touch... I'll be more than happy to take the remains off your hands.

vegemite on toast

1 comment:

Catofstripes said...

Dear me, I tried vegemite once. Tastes like fermented chicken sh*t. Marmite is the one true spread, but I second your advice on acquiring the taste. Keep it thin, for at least the first year.