Vegemiter or Marmiter? Which one are you?

Like many other children growing up in Australia, I was served Vegemite regularly. On toast for breakfast, on sandwiches for lunch and after school snacks, it was a favourite treat.

Later I got more creative – on crumpets with egg, or in toasted cheese sandwiches. It is pretty darn good with avocado and tomato as well.

When my parents-in-law visited us in Queensland we sent them back to Holland with small plastic containers of Vegemite. I forgot to mention that you use it sparingly – the results were apparently hilarious.

So what is Vegemite?

Made from yeast extract, it is a dark brown spread. It tastes salty, and slightly bitter.

Now – you are either a Vegemite lover, or a Vegemite hater. There’s no middle ground with this stuff.

I’d like to announce officially: I am a LOVER.

I'm a Crowe lover as well...

Travelling overseas was a problem – I actually got my father to mail me jars of the stuff. No ‘fair dinkum aussie sheila’ can live without it for too long.

Vegemite first turned up on the Australian market in 1923. The name was chosen from a hat by the daughter of the Chairman of Frank Walker & Co., who owned the trademark until it was transferred to Kraft.

Vegemite jars over the years

So – enough history.

There are places you might NOT want to go with this stuff...

Everyday I was told how good Vegemite was for me. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin B, but that’s not why it is so popular.

Vegemite is a cultural icon in Australia. Even if you are not a fan – you know about it and can probably sing the Vegemite song.

Luckily I can get it easily here in New Zealand. It has been around here for over 50 years.

But Kiwi’s had their own spread.

Marmite.

Like Vegemite somewhat, but sweeter. Probably that comes from the addition of sugar and caramel. You eat it the same way that Vegemite is eaten, and it looks similar, but to a true Vegemite aficionado – it just ain’t the same. .

New Zealand version of Marmite

Like Vegemite, you are either a lover or a hater.

Me – I’m a hater. The Danes aren’t too keen on it either – they recently banned its sale in Denmark. Trouble is they banned Vegemite as well.

Idiots !!!

Poor Princess Mary. She’s either going to have to start smuggling the stuff in or get used to buttered bread with skæreost, or white Danish cheese, strawberry jam, or wienerbrød, and coffee.

"You're a Prince ! Do something about my Vegemite!"

Now back to Marmite for a moment.

Marmite – the New Zealand version came into being with World War 1. Up until then the Kiwi’s imported the stuff from Britain. In 1919 Sanitarium was granted the right to sell Marmite here in The Land of the Long White Cloud.

So the taste for this little spread – well, spread. It was even claimed that during World War II that it helped strengthen Kiwi troops.

Marketing has been known to stretch the truth occasionally.

These days you no longer get either in their little glass jars. Pity – they came in handy as substitute wine glasses back in the day. Or rum, or tequila, or vodka glasses for that matter.

Happily the Kiwi’s, unlike the Danes know a good thing when they taste it. Or at least half of them do.

These days New Zealand is split on the Vegemite/Marmite debate.

And a heated debate it is. Having a boring night? Just ask this question and watch the fur fly as both sides argue their point.

Are you a Vegemiter or a Marmiter. Because believe me – you are never both !!!

 

For an interesting read on the Aussie food experience you might want to check out Vegemite Experience

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20 thoughts on “Vegemiter or Marmiter? Which one are you?”

  1. LOL I love MARMITE!
    I don’t think they sell Vegemite in England, it’s all Marmite and I grew up loving it. My American friend tried it and she said it was the most disgusting thing she has ever tasted.. I told her then, she had no taste! :LOLOL… A fun read, thanks.

    1. I think it is something you need to grow up with to appreciate. Apparently the English Marmite is less sweet than the NZ one. I’ve never tried it being a ‘happy little vegemiter’ myself…LOL

  2. Living in the U.S., Marmite and Vegemite are not household products. An Oz blogger kept mentioning Vegemite, so I had to try it. Unfortunately, I could only find Marmite. I’m sorry to say, I wrote a very unflattering post. It now sits in the back (way back) of my cabinet. May I say, Icky Pooey.

    Terrific post. : )

  3. well Im a virgin on both counts! Someday I must try this! But I don’t expect to like it. COOL catchy commercial! If they had that song in the states, it would have been more popular here, Im betting.

  4. Not sure I’ve ever tried Vegemite, but I am a registered Marmitaholic..truly addicted..really couldn’t imagine life without it.
    I have it neat. Or on toast with butter. On toast with butter and honey. In a sandwich, on its own or with cheese and/or cucumber. On toast with baked beans and a fried egg. On the soldiers you dip in a soft boiled egg. Marmite crisps. Marmite chocolate. Marmite bread sticks, rice cakes and cheese. But my favourite of all is taking a Mars bar and dunking it in the jar. Heaven :)

  5. Up until 1941 when German U-boats realised they just had to stop Marmite reaching Australia or lose the war, most Aussies ate Marmite. However, because Vegemite was made here the Germans were foiled as we switched to Vegemite and with our NZ cousins across the ditch went on to win the war with the help of Spike Milligan. Spike’s mum lived in Woy Woy (look it up) and Spike moved here in later life to be closer to his Mum who would not go back to the UK because on her last trip home, she almost died of withdrawals from Vegemite, the Big V!.
    The importance of Vegemite to the war effort can be judged by the sheer number of pictures of Winston Churchill taken throughout the war, with arms raised giving the Germans what-ho with his famous double handed Big V salute.
    I challenge any Marmiteer to come up with just one picture of Winston giving the double M salute.
    Note: There is one that looks a bit like it, but he was actually playing the piano.

There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay. Two: I want to hear your opinion.

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