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pattimw

Lovely Vegemite

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I thought I'd go to the source for this-

I have always wondered why Americans hate Vegemite (I am American). I tried it not too long ago, and liked it. Then again, an Australian friend prepared it properly on toast with butter and just a smidge. So, I thought I would delve into it a little more deeply.

what are your thoughts on it? How do you eat it? Any good places for info? I already check out the "official" vegemite web site.

Thanks in advance from a lowly American.

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They like vegemite in Oz.

Poms like their marmite.

Americans like Fluff marshmallow spread.

Or so the cliches go.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I think Americans don't like it because it tastes bad, very bad :blink:

Jin, whats the difference between marmite and vegemite?

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...just a smidge

Ta da!

Americans hate it because they slather it on like peanut butter.

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Vegemite and Marmite are both hydrolised yeast spreads. Its like different beers: Marmite is sort of the remains from the bottom of a Guiness barrel, while Vegemite is more like the backwards of Mackeson.

(I hasten to add this is an analogy, they are not made from beer dregs, so far as I know, but the process and taste is analagous).

Vegemite is sweeter, and more like butter in texture, and slightly brown. Marmite is saltier and more like meat glaze in texture. Marmite is very salt, and does need to be spread thin. Makes a great base to put peanut butter on, or marmite soilders with a runny boiled egg...

Then, of course, there is Bovril, and Patum Pepperium (Gentlemans Relish)

Marmite for me!

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And the great thing about Gentlemans Relish is that it is based on one of the worlds great flavours - anchovies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vegemite is a love hate relationship for many Australians. It is a traditional and addictive spread. It is only ever used spread sparingly on toast at breakfast time. Most of us miss it significantly when we have been 'overseas' for more than a week or two. It's a bit like someone from New Orleans being deprived of gumbo!

They also hate the fact that it is now owned by a US company and we no longer know what the ingredients are. In fact, I have made the ultimate sacrifice and stopped eating it because I no longer know whether there are any GM components in it. There is no labelling law which gives me the confidence that I need.


Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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I haven't been able to find any actual Vegemite around - there is a fairly large Irish and British population in Boston, and apparently, they prefer Marmite, which is all the stores sell.

My Australian friend has graciously given up one of her precious jars so that I may experiment. My husband, who works with her and is in possession of the booty at the moment, is very suspicious, and I daresay, frightened. And rightfully so. He is my first guinea pig. :biggrin:

Yes, when I checked out the official web site, I noticed that they are owned by Kraft. :hmmm:


Edited by pattimw (log)

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Vegemite is sweeter, and more like butter in texture, and slightly brown.  Marmite is saltier and more like meat glaze in texture.

Interesting,

I always found Marmite to be sweet. Vegemite is very savoury...

And, as everyone has said, you only use a little, preferably on hot crusty toast dripping with melted butter... :wub:


How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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And the great thing about Gentlemans Relish is that it is based on one of the worlds great flavours - anchovies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vegemite is a love hate relationship for many Australians. It is a traditional and addictive spread. It is only ever used spread sparingly on toast at breakfast time. Most of us miss it significantly when we have been 'overseas' for more than a week or two. It's a bit like someone from New Orleans being deprived of gumbo!

They also hate the fact that it is now owned by a US company and we no longer know what the ingredients are. In fact, I have made the ultimate sacrifice and stopped eating it because I no longer know whether there are any GM components in it. There is no labelling law which gives me the confidence that I need.

Being from New Orleans I feel compelled to respond to your comment

People from New Orleans (even huge foodies like me) often have trouble when traveling. I eat everything and am interested in all kinds of food. I am well traveled by pretty much any standard and have spent a good deal of time living abroad (Ireland and Mexico primarily). I enjoy food pretty much wherever I go but everytime I am gone for a while I end up cooking SOuth La. favorites wherever I am. You are right. I end up missing the food. I need a big plate of red beans and sausage, some gumbo, a spicy piquant, a little properly fried fish, etc. and I will go out of my way to get the ingrediants to make it myself.

All that being said I am afraid I don't get vegemite. I have tried it several times (in smidge amounts on toast) and while I don't find it disgusting, I don't think I would go very far out of my way to get it. But i definitely understand to eat what's familiar. To each his own.

What is a "GM component"?


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Mayhaw Man Posted on Sep 23 2003, 06:36 AM

What is a "GM component"? 

***Genetically Modified*** Not a fan thereof myself, but anyone out there who is? :raz:

And I feel compelled to add my two bits worth to what could be the first online in depth dissertation on vegemite...

It's great as a midnight snack after one too many from the pub.

It was a lifesaver during the university years of brink-starvation.

And I've had 'em on Wheat-Bix with butter.

As for the differing angles on the taste, could batch differences have something to do with it as it's a 'live' culture of yeast they've been using? Probably simply just that individual reactions to it having more relevance. :wacko:

It's great stuff. Whenever I'm back in Australia, I get the catering jar. The largest jar in London supermarkets are not quite enough!!


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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I once did systematic empirical research on this very important topic! There are four major hydrolyzed yeast products:

Marmite

Vegemite

Promite

NZ Marmite

Vegemite and Promite are both Australian and are sweeter than Marmite. The tricky thing is the NZ Marmite is the sweetest of all! So you get people in the antipodes complaining that Marmite is too sweet compared to Vegemite, while pommies are wondering if their tastebuds are upside-down too. Needless controversy - things like that are tearing the Commonwealth apart.

IMHO the *-mites have untapped potential as savory-taste enhancing cooking agents. Is anyone aware of recipes that use Vegemite or Marmite as a flavoring agent?


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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glad you said that, skchai, I often add half a teaspoon of Marmite (being Brit am resolutely pro-Marmite anti-Vegemite) to savoury meat dishes like stews, chilli or shepherds pie or even (and here's fusion for you) tagines that seem to lack oomph. It just adds an underlying savoury base-note that you can't identify, but makes the whole thing more homogenous.

As for actual recipes, Peter Gordon of the Sugar Club (or possibly ex of the Sugar Club) in London has a recipe for his New Zealand granny's savoury bites which, from memory, involves melting Vegemite with butter, soaking fingers of stale bread in and baking off in a low oven till crispy. Apparently the most delicious thing ever, though haven't tried. And Nigella Lawson in How To Eat gives a recipe for Marmite sandwiches which may sound like re-inventing the wheel, but she creams the Marmite with the butter and spreads the resulting paste on the bread, rather than the more usual two-layer approach.


Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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My son's friend, a hard-boiled LEGO player who is at our house daily, has been exposed to Marmite and Vegemite so thoroughly that I finally had to send him home with his own supply.

He's the only Japanese person I know who eats either, though. Puzzling, as a little hatcho miso spread thinly on toast will save a desperate Downunder exile from sure extinction.

My husband won't touch it after he mistook it for chocolate spread one day...

I don't like using either in cooking -- and I don't like it as a hot drink either. But on toast with cheese etc., yes YES!

Personally I like it with butter on potatoes!

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IMHO the *-mites have untapped potential as savory-taste enhancing cooking agents. Is anyone aware of recipes that use Vegemite or Marmite as a flavoring agent?

Some Chinese seafood restaurants in Malaysia have Marmite Crabs / Prawns. The crabs / prawns are are fried in their shells and then coated with a sticky Marmite sauce. It's quite a messy but most delicious task in removing the shells.

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Sounds very interesting Shiewie. Sort of using Marmite to substitute for kecap manis, I guess?

In general, I think the whole area of fermented / hydrolyzed protein flavoring agents could be studied a lot more: similarities, differences, what happens when they get substituted for one another (con)fusion-style.

I went to a Vietnamese restaurant in San Jose in which they put no fish sauce into their Pho, but instead replaced it with Maggi seasoning, insisting that this tasted much better. I once tried to make Korean kalbi (shortribs) by marinating in Maggi / soy combo - not exactly a success but not as different as you might expect. Fish / soy sauce combination works pretty well in nearly all cases where soy alone would be used - pork marinade in particular. Back to Marmite and Vegemite: I'm getting inspired to try putting a thin layer of seasoned Vegemite on top of tofu instead of sweetened miso sauce, then broiling it ala Japanese dengaku. . . see what happens.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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skchai Posted on Sep 26 2003, 04:25 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm getting inspired to try putting a thin layer of seasoned Vegemite on top of tofu instead of sweetened miso sauce, then broiling it ala Japanese dengaku. . . see what happens. 

Why would you want to season the vegemite as its flavoursome as it is? I'd suggest thinning it out so it's more of a glaze, so you don't damage the tofu.

And on the crab/marmite combo, I'll be in KL for a holiday soon, I'll get my old man to make a reservation in one of his Port Kelang seafood haunts.. maybe a post fit for the Asian board....

Let us know how you get on with the tofu!!


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Sounds very interesting Shiewie.    Sort of using Marmite to substitute for kecap manis, I guess?

Not so much as a substitute for kicap manis but more like another sauce for seafood...somewhat like a dry sticky version of chilli crabs. It sounds a bit strange but it's really quite good - one spends a lot of time licking every bit of sauce off the shells.

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Vegemite and Promite are both Australian and are sweeter than Marmite.  The  tricky thing is the NZ Marmite is the sweetest of all!  So you get people in the antipodes complaining that Marmite is too sweet compared to Vegemite, while pommies are wondering if their tastebuds are upside-down too.    Needless controversy - things like that are tearing the Commonwealth apart. 

Thanks for that skchai,

All the wonderful things you learn on egullet...

I must have been eating NZ Marmite all those years ago.

As for using it in cooking, the vegemite jar used to have recipes on it for all sorts of meat stew/pie type dishes.

I've never done it myself, but it can't be too different from a stock cube.


How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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to go back to an earlier comment, my understanding is that Marmite originally developed in the Midlands (UK) and that the yeast component was some sort of by-product of brewing. So the analogy between the flavour of Marmite and that of beer is not wholly fanciful.

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For everything (well most things, anyway) you wanted to know about good 'ol vegemite goto

vegemite.com.au The official site with all the stuff you ever wanted to know and more.

Ok , so a mate of mine sent me a 455gr jar of vegemite to south africa, which I have polished off all myself, and the most sad part of it all is that when I finished the jar I put it on display in my computer room with all my other aussie stuff (boomerang, digereedo, bottle of 4x, table cloth of oz, and so on....... )

:biggrin:

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I Love Marmite. On toast. Made into a beverage and seasoned with chilli flakes. Favourite way to eat it would be stirred into congee, when I was young, this was how they promoted its use- on TV they show ad of mums feeding their happy children marmite-enriched congee.

Never tried Vegemite.

Love Bovril, sadly not available due to BSE scare. Personally feel that Bovril has a richer taste.

There is something that sounds gross on the market called Chicken Marmite. Not tempted to try.

Noticed that hospital pharmacy sells organic Misomite. Again, have not tried yet.

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Once we find the Vegemite in the States, we are then on a search for bread which is not sweet and icky. Travelling 40 miles for a loaf of french or any edible bread is not uncommon!

Premiums and vegemite are my usual go due to the bread situation.

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i don't know what the big deal was, i visited syndney a while ago and there was vegimite with breakfast, i slathered it on as i am apt to do and liked it fine. bit odd, but good nonetheless, perhaps it's because i like everything except milk and water chestnuts. I am american, also, born in montreal though.

Dan


"yes i'm all lit up again"

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FYI, importing Vegemite to the US has been banned. Article here from the Courier Mail.

The bizarre crackdown was prompted because Vegemite contains folate, which in the US can be added only to breads and cereals.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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