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As an old, old lady, who grew up in wartime England and has lived in the US for 50+ years, I would like to share a little Marmite history with all you younger lovers - or haters - of the product. During World War 11, Marmite was part of the diet of hospital patients. Outside of a hospital, it was only available with a Doctor's prescription. It's THAT good for you. Just think of all you've read recently of B vitamin deficient Americans!!
Nice to get some of my english favorites on line. Makes grilled cheese a gourmand meal.
I knew of Marmite but had never tried it. I learned of it when I was an exchange student to Thailand and some of my fellow exchange students from the UK and Australia would argue about which was better -- Vegemite or Marmite. At one time one of these friends had me try Vegemite and I really thought she had played a joke on me -- like put something really horrific inside the jar in place of the actual product. When I learned that, no, this is indeed how Vegemite is supposed to taste, I lost any interest in trying Marmite. Ever. Turn the clock ahead 30 years. This Alabamian decided to meet up with a British friend in Cusco, Peru last year. One evening in my hotel room we exchanged gifts. I gave her an Auburn (my alma mater) shirt. She gave me .............. a jar of Marmite. After recounting my experience with Vegemite, I told her that it was quite possible I would lose the little jar of Marmite somewhere on Machu Picchu or in transit to Lima. But before I could arrange for its disappearance, my friend breaks out some Andean bread and cheese and makes us some Marmite sandwiches. To make a long story short, I am now a Marmite addict. I crave it. I love it on toast with butter, on celery, on sandwiches, in soup. It's a staple in my house. I confessed this on facebook once and sent my Aussie friends into an uproar, the result of which had me trekking back to World Market for a jar of Vegemite for another try. To be fair, it wasn't as horrible to me as my 17-year-old self remembered it to be, but it lacked the depth and richness of Marmite. Vegemite tastes much more bitter and the yeast flavor is much more pronounced. The texture isn't like Marmite, which looks like black honey. It's more like a firm petroleum jelly. It's much easier to work with, that's for sure, but to me, I will take the sticky mess and gluey viscosity -- and the wonderful, rich salty flavor -- of Marmite any day.
this is one of a few varieties of yeast-based spreads that can be found in ex-English colonial countries like New Zealand, Australia and my homeland South Africa. There is also the beef-based Bovril, and Vegemite amongst others, but Marmite is my favourite of the lot. it's vegetarian, has no MSG or artificial flavourings like Bovril, and is not sweet-salty like Vegemite, it is just right - on toast, spread over steamed veggies, on cheese, tomato, avocado....anything savory. And add a spoonful to some boiling water in a mug for a hearty quick broth.
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