January 26, 2011 ~ Australia Day in the Land Down Under.
Australia, I believe, is known for a wide variety of what you could call typically Australian icons.
Our Aussie icons would include such things as the beach, surf, golden sand, football, meat pies, kangaroos, koalas (not koala bears…koalas are not bears!), Holden cars, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman…and Vegemite!
Yes, the humble jar of Vegemite is a true Australian icon!
I’m not here today to explain the history of vegemite, tell you who owns the company that produces Vegemite or to describe the colours in the label on the jar. (They are predominantly yellow and red, by the way).
Today, I merely want to set the record straight.
Yes, I’ve watched in horror as a group of young American girls shrieked their repulsion to the world, on a YouTube video, over the taste of our beloved treasure.
No, let me correct myself….I started to watch and after getting the gist of the video, I stopped watching.
The world has been ill-informed!
Firstly, no, Vegemite does not taste like Marmite. Marmite has a taste of its own, just as Vegemite has its own distinct flavour. The similarities end after “strong”, “black” and “goopey”.
Vegemite was not designed to be plastered in a one inch thick layer onto a piece of bread or toast! I’d shriek in horror myself, if forced to eat it like that!
Let me explain. Firstly, take a piece of your favourite, freshly-baked-that-morning slice of bread. Any bread will do; white, wholemeal, multi-grain, sour dough, rye….take your pick. But fresh is always best.
You can toast your bread, or not. I prefer fresh, squishy bread. There’s nothing quite like it!
Place a thin layer of butter over your bread/toast. It’s all personal preference, but I do like that layer of butter first. Vegemite without the butter is just a tad dry, but that’s just my opinion.
Next, place a thin….I said thin….did everyone get that bit? Just a thin layer of Vegemite is all that you need! Don’t chuck on half the jar, then complain it’s too strong! Would you add a whole jar of hot chilli powder to you Chilli Con Carne dish? No, you wouldn’t; because chilli is strong. And so is Vegemite!
I know of some people who love to eat peanut butter by the spoonful, straight from the jar. The same with Nutella, very yummy, eaten alone, straight from the jar. Perhaps unhealthy, but definitely delicious. (Hmm…Do they sell Nutella overseas?)
Do not, I repeat, do not eat Vegemite by the spoonful, straight from the jar! It will leave you gasping for breath!
For all of my overseas friends, if you are ever given the opportunity to sample a taste of our wonderful, much loved, little Aussie treat, please grasp the opportunity with both hands!
But please, take my advice, use Vegemite sparingly!
Vegemite and cheese sandwiches are rather scrumptious also. The Vegemite people, in their infinite wisdom, decided to combine the two ingredients, coming up with a product called “Cheeseymite”, or some such thing as that.
It was a complete flop. I’m not even sure if you can buy it any longer, because I’m not looking, and neither are too many other people, from what I hear.
The above is all the opinion of “myself”, a life-long, die-hard Vegemite lover. I will concede that Vegemite may well be an acquired taste. And, if you are born Australian and raised on Vegemite, somehow it seems very un-Australian to say you don’t like the stuff!
The main point of my defensiveness of my life-long love is just to say this ~ If you ever have the opportunity to taste Vegemite, at least give it the honour of eating it the right way!
A jar of Vegemite, when consumed correctly, lasts a looonnnng time!
Happy Australia Day! 😀