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M*rm*te and V*g*m*te

The Marmite Teapot
A Cautionary Note
Bill Bryson on M*rm*te - Jean A.
M*rm*te and Peanut Butter - Kevin Danks
M*rm*te and Gravy - Lawrence Edwards
My Favourites - Lawrence Edwards
What is M*rm*te? - Peter Mackay
M*rm*te in the News - Elizabeth McCullough
How to eat M*rm*te - Kevin McLough
M*rm*te vs V*g*m*te - Peder Pedersen
In Defense of M*rm*te over V*g*m*te - Adam Quinan
More M*rm*te in the News - Adam Quinan
M*rm*te in Food - Adam Quinan
M*rm*te and Cream Cheese - Martin Watts
M*rm*te and Crackers - Kerry Webb
Jaap Fabriek
You've Got To Be Carefully Taught - John Gosden
Love it or loathe it, Marmite marks its centennial in Britain - Baltimore Sun
What does Marmite taste like? - Adam Quinan
David Harwell's M*rm*te Suggestion
V*g*m*te Goes Camping - John Donohue
Learning to love Marmite - Marlena Spieler
Anyone for V*g*m*te? - Helen Conner
M*rm*te/V*g*m*te Comparison Test - Mary S.

A Cautionary Note
Passions about M*rm*te and V*g*m*te run high in the Gunroom. You are directed to visit the Patrick O'Brian Discussion Archives.

Bill Bryson on M*rm*te - Jean A.
I have been reading Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island' and came across this at the beginning of Chapter 13.
'There are certain things that you have to be British, or at least older than me, or possibly both, to appreciate: skittle music, salt-cellars with a single hole, M*rm*te (an edible yeast extract with the visual properties of an industrial lubricant)...'
Time to check the little jar of M*rm*te in the refrigerator door. I believe it's indestructible.

M*rm*te and Peanut Butter - Kevin Danks
In a meeting of cultures (perhaps that should be a collision of cultures....) I take credit for inventing the peanut butter and M*rm*te sandwich. Non-UK members who don't know what M*rm*te is, well that's a whole other thread.

M*rm*te and Gravy - Lawrence Edwards
If you put half a teaspoon of M*rm*te in gravy it makes all the difference. It adds richness and colour, although it is also quite salty so you don't need to add extra salt as well.
I reckon it would have been toast and M*rm*te instead of toasted cheese if M*rm*te was available 200 years ago.......

My Favourites - Lawrence Edwards
My favourites are
M*rm*te on toast
M*rm*te and sandwich spread sandwiches
M*rm*te on cheese crackers/biscuits
M*rm*te added to gravy

What is M*rm*te? - Peter Mackay
Cultured folk eat this yeasty delight, smeared on bread or biscuits or simply scooped out with a spoon. It's savoury and nutritious, super-healthy and doubles as camouflage cream.
M*rm*te is a pale imitation of the real thing.
Goes well with Coon cheese and Sao biscuits.

M*rm*te in the News - Elizabeth McCullough
From the January 24, 2002, news roundup:
The NYT observes that 2002 marks the centennial of that august British institution: Marmite. The paper describes the spread as, "a brownish vegetable extract with a toxic odor, saline taste and an axle grease consistency." The Times says that the makers of the sludge love promoting the lesser virtues of the product: "One campaign, a television ad exploiting the product's notoriety for producing bad breath, showed a woman excusing herself from a sofa clutch with her boyfriend and running into the kitchen to have a quick bite of Marmite. She returns, they kiss, and the final scene shows the woman alone while the man is heard throwing up in the toilet."

How to eat M*rm*te - Kevin McLough
We would eat it on white bread toast with no butter or anything else. The challenge of its unadulterated taste was proof that it must be good for children. It was reported that Philistines used untoasted bread and added fey things like lettuce and tomatoes...even butter. We ate it at lunch sometimes, but more often at tea. It's a little too violent for starting the day.
By the way, I went through my childhood in Britain unaware there was any other bread than white bread. The baker's van delivered it warm from the oven around tea time. Real, yellow butter would seep into the warm bread which could then be slathered with home made blackberry jam...if there were no M****** of course.

M*rm*te vs V*g*m*te - Peder Pedersen
I was intrigued by this discussion. Here is what an English friend I contacted on this question explained to me. I sent this three days ago but it never featured among the messages I received from the list, and maybe through cause and effect the list stopped sending anything until this morning ... It was originally sent in reply to Chris Moseley's message entitled "La Marmite" and I hope that it is not now too late:
"You've asked what Marmite is and how it differs from Vegemite. You poor benighted fellow - to think you've lived some forty years upon this earth and not learnt of one of the essential elements of a way of life that distinguish the British from the Lesser Breeds Beyond the Law.
Marmite is a dark thick vegetable extract to be spread on bread. The joy of eating it is incommunicable and has to be experienced in the flesh: the tremble of anticipation, the delicious shudder upon impact, the gooey contact with the furry tongue, the sinuous clever way the substance works its way around the tired mouth and prises into the very interstices of the teeth and gums, the jolt as the backbone stiffens and one's bearing improves and one's moustache quivers proud and alert, the sheer rapture flooding through one's entire frame as one's senses revive, the shiver of relief as the salty after-taste fades away. All these go to make up the mystical ritual of eating Marmite.
Do not mention Marmite in the same breath as Vegemite. With the similar savoury beef extract called Bovril, maybe. With the tangy, fishy preparation called Patum Peperum or The Gentleman's Relish, perhaps. But never, ever in the same sentence as Vegemite. This last abomination is sweeter. It is a pale, tacky substitute devised for the poor Australians who - despite what they would have you believe - have become effete and decadent as a result of living in a Pacific paradise. They will not say so but they cannot take the rigours of Marmite. Theirs is a feeble shadow of the character-defining Thing we love and call Marmite, and it shows. If the England test cricket side or the English Rugby team were put on a regime of Marmite, they would be still be world beating. Just think of the extra propulsion, swing and spin it would impart to our bowlers or of the evil atmosphere (like any World War One gas attack) with which it would augment our scrumming skills. You start the experience as a young child, when it is still spread thinly as a concession, but as you become tougher and harder, and older and more wily, you consume it in great dollops: a teaspoon's worth on a slice of bread is the minimum, nearly a dessert spoon is sheer bliss. It does help to drink strong viscous tea.
The trouble is that all too often you find it nowadays in those sad, thin, minute, crustless, half-dried triangular sandwiches offered at what passes for a Victorian tea-party attended by old ladies or simpering young girls, at which only the busty black bombazined governess is absent. But these fragile creatures know not how to endure. In its heyday Marmite was the stand-by of the True Blue Brit, striding across the snows of Antarctica, sweltering in the dripping jungles and monsoons of the East, attacking the arid crags of Afghanistan or sweltering across the deserts of the Empty Quarter. It is an excellent addition to the stock of food aboard a sailing boat. It goes hand in hand with fried Black Pudding and devilled kidneys at a proper English Breakfast in its power to set up the Inner Man. For it fortifies, like a good dose of Plymouth Gin lightly brushed with Angostura Bitters or emboldening quinine.
One aspect of the experience is too often forgotten. It is literally vital that it should be eaten with good butter, and never with one of those so called cholesterol free oleaginous pseudo-substances such as margarine which the frightened health-conscious modern world consumes instead, gripped by the latest food fashion and deluded by spurious statistics. Having lived like you in France, I have evolved and so I now prefer my Marmite to be accompanied by rich salt-less butter from Normandy spread on an ultra-fresh baguette when I can get it, while in England it goes well on lightly toasted malty bread such as the Quarry loaf. The contrasting substances complement each other. I would concede that other savoury combinations can be successful: I like eating good bread spread with spicy Indonesian Dutch peanut butter in which fragments of the nut remain and on which a layer of "conserva" (thick tomato puree for making Bolognese sauce and such-like, or what the Italians call "doppio concentrato") has been generously applied. But nothing aspires to the heights reached by Marmite. It is the British secret weapon, par excellence, too little used these days. By Golly, it does you Good. They claim it even provides Vitamin B."
I do admit that this English friend is distinctly eccentric, but I am almost persuaded to try it myself to see what it can do for me. Chris Moseley's father was obviously far too soft with him.

In Defense of M*rm*te over V*g*m*te - Adam Quinan
Ignore the Southern Hemispheretic, M*rm*te (as it is usually spelled on the list to avoid offence) is the one true original. Only an Australian due to the limited natural resources of that island continent would believe that V*g*m*te is more than a vain attempt to capture the perfection of M*rm*te. My mother worked in the M*rm*te factory in London just after being demobbed from the Wrens in 1946. In a time of rationing she was able to capture catering tins of M*rm*te which was a great way to obtain favours from people.
The true M*rm*te is made from Guiness brewery yeast and at one stage in the process the residual alcohol can be tapped off. they used to make mixed drinks for parties. Easier to get than vodka in 1946/7 and a lot cheaper.

More M*rm*te in the News - Adam Quinan
From, Monday, April 22, 2002
Marmite: There is no middle ground
Just to rest my eyes on that dark, sensuously curved jar, anticipating the pungent delights that lie within, will raise my spirits.
Heather Laskey
In 1949, when I was 12 years old and my mother wanted to take me with her on a holiday on the French Riviera, I agreed to go only if I could bring my Marmite. My palate was used to the austere pleasures of the culinary offerings of English boarding schools of that era -- jam thickened with swedes (rutabagas), lard margarine, spotted dick, pease pudding, bread-and-dripping, and toad-in-the-hole -- so I was suspicious of what I had been warned would be Foreign Food.
I was telling a Quebecois friend about this the other day. "But what exactly is Marmite?" he asked after I continued to effuse about its central role in my life, its blissful and beneficial attributes and my dependency upon its consistent availability.
That was tricky. Although I've had a long, loving relationship with this delicious substance, I could only mutter that it was a sort of savoury spread made from something to do with yeast, beer-brewing and salt that one spreads on toast or bread. But because relations with the province have been tranquil of late, I didn't encourage him to taste it. Any more, I trust, than he would urge me to eat cheese curds with gravy and fries -- poutine.
Marmite is known for arousing intense feeling. The British Foreign Office entrusted a consular official with the mission of carrying extra-large size jars of this life-enhancing treat in his diplomatic bag to the eagerly waiting embassy staff in a festering central American locale.
I've also been assured that it played a role during both world wars -- but the details were vague. Some kind of secret weapon, perhaps.
Perhaps it's a Brit thing, but as this is the centenary year of its production in the English Midlands (interestingly, it was invented by a German chemist), there must be enough devotees around to keep it going. Even here in Canada we are in sufficient numbers to justify the larger supermarkets stocking it -- however unreliably and ill-positioned -- on their shelves.
My dependency started in the post-war years, when, for medical reasons, I was given special dispensation to take Marmite into school meals to spread on my bread ration. Packed with vitamin B, it was to help cure me of a miserable condition called chilblains, red blotches that came out on my feet and legs following exposure to the damp cold after playing lacrosse (that nasty game exported from Canada to British girls' schools) and whose itching drove me into a frenzy of scratching.
My continued and deep addiction may be responsible for my not having suffered from chilblains in the half-century since -- although I haven't played that wretched game, either -- but what binds me in such close attachment to Marmite is the seductive taste.
Just to rest my eyes on that dark, sensuously curved jar, anticipating the pungent delights that lie within, will raise my spirits in the most unpropitious circumstances.
I'm told that it will also prevent beri-beri, but I've never had to worry about that.
Perhaps it has additional attributes: I noted with approval and interest the scene in the movie The English Patient when the lovers take a bath together and cement their relationship by identifying their mutual fondness for Marmite. But maybe you didn't notice.
For some strange reason, my daughters do not appreciate it. My son, I'm glad to say, is on side. For myself, when stocks are adequate and depending on my mood and the season, I have recourse to the Marmite jar three or four times a day. Right now they are low, so I am being frugal, but even writing about it makes me feel better. Friskier, one might say.
I was just discussing the subject with another expat. She told me that she and her husband "particularly enjoy it after our Sunday afternoon walk. It says on the jar that it should be spread thinly. I spread it thickly! I always have it when I'm feeling wobbly, and immediately feel vitalised."
As for that holiday on the Riviera: When we entered the sunny hotel dining-room on the morning of our arrival, me clutching my Marmite, I inhaled for the first time the fragrance of real coffee, fresh oranges, brioches, croissants and sweet butter. Somehow I felt it unnecessary to open the jar. It remained closed for the entire trip, but I always knew it was there, just in case.
Today, however, tested by time and the ready availability of gastronomic exotica -- Foreign Foods unlimited -- there's really no contest.
Not now, this minute, anyway.
Heather Laskey lives in Halifax.

M*rm*te in Food - Adam Quinan
As for Marmite recipes, scrambled eggs on toast and Marmite are a delight and my new favourite, toast with Marmite then covered with a non-sweet peanut butter and cucumber slices.

M*rm*te and Cream Cheese - Martin Watts
My wife swears by Marmite and cream cheese sandwiches (not for me, I can't handle cream cheese).
A spoonful enlivens french onion soup, or indeed any rich stew or casserole.

M*rm*te and Crackers - Kerry Webb
And if you spread it with butter on crackers with holes in them, and you squeeze them together, why you get these cool little black and yellow wormettes rising up all over the cracker sandwich.

Marmite in Dutch - Jaap Fabriek
I like to put (a bit of) the stuff on my bread and Gouda-cheese. It also goes well in a tomato-salad-dressing.

You've Got To Be Carefully Taught - John Gosden
You should not let the prejudices of your relatives affect the way you live.
Fear of marmite is not innate - it has to be learned. As Lt. Joe Cable might have sung:
You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
To hate all the marmite
Your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught.
Then again, once you had tried it you might have found it to your taste.
After all, it's made from yeast, and we all know that yeast can grow on you.

Love it or loathe it, Marmite marks its centennial in Britain - Baltimore Sun
LONDON - Among the great mysteries of England there is Stonehenge, the ring of massive cut stones that for centuries has confounded archeologists, astronomers, historians, and theologians, all of whom have researched the grounds and after thoughtful contemplation developed detailed theories of how the configuration came to be and just what spiritual or scientific or humanistic significance it might possess.
The yeast spread can grow on you
By Todd Richissin, Baltimore Sun
Then there is the true great mystery of England: Marmite spread.
And this one really has people confused.
Marmite's origins are known, its roots well documented. But unexplainable by conventional thought is how Marmite has survived. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the bread spread - it's a yeast extract, if pointing that out doesn't affect your breakfast too much - and the collective question in England seems to be: Is this something worth celebrating?
It is, of course, to Marmite's makers, who revel in the fact that a large percentage of the English loathe the ''food,'' which resembles spent motor oil in texture, appearance and, some would argue, in taste.
But the makers quickly point out that Marmite can be found in more than one in four kitchens in England, that for every Marmite hater there's a Marmite lover who could not imagine eating his or her morning toast without first slathering on the viscous brown spread.
Marmite has become as identifiably British as red double-decker buses, the silhouette of its squat jar as recognizable here as that of Big Ben.
With its 100th birthday underway, Marmite's producers, Bestfoods Ltd., are unashamedly pushing it at every turn, with commemorative jars, testimonials from members of the Royal Family, motions in the House of Commons, and an advertising campaign that acknowledges that consumers would be kind to double up on the mouthwash.
"There is really no fighting the fact that some people absolutely hate the stuff," said Sabrina Lynch, a Marmite spokeswoman who confesses to slapping it on her toast. "This is a tongue-in-cheek way of acknowledging that people either love it or hate it."
Marmite has been produced since 1902 in Staffordshire, just a few staggers away from the Bass brewery in Burton-on-Trent, which is no coincidence. The basic raw material used in the manufacture of Marmite is spent brewer's yeast, a substance whose original and only use was to ferment grains into alcohol.
After Marmite got off the ground and into the jar, it was discovered the new food was also rich in a number of B vitamins. It became a staple of meals for British soldiers in World War II - although Bestfoods acknowledges soldiers were as likely to spread Marmite under the zipper area of their pants to stave off infection as they were to eat it.
The acknowledgment is typical of Bestfoods, which has found no point in denying that some people would rather put their lips to Prince Charles than to Marmite. With the beginning of the centennial year came a television campaign letting consumers know that, well, if they wanted to hate it that was fine. Just as long as its lovers went unharassed.
Oliver Bradley, the Marmite official responsible for pushing the stuff, says the advertising campaign only made sense. Marmite is as common in England as the Sunday roast, he says, so there is no sense trying to convince people that the product is something it's not. "We know that for 100 years, a whole lot of people have hated it," he said. "Our brand, unlike others, has the confidence and cheekiness to say, 'We know that and we don't care.'"

What does Marmite taste like? - Adam Quinan
As one of the M-lovers I must say that it is hard to define the full taste sensation. Marmite has a strong flavour which is why only the truly hooked should eat it straight from the jar! Neophytes will not be able to handle the experience successfully and should only eat it thinly spread on hot buttered toast or thinly spread on buttered bread..
The primary initial flavour is salty, but there is a strong taste which comes from the processed yeast. It is a little like an Oxo/bouillon cube but not so beefy. There is a bit of an aftertaste which lingers delightfully.
I am not a regular wine taster so I can't describe the flavours in a truly appropriate manner.

David Harwell's M*rm*te Suggestion
I tried M*r*i*e for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Jars of it had been sitting on the grocery store shelf for months and, as I would pass I would glance at them, mentally shake my head, and keep walking. I finally relented and bought a jar, thinking that anything which has caused such comment here should be at least sampled. I freely admit that it is an unique experience. I'm just not at all sure it's a food experience. I hate to see anything go to waste. If it dries hard on contact with air I might use the rest of the jar to patch cracks in my driveway.

V*g*m*te Goes Camping - John Donohue
I have been up at our YMCA Camp in Michigan working as a very, very Senior Counselor. Most of the time has been spent on or in the water teaching sailing, and I am extremely sore at this moment. We just had our closing Campfire, and when I went back to the dining hall for Staff Snacks one of our exchange counselors, a charming young lady from Australia, offered me a special concoction she had just fixed up.
Seems a couple of weeks ago when we first met I teaser here a little about Vegemite, a teasing she hadn't forgotten. So, tonight she fixed some vegimite snacks (and I'm spelling it the way she pronounces it - Veggiemyte, not vegemite,) and although I took one when offered, I delayed eating it for a moment. Well, messmates, it was delicious. In essence a grilled cheese sandwich with Veggiemyte spread on it -- or, Toasted Cheese Antipodean Style. Stephen and Jack would have loved it.
I went chasing after her to ask for more, and she was positively thrilled to inform me that it was all gone, as the rest of the staff liked it as well as did I. She did say that maybe, just maybe, she would fix some more tomorrow night. Hah, I have to go back to the more mundane world tomorrow afternoon. Mayhaps she'll still be here Labor Day weekend when I return. Sure hope so.

Anyone for V*g*m*te? - Helen Conner
V*g*m*te from Aussie Products
I recommend the Sesame Vita Weats, with marge and vegemite . . . finish with Cadbury's Dairy Milk (or Breakaway if you can get it), and a big glass of cold Milo.

M*rm*te/V*g*m*te Comparison Test - Mary S.
OK, I procured both of these at Wild Oats.
The palate was often cleared by a fine jug wine (Carlo Rossi Chablis) and the products were consumed thinly spread on a slice of gently toasted white "French" bread (not really good enough to class as French bread, supermarket stuff), omitting butter.
Reaction: Marmite smells offensive but tastes pretty good. Vegemite smells better but tastes worse, more like a product you might put on your floor or into your car engine.
The dog seemed to agree, licking a Marmite-tipped finger eagerly, a Vegemite-tipped finger somewhat less eagerly (Sorry, Aussies!) I had rather hoped the product tasted fishy, because I like fishy tastes, but it didn't.
And finally, nobody told me that Marmite (especially) was so INCREDIBLY salty.
I think a thin layer of the stuff might go well in a tomato sandwich; but have not thought of any other uses yet.