Friday, 25 October 2013

Apparently the almost black, sticky

and salty stuff beloved by many Australians is 90 today. That makes Vegemite almost ten months younger than the Senior Cat.
"Vegemite" you ask?
Ah yes, Vegemite. It is Australia's version of Marmite or Promite. It is a little less sloppy than Marmite and the flavour is subtly different. It is an essential part of the Australian diet. All health warnings about the consumption of salt are ignored when it comes to Vegemite.
For those of you who live in North America it may be necessary to explain still further. Vegemite is a yeast extract. It is eaten with bread or toast and butter or margarine or a similar "spread".  Vegemite does not need to be spread thickly, a mere taste will do. Local students in halls of residence have had to explain - by example how to eat Vegemite.
I have seen visiting American students, sadly unfamiliar with the joys of Vegemite, spread it thickly on toast - only to discover it is inedible like that. The Chinese students view it with extreme caution - and compare it unfavourably with soy sauce.
Vegemite sandwiches are common in school lunch boxes. They are cheap and will almost certainly be eaten. I ate a great many Vegemite sandwiches as a child, as did my siblings. My nephews ate Vegemite sandwiches.
Vegemite can appear in other places. There are recipes which call for Vegemite - usually as some sort of addition to stock. A sandwich may contain Vegemite with a slice of cheese and/or tomato. These are rare but not inedible even if they are not traditional. 
There was an experiment with something called "Cheesymite" - Vegemite with cheese already added. I think it is still around but it has not taken off. True Vegemite fans do not add to the delicate, subtle, salty flavour of toast, butter and Vegemite. They do not use it as finger paint or face paint. Vegemite is to be treated with respect.
Dieticians claim Vegemite is not good for us. It's the (admittedly high) salt content and apparently even the yeast is not favourably looked upon. Right.
With respect to Vegemite however I believe it is a case of a little bit of what is bad for you may, in this case, be good for you. It is a slice of fresh bread or hot toast with a comforting smidgeon of childhood spread on it to be savoured slowly. Everyone should be able to do that sometimes. 


Judy Edmonds said...

I think it is high in a Vitamin B, or maybe several of them. I haave never been able to stomach it or its foreign cousins, though I normally like salty things.

jeanfromcornwall said...

Not a fan of Marmite, so probably wouldn't like Vegemite, but can't help noticing that the diet police once again show their woeful ignorance. They just don't understand the difference between a food and a flavouring.

Miriam Drori said...

I've tried Vegemite but prefer Marmite. I've put it in stock but have never thought of eating it with anything but bread and butter.

gemma said...

I use it in gravy when it is too light on flavour, and every year 3 jars go to Canada to my uncle, who simply misses the taste of home.

Anonymous said...

I read that there is a very good reason that vegemite goes with cheese as it goes with butter: it bonds with the fat content in some way that is reflected in the taste.

I'm sorry, I've just spent a while trying to find this on the internet, without success.

I've always loved vegemite and cheese, but a few years ago was introduced to vegemite and avocado, typically on buttered toast - also brilliant and I guess for the same reason, the fat content of the avocado.